Microsoft's EU Battle Hits Public Court

Microsoft Corp.'s five-year legal battle in Europe moves into a public courtroom for the first time as the U.S. software giant tries to get the European Union's landmark antitrust ruling against it lifted.

Thursday's hearing at the Court of First Instance in Luxembourg — the EU's second highest court — focuses solely on Microsoft's request for the ruling to be suspended pending its appeal of EU orders that would force major changes in its business practices. The European Commission found Microsoft guilty in March of abusing its dominant position with the Windows operating system, which runs some 90 percent of computers worldwide.

It fined the company a record euro497 million (US$600 million) and ordered it to hand over some software code to rivals in the server market. The commission also ordered the company to offer a version of Windows minus its digital media software, Media Player, to allow rivals a better shot at landing on consumers' desktops. That strikes at the heart of Microsoft's strategy of continuously incorporating new features into the operating system to stay on top and expand its business.

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News source: Associated Press

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