European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes, fresh off her antitrust victory over Microsoft in the European Court of First Instance, has launched two new investigations into anticompetitive behavior by Microsoft:
A week without some news about Microsoft and its document standards battles would be like a week without rain. Based on the number of items this week, it must be rather soggy outside.
Microsoft added a third Linux distributor to its open source patent protection program today when they and Linspire announced a licensing and technical collaboration agreement. There are some novel aspects to the agreement, compared with the prior ones with Novell and Xandros, which reflect Linspire’s business model of shipping the Debian (soon Ubuntu) Linux distribution with proprietary add-ons that make it more acceptable for consumer desktop use.
A coalition of rivals charged on Friday that Microsoft Corp.’s new Vista operating system coming out next week will perpetuate practices found illegal in the European Union nearly three years ago.
The group, which includes IBM, Nokia, Sun Microsystems, Adobe, Oracle and Red Hat, said its complaints made last year are yet to be addressed just days before Vista is due for release.
“Microsoft has clearly chosen to ignore the fundamental principles of the Commission’s March 2004 decision,” said Simon Awde, chairman of the European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS).
Microsoft said it had no comment. The Commission was not ready to act.
“We are in the process of examining this complaint,” a Commission spokesman said. ECIS disclosed on Friday that the latest additions to its complaint were made only last month, after it studied Vista.
Other complainants in the group include Corel, RealNetworks , Linspire and Opera.
The ECIS press release is here and technologies specifically called out are XAML and Open XML. The European Commission always seems to move at a snail’s place, but they do move eventually so their reaction to Vista continues to be something to watch.