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
  • (IDG News Service)
  • — 04 March, 2008 09:26

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."

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

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

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.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?