Chris Higgins wrote:
>http://europa.eu.int/rapid/start/cgi/guesten.ksh?p_action.gettxt=gt&doc=IP/04/382%7C0%7CRAPID&lg=en&display=>>Apols for the long link :-)
>>>Some choice quotes for us!
"Microsoft abused its market power by deliberately restricting
interoperability between Windows PCs and non-Microsoft work group
"This illegal conduct has enabled Microsoft to acquire a dominant
position in the market for work group server operating systems, which
are at the heart of corporate IT networks, and risks eliminating
competition altogether in that market."
"The ongoing abuses act as a brake on innovation and harm the
competitive process and consumers, who ultimately end up with less
choice and facing higher prices."
"As regards interoperability, Microsoft is required, within 120 days, to
disclose complete and accurate interface documentation which would allow
non-Microsoft work group servers to achieve full interoperability with
Windows PCs and servers. This will enable rival vendors to develop
products that can compete on a level playing field in the work group
server operating system market. The disclosed information will have to
be updated each time Microsoft brings to the market new versions of its
"To the extent that any of this interface information might be protected
by intellectual property in the European Economic Area, Microsoft would
be entitled to reasonable remuneration."
"The Commission believes the remedies will bring the antitrust
violations to an end, that they are proportionate, and that they
establish clear principles for the future conduct of the company."
"To ensure effective and timely compliance with this decision, the
Commission will appoint a Monitoring Trustee, which will, /inter alia/,
oversee that Microsoft's interface disclosures are complete and accurate"
"More generally, the Commission is concerned that Microsoft's tying of
WMP is an example of a more general business model which, given
Microsoft's virtual monopoly in PC operating systems, deters innovation
and reduces consumer choice in any technologies which Microsoft could
conceivably take interest in and tie with Windows in the future."
"Commission decisions can be appealed to the European Court of First
Instance in Luxembourg."
The devil is in the detail! Anyone have a link to the actual judgement
or any more details? It is reassuring though to see them talking about
the principles of future conduct for MS and their concerns about the
general MS business model.
Who knows what Intellectual Property means in the EEA and how it could
be applied to interfaces? Can an interface be patented, copyrighted or
trademarked (which is what I understand people generally mean with
IP). Has the EU Commission just said that an interface can contain
IP? Have they just closed out Free software from the game? Who will
decide what is IP and hence what MS must disclose and what they can hide
under the IP card?
I wonder who will be appointed as Monitoring Trustee and whether or not
anything will happen before the Luxembourg court decides on the
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