What will Microsoft's loss in Europe mean to customers?

Word is out: Microsoft has lost its appeal of the European Commission's antitrust decision. So now what?

There's no word yet if Microsoft will appeal again, which it has two months to decide whether or not to do. If it doesn't, the company will be forced to pay the $700 million fine, plus a big chunk of the EC's court costs. It also will have to finally find a way to make all of the server communications protocols and related documentation that it has been ordered to provide available fto its competitors.

(Sun and Novell — now both staunch Microsoft allies — were among those server vendors who were insisting on Microsoft making these protocols publicly available. Now that they're enmeshed in patent/interoperability alliances with Microsoft, I wonder if they care anymore.)

My biggest question in all this is how will the Court's September 17 ruling affect customers in Europe and elsewhere?

View: Full Article @ Mary Jo Foley's' blog

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