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Microsoft working “day and night” to meet EC deadline

Microsoft has written to staff assuring them that it is working “day and night” to meet a European Commission antitrust ruling and avoid millions of pounds in fines.

In a 2004 ruling, the European Commission ordered Microsoft to provide a version of Windows without Media Player and to release documentation for its workgroup server protocols. The company could face a daily fine of £1.4m for failing to comply in full.

It is understood that an EU regulators committee has now voted to back fines against the software giant but is yet to decide how much these would be.

An internal e-mail from Horacio Gutierrez, associate counsel in Microsoft’s corporate and legal affairs department, leaked to industry newsletter Microsoft Watch, tells all the company’s Europe, Middle East and Asia staff that it is making every effort to meet the Commission’s requirements on documenting the protocols.

“I can assure you that we are continuing to work day and night with over 300 dedicated engineers to create documentation which is complete and accurate to satisfy the European Commission,” it says.

“We have moved every available employee with knowledge of this technology to work on this project, and a great many of them have sacrificed greatly in terms of their personal lives over the last several months.”

Microsoft had delivered five of the seven agreed milestones and would deliver the last by 18 July, Gutierrez says.

The software giant believes fines would be “unjustified and unnecessary”, the e-mail says, adding that company could appeal against any fine.


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