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Statement on July 12 Fine

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  • User profile image
    eagle

    Fine not appropriate; key issue not compliance, but clarity of March 2004 decision.



    We have great respect for the Commission and this process, but we do not believe any fine, let alone a fine of this magnitude, is appropriate given the lack of clarity in the Commission’s original decision and our good-faith efforts over the past two years. We will ask the European courts to determine whether our compliance efforts have been sufficient and whether the Commission’s unprecedented fine is justified.

    Despite these fines, Microsoft remains totally committed to full compliance with the Commission’s 2004 decision. We will continue to do whatever the Commission asks to comply with its decision as these issues are considered by the courts.

    The record will show that Microsoft has acted in good faith to comply with the Commission’s decision. We delivered thousands of pages of technical documents from December 2004 onward. When it became clear there were disagreements over the technical documentation requirements, we pressed for greater clarity, we delivered revisions promptly, we offered unlimited technical assistance, and we even made our source code available to competitors in an effort to resolve the impasse.

    The real issue here is not about compliance, it is about clarity. Having received a clear definition of the documentation requirements this April, we already have met nearly all those requirements in just three months. We have dedicated massive resources to deliver high-quality documentation according to the aggressive schedule set by the Trustee and the Commission. We have delivered each of the first six milestones on time and have over 300 employees working around the clock to meet the seventh and final delivery date for this project, scheduled for July 24. It is hard to understand why the Commission is imposing this enormous fine when the process is finally working well and the agreed-upon finish line is just days away.

    The fine announced today is larger than the fines the Commission has imposed for even the most severe competition law infringements, such as price-fixing cartels. When you consider Microsoft’s massive efforts to comply with this ruling, and the fact that more than a dozen companies are already using similar documentation provided in the U.S. to ship actual products, we do not believe this fine is justified.

    In the meantime, we will continue to work with the Trustee on the final steps in the work plan established by the Commission in April. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Professor Barrett and his team for their hard work over the past few months. With them, we have created a highly constructive process that we hope can achieve resolution on the technical documentation, and also help resolve any future issues.

  • User profile image
    Cornelius Ellsonpeter

    Oh boo hoo.
     
    From what I read, Microsoft basically turned in a big pile of junk for documentation....quite disorganized I gather. They think they can sit and outsmart every government and everybody else. How arrogant can you get?

    Oh and btw, I'm sick of standing up for you Charles. I'm not defending ANY Niners any more either.

  • User profile image
    rjdohnert

    Im pretty sure Chazz could really care less.  Im a niner and I have never asked you to stand up for me, so while I thank you for your willingness Im eager to tell you to take a flying leap off of a very short roof.  I just wonder how much IBM, FSF Europe and Novell paid Kroes.  They must be really excited they seem to have gotten their moneys worth.

    Cornelius Ellsonpeter wrote:
    Oh boo hoo.
     
    From what I read, Microsoft basically turned in a big pile of junk for documentation....quite disorganized I gather. They think they can sit and outsmart every government and everybody else. How arrogant can you get?

    Oh and btw, I'm sick of standing up for you Charles. I'm not defending ANY Niners any more either.

  • User profile image
    Cornelius Ellsonpeter

    rjdohnert wrote:
    Im pretty sure Chazz could really care less.  Im a niner and I have never asked you to stand up for me, so while I thank you for your willingness Im eager to tell you to take a flying leap off of a very short roof. 
    Chazz could care less about a lot of things, really...it's pretty evident that it is becoming a one-way push of content here, and if you get in the way of that, you're screwed. And why would you tell me to take a leap off a roof?

    Perplexed

    Back to the topic at hand...I'm actually happy somebody is taking Microsoft to task on these issues. I don't have any appreciation for a company that thinks it can get away with anything it wants to because they think they can out-think everybody. That's just ignorance as far as how the world really works. So who pays the fine? The stockholders? Do they cut jobs? Or does this take a big chunk out of their heralded "war chest"?

  • User profile image
    Jason Cox

    UnoriginalGuy wrote:
    At least Microsoft knows that the EU isn't as toothless as the US was. Now they might take some action to fix it, before they start loosing money on every copy of Windows XP sold in Europe.
    Toothless? The EU has no teeth, it's trying to get them by abusing Microsoft. And they are already losing money on certain copies of Windows in Europe, dont you remember the EU's bright idea known as XP N?

    I just dont understand how the EU can even fine Microsoft weeks before their deadline for the last of the documentation. Obviously Microsoft's documentation is good because people are already using it, it isnt susposed to be easy to week, it's documentation for gods sake! It's susposed to be a ugly resource.

  • User profile image
    Unoriginal​Guy

    Oh poor Microsoft... If only they had listened to EVERY technology analyst that knew this would happen. Perhaps Microsoft should pull some lawyers from monitoring C9 content and put them on the euro monopoly case.

    At least Microsoft knows that the EU isn't as toothless as the US was. Now they might take some action to fix it, before they start loosing money on every copy of Windows XP sold in Europe.

