New EU knock-back for Microsoft

The European Commission has rejected another Microsoft plan to comply with an anti-trust ruling, this time over shared server...

The European Commission has rejected another Microsoft plan to comply with an anti-trust ruling, this time over shared server protocols.

Microsoft had planned to charge rival companies and developers a fixed amount for each server they run its workgroup server protocols on. But the Free Software Foundation Europe organisation has won over the commission to its view that the plan would be unfair to Microsoft’s rivals.

The foundation argued that users of the shared protocols would not know how many servers would use the code, as the nature of software development meant that code under development had to be shared around.

It also claimed that Microsoft’s terms would not allow products that used the shared code to be released into the open source community.

The commission had previously fined the company around £360m for abusing its market position.

It had also ordered the company to share its workgroup server protocols so competitors could more easily develop software to work in the Windows environment, and to bring out a version of Windows XP without Windows Media Player bundled.

The latest veto follows the rejection of Microsoft’s plan to label the Media Player-less Windows "Reduced Media Edition". The commission believed the name would put customers off buying it. Microsoft is still working on a suitable name.

The company said it was studying the commission’s latest rejection.

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