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January 25, 2006

European Commission to study Microsoft source offer

Posted by David Hunter at 12:09 PM ET.

Today’s Microsoft offer to license some some source code as a way out of of its European antitrust difficulties drew the obvious response:

“The European Commission will study carefully the announcement made by Microsoft,” the European Union executive said in a statement.

The Commission added that it still expected to receive by Feb. 15 the company’s reply to a Statement of Objections from December.

Some other reactions:

Lawyers involved in the case on behalf of Microsoft’s competitors dismissed the latest move.

“It’s merely, entirely and completely a public relations ploy to try to divert attention from the extremely strong case the commission has against Microsoft for failure to comply with the commission’s decision,” said lawyer Thomas Vinje, who has represented the US giant’s rivals.

He said that Microsoft was in effect offering “millions of lines of code”, which were “useless” to other programmers without a broader “roadmap” to interpret them, as the commission has demanded.

Another lawyer who had fought Microsoft in the case said that “it’s as if they gave all the technical details of an Airbus without the blueprint”.

I also think that license terms and fees will draw criticism if they resemble the US source licensing program.

Filed under Antitrust, General Business, Governmental Relations, Legal

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2 Responses to “European Commission to study Microsoft source offer”

  1. Microsoft News Tracker » Samba 4 beta targets Active Directory Says:

    [...] Speaking of licensing Windows Server source code, the developers of Samba, a popular open source Windows-compatible file and print server, just announced a beta of Samba 4: A next-generation test version of the open-source Samba file-sharing software has been made available, with features emulating Microsoft’s Active Directory ID management software. [...]

  2. Microsoft News Tracker » EC surprised, skeptical of Microsoft source offer Says:

    [...] The European Commission reaction to Microsoft’s offer to license selected server source code is cautious, to say the least. [...]

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