RealTime IT News

Microsoft Rivals Get Turn With EU

Microsoft customers and competitors have 10 days to tell the European Commission how they feel about the company's latest efforts to comply with sanctions resulting from last year's EU anti-trust ruling, a commission spokesman said on Friday.

The commission will hear from European PC makers, retailers and IT companies next week to determine if the software giant has moved far enough toward compliance with last year's rulings.

"The commission will decide on whether it considers the proposals from Microsoft satisfactory or not in light of the reactions in the marketplace," Jonathan Todd, European Commission spokesman, told reporters during a broadcast news conference on Friday.

As previously reported by internetnews.com, the commission levied a record fine of $613 million last March and imposed other penalties against Microsoft. After ruling that Microsoft abused its monopoly position, it required the company to unbundle its Windows Media Player software from Windows in European markets.

In addition, it gave the company 120 days to license server protocols to other companies so their software can interoperate with Windows machines.

Microsoft officials insist they are doing everything possible to comply with the EU ruling and say they will continue to work with the commission.

"We are committed to comply fully with the commission decision and are working constructively with the commission toward that goal," Microsoft spokesman Dirk Delmartino said.

He said the company had already made available the communications protocols for licensing and claimed the new version of Windows was now available to manufacturers.

"It makes sense the commission would seek industry feedback, and we welcome their input," he said. "We have complied with the decision. The protocols are available and we have made a new version available to OEMs."

Todd said that if Microsoft failed to comply, the commission could fine the company up to 5 percent of its average daily turnover worldwide. But he added that it was too soon to begin speculating about fines.