Microsoft rivals praise EU anti-trust decision

“A coalition of anti-Microsoft companies applauded the European Commission’s announcement Thursday that it will punish the US software giant for unfairly crushing competitors. After the breakdown of settlement talks between the EU executive and Microsoft, Brussels said it would unveil sanctions against the Seattle-based titan next Wednesday,” EU Business reports.

“The Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), which represents companies from small start-ups to global leaders such as Sun Microsystems and Oracle, said it was high time to bring Microsoft to heel,” EU Business reports. “Next Wednesday’s verdict ‘will be a watershed in efforts by competition regulators to rein in the long-standing anti-competitive behaviour of Microsoft,’ CCIA chief executive Ed Black said in a statement.”

“‘It will be a first step to restoring consumer choice and innovation in multiple markets subject to the stranglehold of a monopolist,’ he said,” EU Business reports. “The five-year EU probe represents the last hope for Microsoft’s rivals after the company largely settled its anti-trust problems in the United States. But Microsoft said it would appeal the commission verdict to the European Court of Justice, in what could be a long and costly battle, while still holding out hope for a settlement at a later date.”

Full article here.


  1. This could be the start of a very lengthy battle. By the time that it ends both Linux and the MacOS may occupy a much more substantial portion of the market (despite the anti-competitive actions of M$).

    Food for thought …It seems to me that the EU would be favorably disposed towards alternatives to WMA, particularly with an open license DRM approach.

  2. This will go on for 3 years or even longer in which time Microsoft will spend millions on lawyers fees. They can afford it. And they will continue to do business as usual during that period. It will not affect OS X or Linux. They will remain in that other 90%.

  3. Another court action isn’t going to settle anything. If they want to impact Microsoft, all they have to do is get their various bureaucracies to support open standards and develop more even purchasing policies. The current move to Linux is a good start. What they need to do is take the blinders off the Windows “standards” they have in place and allow departments to purchase more alternatives like MacOS. Even if this pisses off IT, it will be better for business in the long run.

  4. I was looking at a tech grant for the nonprofit I work for only to find that they will only support M$. Apparently their volunteers who put together the grant are “experts” and say that, “It seems that certain systems do not work well with Macs and others work not at all. Very few agencies and area businesses use Macintosh in the workplace.” I’ve been waiting to respond until I can be nice (after all, it is a grant).

  5. It would be a mistake to underestimate the EU in this kind of battle. The EU structure is such that immense pronouncements will be made – and will be totally ignored by the states that were raring to make them. It is MUCH harder for a company to ignore them. Plus there will be an awareness in Europe that this problem should have been stopped in the US – this is the type of battle by which the EU justifies itself. A fight with a US monopolist corporation is the kind of fight the EU was born for.

  6. Jackson is spot on. As is borne out by this ruling, companies in the EU are not as prone to do as they please without fear of toothless courts. It’s rather strange that the US courts seem quite able to deal with rewriting American law and the wishes of the people, but seem incapable of holding a wretched abusive company like Micros**t accountable. It appears that Micros**t and the ACLU run the show over there.

  7. Remember this, where ever there is something that involves US gov security or could be used to spy on other countries CIA is there. MS is almost impossible to punish in US because of this. In Europe it’s still possible.

  8. History will record 2003 as the high-water mark for the dominance of the Windows OS. It will be brought in line not by 1 big punch, but rather by a thousand little cuts. Change in the corporate IT world is glacial unless some outside force intervenes. Some company is going to have to step foreward and make the switch in a public way to break the ice.
    The Java Desktop, LINUX and Mac OS are all going to advance at the expense of Windows. Sun, Apple and IBM need to work at making the three cousins of UNIX very interoperable and share each other’s advances in order to accelerate the generation of critical mass. Apple needs to show very public support for DarWine and KDE on Mac and financial support would not hurt. When Windows gets below 75% the dam will break, believe me. With HP showing signs of discomfort relative to Microsoftopoly, the tide is turning, but it is very early.
    “The tortoise is slow, but the earth is patient.”

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