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Microsoft given nine day interop deadline

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Competition commissioner Neelie Kroes has given Microsoft nine days to comply with court requirements that it provide rival firms with interoperability information.

Kroes said yesterday: "I don't have eternal life."

She told The Guardian newspaper that the information should have been available a couple of months ago. She said: "I am not impressed if someone says 90 per cent of the information is already there when we need 100 per cent. It's a jigsaw and some parts are missing...In my opinion, this information should have been here a couple of months ago."

Microsoft has until 23 November to make the information available.

The commission said in a statement that Microsoft had submitted a revised set of documents on 19 July but, after checking them with the help of monitoring trustee Neil Barrett, decided they are not sufficient.

The statement says: "The commission expects the remaining omissions and deficiencies in the technical documentation to be remedied by 23 November so that by the end of November the entire set of technical documentation will be available for potential licensees to review."

The statement reminds us that Microsoft was originally asked to provide the information within four months of the verdict in March 2004 - by July 2004. Microsoft missed that and subsequent deadlines. Because of this, the commission imposed a penalty of €280.5m for non-compliance from the 31 July 2006. Microsoft also faces fines of €3m a day.

Anti-virus companies have complained that Microsoft has failed to provide enough information for them to ensure their products interact properly with Vista. ®

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