CEBIT: Microsoft claims European antitrust issues in past

Microsoft's efforts to better detail how its products work should keep it out of legal trouble, despite a record fine from the European Commission last week

Microsoft's efforts to better detail how its products work should keep it out of further legal trouble, despite a record fine levied by the European Commission last week, CEO Steve Ballmer said Monday.

"Essentially what we are permitting is more innovation around our products, more interoperability, maybe also more potential for third parties to cannibalize what could have been Microsoft business, but it's a path that we commit ourselves to because it's good for customers, and it's consistent with our legal obligation," Ballmer said at the Cebit trade show in Germany.

In February, Microsoft published more than 30,000 pages of documentation for its Windows client and server APIs that were previously available only under a trade-secret license. The company has pledged to publish more documentation for other products this year.

Ballmer said that previously Microsoft had been "less directly and effectively open." But now Microsoft is opening up other crucial code, such as APIs (application programming interfaces), which will allow other products to interoperate better, he said.

Ballmer also cited the company's Office Open XML (OOXML) file format, now under consideration to become an international standard by the International Organization for Standardization, as another example of how the company has opened up.

OOXML, however, has been criticized for being too complex, and Microsoft has taken heat for not natively implementing OpenDocument Format (ODF) in its Office products.

The European Commission fined Microsoft US$1.3 billion last Wednesday for failing to honor its 2004 antitrust ruling. Microsoft was finally found to be in compliance by October 2007.

That ruling required Microsoft to produce a version of its operating system without its Media Player and to document communications protocols used by Windows workgroup server.

The Commission, while at times praising Microsoft, fined the company for the quality of its documentation and for taking too long to produce it.

Ballmer, however, said the Commission's concerns have since been resolved. "We hope these interoperability principles prove valuable in the future, but that of course is always up to the Commission."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?