Microsoft Tries To Appease EU
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The latest sweetener is designed to head off complaints that the software giant has failed to adequately meet the demands set by the European Commission ruling on its antitrust failings.

The offer is to Microsoft licensees seeking to implement Windows Server communications protocols and comes in response to objections lodged by the European Commission which claims it has not provided adequate documentation that would allow non-Microsoft work group servers to achieve full interoperability with Windows PCs and servers.

Microsoft claims to have devoted more than 30,000 hours to the development of indexed and searchable documentation to allow its competitors to access the specifications they need to build products that implement Microsoft’s protocols.

Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith said the new documentation, together with free and unlimited technical support and access to Windows source code, will ensure that competitors have all the assistance they need to make the EU’s program effective.

One poster on Microsoft-insider blog, MiniMSFT, claimed that rumours wee circulating the Redmond campus that the company’s legal troubles in Europe were behind the delay in its latest operating system launch.

The anonymous poster, who claimed to be a company staffer, said the “talk around the vending machines” was that the Vista postponement had more to do with the company’s EU troubles than slipping schedules.

The poster claimed that no new products would ship until “after the mess with the EU is cleaned up”.

“From what I’ve heard so far, if there are further major delays with EU that can’t be solved by set-asides and scholarships, then expect another major delay beyond what has already been announced.”

“Eventually EU will capitulate whether Commerce and the WTO has to step in or not. Server space market share has either reached a tipping point, or already passed a tipping point depending on which internal study you read.”

The posting also reveals the alarm within Microsoft at the momentum of desktop migration plans.

“And remember, any large migrations you get a whiff of, you know where to report them, get details and do it. A single 6 digit desktop migration has repercussions far and wide on many other customers and partners (and media), and we are staring at over a dozen of them and have been unsuccessful in turning any of them around so far.

“So unless anything settles with the EU in the coming months, expect further delays regardless of what they are blamed on,” concludes the writer.

Additional Reporting By Computer Business Review