Microsoft bails out of European competition hearing
Cancels due to shortage of watchdogs
Microsoft has turned down the chance to give oral evidence to the European Competition Commission - because the date clashes with a big beanfeast for regulators in Switzerland.
The software giant was to present evidence at an oral hearing between 3 and 5 June. This was a chance for both sides to air issues around Microsoft's bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows, which the Commission believes breaches competition laws.
But the hearing clashes with a meeting in Zurich for 600 anti-trust and fair trade regulators from around the world. The event is expected to be particularly popular because it is the first such meeting to attended by President Obama's newly-chosen officials. The US is widely expected to take a much tougher, more interventionist, regulatory line than it charted under the Bush administration.
The Commission assured Microsoft that senior staff would not be at Zurich, but the software giant has decided to pull out.
In a blog post Microsoft deputy general counsel Dave Heiner said: "it appears that many of the most influential Commission and national competition officials with the greatest interest in our case will be in Zurich and so unable to attend our hearing in Brussels."
The company asked for a change of date, but the Commission was unable to reschedule the meeting. As a result Microsoft has withdrawn its request for a hearing.
The meeting wouldn't have actually resolved anything: there is no judge or jury. But it helps both sides understand the other's arguments and likely legal strategies.
Microsoft faced a similar case brought by US regulators which was settled in 2002.
The Commission issued a Statement of Objections outlining its concerns to Microsoft in January following complaints from rival browser maker Opera.
Windows 7 is expected to come with a button to switch off Internet Explorer. ®
When I can run Windows Update with Firefox, that means IE has been removed from the system. Otherwise, they're lying to me. As usual.
That does not switch it off - that only hides it. It is still there and still running. It should be possible to completely remove IE from the system. Just as I can with (say) Firefox on Linux. Cue the MS fanbois wailing about how I "Don't understand a modern OS". Au contraire, I do. Which is why I know it is possible to completely de-couple IE from Windows if MS wants to. Underlying modules (e.g. XML processors etc) wouldn't be decoupled, but then they are not IE; merely used by it.
MS obviously care more about bribing, err, talking with the new regulators and ensure that they konow who is going to grease their palms, err, has a clear vision on the future.
The EU should continue their prosecution, which should now proceed much faster as MS is not offering any defence.
In the EU FF is now one of the most popular browsers despite the activities of MS. Less and less people want to take their buggy, virus-prone, bloat-shit-ware any more.
wot no title?
"Windows 7 is expected to come with a button to switch off Internet Explorer"
So does XP, it's called deleting the shortcut from the desktop and anywhere I can see it in he start menu!