Microsoft presents sharing protocols to EC

Microsoft suggest sharing protocols to European Commission

Microsoft has presented its second round of suggestions to the European Commission on how it will share its workgroup server protocols with competitors, to enable them to develop products that more easily work with Windows.

The suggestions, which are to be studied by the Commission, are part of its anti-trust settlement, which ruled that Microsoft abused its market position last year.

Microsoft was fined $640m (£356m) and ordered to bring out a version of Windows XP without Windows Media Player. It was also asked to share the server protocols and appoint an independent trustee to make sure it did not abuse its position again.

After its initial server protocol sharing suggestions were rejected by the Commission, Microsoft has now offered around 20 remedies to address the 26 concerns raised by the Commission.

The Commission says it will study these to see if they are acceptable. Microsoft says it is still working on the other six, where it claims it has already made progress.

Concessions include extending the evaluation period for the protocols, lowering the evaluation fees and introducing custom licenses that do not have all-in-one features, to lower access costs.

The Commission and Microsoft have already agreed on a new version of Windows XP for the European market, which does not have Media Player. This move is designed to make it easier for media player competitors such as Real Player to compete in the market.

Microsoft has yet to appoint an independent trustee, however, and has until mid-April to do so.

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