The European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS) which includes IBM, Adobe, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Corel and RealNetworks recently joined as a third party in the European Commissions anti-trust case against Microsoft over the Internet Explorer browser along with Google, Mozilla, Opera and Free Software Foundation Europe.
Thomas Vinje, the spokesman for ECIS and who also works for Opera said,
"This is an important case to ensure that browsers can compete on the merits and that consumers have a true choice in the software they use to access the internet. Despite consistently lower user satisfaction ratings for IE, Microsoft browser maintains its dominant position because of illegal bundling with Windows. Smaller, more innovative browser developers need a level playing field to have a fair chance. That is why there is such broad support for the Commissions preliminary findings of abuse".
The ECIS group already filed a complaint in January 2008 claiming that Microsoft abused its dominance in office suite business which is still under investigation. EU would also examine the support of Open Document Format (ODF) announced in Office 2007 SP2 which is due for release on April 28.
In the meanwhile, Microsoft has received a 1 week extension from EU antitrust regulators to respond to the Commissions statement of objections, which condemns Microsoft for bundling Internet Explorer with Windows and not allowing to bundle other web browsers with Windows. The new deadline will now be April 28.
"Microsoft confirms that the new deadline for the company to respond to the Commissions statement of objections is April 28"