Feeds

EC's 'Steelie' Neelie snubs Microsoft Office

Choose life, choose open standards

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

European anti-trust commissioner Neelie Kroes today strongly rebuffed Microsoft by urging businesses and governments to use software based on open standards.

“I know a smart business decision when I see one – choosing open standards is a very smart business decision indeed,” said Kroes. “No citizen or company should be forced or encouraged to choose a closed technology over an open one.”

“Steelie” Neelie issued the scathing statement at a conference in Brussels this morning, reports the New York Times.

The European Commission, when making decisions on what technology to use, should choose to adopt open, well-documented standards over propriety ones, said Kroes.

EU agencies “must not rely on one vendor” and “must refuse to become locked into a particular technology – jeopardising maintenance of full control over the information in its possession,” she said.

In February Kroes slapped a record-breaking €1.35bn fine on Redmond for violating European competition rules. The EC jacked up the fine after the firm failed to comply with the original anti-trust ruling that found Microsoft was charging competitors too much for interoperability information for its servers.

Microsoft refused to cough up the initial penalty of €497m handed down by Kroes in 2004.

Kroes had said that she hoped the decision to issue two periodic penalty payments would close “a dark chapter in Microsoft's record of non-compliance."

However, at the start of this year the EC began two fresh investigations into Microsoft’s business practices following complaints about the software giant’s Internet Explorer browser and interoperability issues with its Office apps.

The Commission is also probing how the International Standards Organisation (ISO) ratified Microsoft’s Office Open XML (OOXML) as a second standard alongside Open Document Format (ODF) in March this year.

Microsoft secured enough votes despite a wide range of complaints against the firm’s highly controversial document format which is perhaps years away from being compatible even with its own Office products.

Late last week the ISO confirmed that four national standards body members – Brazil, India, South Africa and Venezuela – had issued formal appeals against the approval of OOXML as an international standard.

Officials at the ISO and the International Electrotechnical Commission will consider the appeals with an outcome expected to be announced by the end of June.

If the two management boards agree to carry the appeals forward, a panel will be established and the process to resolve the dispute could take several months, thereby delaying the official blessing of OOXML as an international standard. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.