Microsoft won't appeal European antitrust ruling

Microsoft has decided not to appeal last month's appeal ruling against it from the Court of First Instance (CFI) and has finally agreed to comply with the European Commission's 2004 antitrust ruling that sparked the company's appeal. The decision to accept the CFI's ruling will dispel any lingering uncertainty facing software and hardware developers over how to plan future product development.

"We will not appeal the CFI's decision to the European Court of Justice and will continue to work closely with the Commission and the industry to ensure a flourishing and competitive environment for information technology in Europe and around the world," the company said in a statement Monday. Last month the Luxembourg-based CFI threw out Microsoft's appeal, siding with the Commission on the two essential elements in the antitrust case: Microsoft's failure to share necessary interoperability information about its Windows operating system with rivals and its strategy of tying its media player to Windows to the detriment of rival players.

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News source: InfoWorld

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It would be easier top "swallow" this joke if the EU was slamming all OS developers who tie in applciations to their OS. The classic exmaple here, of course, is comparing Windows bundled with Media Player to Apple OS X which is bundled with both iTunes and QuickTime.

There is nothing proving that Microsoft's bundling is any more "detrimental" to competing media players than Apple's bundling. Yet, only Microsoft is being punished? If anything, Apple's nice iPod to iTunes lock-down makes their media player bundle more threatening to competing software than Windows + Media Player.

"Well done Microsoft, you know it makes sense!"

Are Microsoft now complying will all the 2004 rulings? (... by the way, what were they! )

I think the "playing field" is starting to level, what with the general disenchantment of Vista, (and it's lateness). Linux desktops are "coming of age", we just need to see open and continuing network interoperability between systems. Microsoft's dominance, now, and in the near will be challenged by rapidly maturing, open source solutions. The whole model of "personal computing" is changing (thank goodness! ). Microsoft are beginning to come to terms with this, though they have been, and still are their own worst enemy!

this isn't an open source revolution. I was confused by the overall decision. Most people swear that servers are mostly run on Nix and other platforms and Windows isn't dominant on the server side. If that logic is true I don't understand why people would care if MS didn't make it open and why there would be any lingering uncertainty for an OS that isn't the dominant server OS. I guess Windows Server had a bigger share of the market than people were willing to admit.

I think MS's server products are quite widely used. Hell every now and again some results have had it in front from memory although it varies. I guess you just have to remember server isnt just web server but is quite a broad term.

From the FSFE's presentation at Free Software Forum:

History of an Open Standard... from the Workgroup Server Market:
Novell was the dominant player, so Microsoft
  • launches Open Standard effort around the Common Internet File System
  • gains foothold in the market
  • stops participating in standardization
  • modifies protocol, claims "Intellectual Property Rights"
  • locks Novell out of the client by cryptography
  • pushes desktop monopoly to server
Result: EU antitrust case.

I agree that they should open up interoperability, I disagree that they should remove WMP, OSX certainly gets praised all the time for its inclusion of its media-related programs.

Not clear to me if this will affect their past actions of making their licenses incompatible with open source groups, such as Samba, who deal with interoperability with Windows in filesharing/printing.

It sounds like we will need to wait for a review of the new terms of agreement.

Carlo Piana, a lawyer for the Free Software Foundation Europe, which represents open-source developers, said the agreement may give software makers access to the so-called network protocol information.
(source)