Microsoft still getting beaten on by Europe

Written by Wil Harris

March 14, 2006 | 09:40

Tags: #anti-trust #brussels #media-player #windows

Companies: #eu #europe #microsoft

The latest reports out of the European Union suggest that it is still not happy with Microsoft's efforts to comply with its court ruling from last year.

Those keeping track of Microsoft's litigation will remember that it was slapped about in Europe for anti-competitive practices. As part of the settlement deal, it was required to ship a version of Windows XP without Windows Media Player installed (which it now does, although it costs no less than standard XP).

The second part of the deal was that Microsoft had to provide documentation and source code access for Windows to those who wanted to become licensees. The latest report from the man tasked with checking Microsoft's compliance with this decree tell us that "nothing substantial was added" since the last revision of the documentation.

This has left the EU with the continuing opinion that "The documentation as it stands is unusable", with another consultancy firm brought in by the EU suggesting that the documentation Microsoft wrote was done so as "Primarily to maximize volume (page count), while minimizing useful information."


If Microsoft doesn't get its act together pretty quickly, the EU is going to impose more fines on it, quite apart from the $613m it's already been hit with. For its part, Microsoft is appealing last years decision and is due to be heard later this year. That hearing could make all this null and void anyway, should the higher courts agree with them, rather than Europe.

Are you bothered about a version of XP without Media Player - who uses it anyway? Have you had a chance to sneak a peek at the Microsoft source code or documentation? Give us your opinions on the shenanigans in our dedicated News Forum.
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