3/22/2006

Microsoft Offers Rivals Technical Support

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 9:39 am

Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday offered “free, unlimited technical support” to rivals interested in making their software work with Microsoft servers, saying it wanted to comply with a landmark EU antitrust ruling.

“We are committed to doing everything in our power to address the (European) Commission’s concerns,” Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith said in a statement.

A spokesman for the EU’s antitrust office said the Microsoft offer “seems to be a constructive proposal,” but said the company needed to make more efforts to fully fall in line with the EU’s 2004 ruling.

“Microsoft will naturally be well placed to answer questions from licensees on specific points of the technical documents,” EU spokesman Jonathan Todd said.

He insisted, however, that even two years after the ruling that forced Microsoft to share technical details with rivals, Microsoft’s efforts remained insufficient.

“The Commission’s preliminary view is that the technical documentation still does not comply with the requirements of the March 2004 decision,” he said. The EU has threatened Microsoft with 2 million euros ($2.4 million) in daily fines, backdated to Dec. 15, and said it would make its final decision after Microsoft pleaded its case at a hearing next week.

“Microsoft will have the opportunity to explain how this technical support is relevant to the March 2004 decision,” Todd said.

Source: AP

 

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