Feeds

EC's 'Steelie' Neelie snubs Microsoft Office

Choose life, choose open standards

Top three mobile application threats

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. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Reprieve for Weev: Court disowns AT&T hacker's conviction
Appeals court strikes down landmark sentence
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.