Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Microsoft challenged by rivals and customers

The European Commission has been approached by a group of Microsoft rivals and custiomers to urge the EC to force Microsoft to rapidly and fully comply with the EU's ruling against the worlds number one software company, which they are currently battling with Microsoft over.

The European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS) said in a statement that Microsoft "threatens to deny enterprises and individual consumers real choice." ECIS, which dates back to 1989, includes IBM, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Nokia, RealNetworks and others.

The complaint asks the Commission to put an end to the practices that the group says have hemmed in its members. ECIS said that limits which were placed on Microsoft in the 2004 antitrust court ruling - now under appeal by the company - needed to be rapidly and fully enforced.

The group said Microsoft Office software was one example of a Microsoft product that did not permit rivals to interoperate properly with the Windows operating system, preventing them from competing.

They European Commission will likely win this battle with Microsoft (in some shape or form), but Microsoft have become masters at tying such rulings up in legal knots so that they can stretch their business practices out until the next their next set of product releases. And then the cycle can start all over again.

Maybe Microsoft rivals should settle more of these issues in the marketplace as well. They should perhaps take Microsoft on more directly as a grouping - that's the only real way of changing business practices. If they teamed up more and rode new innovations such as open-source and Internet sevices/Web 2.0, they have an even better chance of taming Microsoft than through the courts.

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