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Microsoft to face daily fine?


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From bbc.co.uk

 

Microsoft may face daily EU fine

 

The European Commission has threatened to fine Microsoft up to 2m euros (£1.36m; $2.4m) a day until it gives rivals more access to its systems. Brussels said the software giant had failed to supply adequate information about its server programs.

 

Microsoft has five weeks to provide improved documentation before the daily penalties are imposed. The EU said it was "left with no alternative" after giving Microsoft every chance to comply with its ruling.

 

In a landmark ruling in March 2004, the world's biggest software firm was found guilty of abusing its position, hit with a record fine and told to open up its operating systems. Data demand Microsoft was also ordered "to disclose complete and accurate interface documentation which would allow non-Microsoft work group servers to achieve full interoperability with Windows PCs and servers".

 

The EU's second highest court - the Court of First Instance - later rejected an appeal by Microsoft and warned it to comply with the order by 15 December 2005, or face a daily fine. But following two reports from a monitoring trust that has been checking information supplied by Microsoft, the European Commission says the software giant has failed to provide all the necessary detail.

 

It quoted the reports as saying the technical documentation was "totally unfit at this stage for its intended purpose". Appeal plea In September this year, Microsoft launched a second appeal against the March 2004 ruling - which included a 497m euro fine - in an effort to avoid giving more information on its server programs.

 

The firm argues that doing so would violate intellectual property rights. "I have given Microsoft every opportunity to comply with its obligations," EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a statement as the five-week deadline was issued. "However, I have been left with no alternative other than to proceed via the formal route to ensure Microsoft's compliance."

 

Microsoft was not immediately available for comment.

 

Interesting stuff, could it be that finally Microsoft will be forced to do something about its monopoly?

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I can't see how they'll be able to enforce this properly.

 

Microsoft are in the business of making money, and the EU are basically saying "the thing which makes you the most money must now be free for everybody to hack, erm, we mean look at how it works".

 

Microsoft SHOULDN'T be fined because of this - it's not their fault that their opposition fell apart, and if you look at the hoops that they've already jumped through for the EU, and it's a joke as the EU just keeps on moving the goalposts.

 

If they do open up the source, then it's going to make hacking the OS a lot easier and more prolific than it already is.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I can't see how they'll be able to enforce this properly.

 

Microsoft are in the business of making money, and the EU are basically saying "the thing which makes you the most money must now be free for everybody to hack, erm, we mean look at how it works".

 

Microsoft SHOULDN'T be fined because of this - it's not their fault that their opposition fell apart, and if you look at the hoops that they've already jumped through for the EU, and it's a joke as the EU just keeps on moving the goalposts.

 

If they do open up the source, then it's going to make hacking the OS a lot easier and more prolific than it already is.

 

While those are all valid points, Microsoft are breaking international laws. They have utlised their monopoly in such a way as to prevent any competition effectively working with other Microsoft products thus they kill the competition because they make the OS and applications so that the competition's products don't work effectively. They've effectively sabotaged the competition before they can even gain ground! They also are guilty of manipulating other areas of the industry into being ONLY Microsoft compatible (like the long standing deal with IBM).

 

They've also kept significant amounts of evidence proving this buried and haven't even provided it to the courts over a year after they were supposed to. Plus they haven't paid any of their fines that they had to or even fulfilled half of the guidelines that the courts told them to. Thats why they are successful. Sod Microsoft, let them get fined. It can only help the industry as a whole

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