    Edit: I have a very childish sense of humour sometimes, and I love the "haha" tag on the Slashdot story about this Tongue Out

  • User profile image
    Unoriginal​Guy

    Jason Cox wrote:
    
    UnoriginalGuy wrote: At least Microsoft knows that the EU isn't as toothless as the US was. Now they might take some action to fix it, before they start loosing money on every copy of Windows XP sold in Europe.
    Toothless? The EU has no teeth, it's trying to get them by abusing Microsoft. And they are already losing money on certain copies of Windows in Europe, dont you remember the EU's bright idea known as XP N?


    How do you justify calling this action abuse?
     
    Windows XP N was a good idea for OEMs that would like to supply their choice of media players, which isn't an option they had before.

  • User profile image
    Jason Cox

    UnoriginalGuy wrote:
    
    Jason Cox wrote: 
    UnoriginalGuy wrote: At least Microsoft knows that the EU isn't as toothless as the US was. Now they might take some action to fix it, before they start loosing money on every copy of Windows XP sold in Europe.
    Toothless? The EU has no teeth, it's trying to get them by abusing Microsoft. And they are already losing money on certain copies of Windows in Europe, dont you remember the EU's bright idea known as XP N?


    How do you justify calling this action abuse?
     
    Windows XP N was a good idea for OEMs that would like to supply their choice of media players, which isn't an option they had before.

    OEM's sure as heck had a choice. Either that or I've been uninstalling garbage media players installed by OEMs that didnt really exist.

  • User profile image
    fdisk

    If everybody feels so bad for this company, why not start up a donation fund? Sheesh.

    How about a "telethon" like vistawillship once suggested?

  • User profile image
    rjdohnert

    It would just be easier to have Kroes assasinated.  Assasins are cheap and assasinations tend to get your point across and get people into your mode of thinking rather quickly especially if they know you did it and just cant prove it.

    fdisk wrote:
    If everybody feels so bad for this company, why not start up a donation fund? Sheesh.

    How about a "telethon" like vistawillship once suggested?

  • User profile image
    Zaki

    This is a sad day for Linux.

    It can be next. Do they have the necessary documentation ready? (oh, no, source code does not qualify as documentation) Smiley

  • User profile image
    Chadk

    ChrisA wrote:
    I think its unfortunate that a company is being treated this way.  The EU is being abusive and abusing their power. 

    I fully agree!

    I have heard alot of this case, and the arguments EU used against microsoft. EU are just trying to earn money, and show that they can play with the big boys, by chaning the requirements when microsoft actually do come with a product, that is just as good as everybody elses in the industry.

    I really hope that EU is gonna drop this case, and move on.

    If not, they are gonna walk on thick carpets.

    Zaki wrote:
    

    This is a sad day for Linux.

    It can be next. Do they have the necessary documentation ready? (oh, no, source code does not qualify as documentation)


    Sadly, i doubt that EU would sue Linux in any ways. Microsoft is after all the bad guys, with the OOOHHHHHHH SOOO big monopoly, that forces EVERYBODY to use microsoft! eh not.

    If linux wanted, they could make documentation in no time, as the big community of people that spend their time working on it.

    So i doubt that its gonna happen at all.

  • User profile image
    Tensor

    Errrr, the UE's annual budget is of the order of €100 billion. Care to explain how this fine makes much of a diffrence?

  • User profile image
    Chadk

    Tensor wrote:
    Errrr, the UE's annual budget is of the order of €100 billion. Care to explain how this fine makes much of a diffrence?

    I didnt know that. It was more of a joke, trying to say that those fines are WAY overpriced

  • User profile image
    eagle

    How much of that  €100 billion is invested in creating software technology?

    How much is invested in young people in computer science education?

  • User profile image
    Tensor

    eagle wrote:
    How much of that  €100 billion is invested in creating software technology?

    How much is invested in young people in computer science education?


    30 seconds googling finds one grant of €52 million

    Microsoft even seens keen to help in the investment

    http://www.microsoft.com/emea/euga/

  • User profile image
    Tensor
  • User profile image
    RNewman

    Tensor wrote:
    Errrr, the UE's annual budget is of the order of €100 billion. Care to explain how this fine makes much of a diffrence?


    I think this is more about a show of power - someone in the EC is too big for their boots. The fine is unreasonable, especially when Microsoft is so close to fulfilling the requirements. If these €3m/day fines do start, what exactly are the criteria for their end?
    "Politics and business don't mix well" - I heard that from the former CEO of the Millennium Dome, at a seminar. (The dome cost €1.1bn at it's close, btw)

    According to Wikipedia, around 1,500 copies of XP-N have been shipped to OEM's, with very few recorded sales to end users.
    Given the complete lack of interest in XP-N (outside of Brussels), I wonder if there will be a Vista-N...if there is not, the EC will probably say something like "Microsoft has not learned it's lesson" and slap another fine on them.

    hmm, the EC website doesn't seem to be working...ec.europa.eu

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