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EU to investigate Microsoft again

updated 12:05 pm EST, Mon January 14, 2008

EU Investigates MS Again

The European Commission will investigate Microsoft once more over claims of monopoly abuse, officials from the supervisory body said today. Two cases are being launched that will address worries that the Windows developer is blocking compatibility with its software, one of which will answer accusations that the company is refusing to supply source code for its Excel and Word programs as well as the .NET programming structure and server products. Without access to key elements of Microsoft's code, rival firms cannot develop software that can guarantee compatibility with these programs or performs as well in a Windows environment, according to the claims.

The investigation will also determine whether Microsoft's Office Open XML (OOXML) format for Office 2007 documents was developed in good faith. Although characterized as easily workable by Microsoft, the format has been criticized by third-party developers who said last year that Microsoft has not taken steps to ensure OOXML will work properly with competitors' products. Challengers have typically promoted the more explicitly cross-platform Open Document Format (ODF).

A second suit is in response to Opera's complaint against Microsoft, which charges the latter of shutting down competition in web browsers by mandating that Internet Explorer be included with every copy of Windows.

These probes into Microsoft represent added difficulties for the Redmond, Washington company, which lost a European appeal in September that sought to overturn a 2004 antitrust ruling. The latter forced Microsoft to ship versions of Windows XP to Europe without Windows Media Player installed after RealNetworks and others complained that they were unable to compete against formats and services offered through the Microsoft jukebox.

by MacNN Staff



  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Rock n roll baby! Finally somewhere on this planet has a REAL justice system. Not like that Mickey Mouse club they have in the USA!

  1. bhuot

    Joined: Dec 1969



    We'll wait and see. Microsoft is good at giving lip service to things like this and even EU courts likely won't do enough to punish Microsoft. The only effective solution to get Microsoft to think twice about it would be for countries to outlaw any use of Microsoft products in their country.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    oh please

    the EU justice system is as corrupt and prone to gov't and corporate meddling as in the US or any other system. (Oh, and the US justice system worked well, as it did determine MS to be a monopoly and to have abused that power. It was the justice dept. of GWB that decided to give them the leeway.)

  1. himself

    Joined: Dec 1969



    those wacky kids up in Redmond are at it again. They need a good whippin', I tell ya.

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