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Microsoft Facing New European Probe

Back to Belgium, and not for the chocolate

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The EU will open a pair of investigations into Microsoft, focusing on their two big businesses: Windows operating systems and the Office productivity suite.

In response to a complaint by Opera Software, as well as a 2006 complaint by the European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS).

ECIS reads like what we would imagine a Rogues Gallery in Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s office would look like: IBM, Oracle, Nokia, Sun, RealNetworks. Andrew Updegrove at ConsortiumInfo.org said Opera’s complaint presented "some novel and interesting features" with regards to Internet Explorer, the browser’s failure to conform with current open standards, and its bundling with Windows.

Updegrove also recounted Microsoft’s battle over document standards, favoring the company’s OOXML over the Open Document Format.

"Unless the EU gets tougher and moves faster than in the case of the previous investigation, Microsoft may not feel under enough pressure to actually make changes in the way that it does business," he said.

A couple of factors may impact this latest round of probes into Microsoft’s flesh. Precedent from the EU’s first prosecution of Microsoft, and the focus on Office and Windows, according to Updegrove, may let the EU bring more pressure on the company to change its ways.

 

Microsoft Facing New European Probe
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