EU chief denies 'vendetta' against Microsoft

The European Union's anti-trust chief has denied there is any personal feud between her and Microsoft, despite the increasingly bitter exchanges between the Commission and the company over its forthcoming Vista operating system.

The European Union's anti-trust chief has denied there is any personal feud between her and Microsoft, despite the increasingly bitter exchanges between the Commission and the company over its forthcoming Vista operating system.

The Commission’s Neelie Kroes took the trouble to write to the Financial Times outlining her position with the company.

Kroes wrote, “Far from pursuing a vendetta against Microsoft, the Commission's actions are guided by the desire to create the most innovation-friendly business climate in Europe, to the ultimate benefit of European consumers.”

Kroes said she was simply trying to ensure that the forthcoming Microsoft OS complied with EU competition rules.
Much of the focus on this attempt has been on the software’s new security features, some of which could threaten the market position of existing and established security software players.

Microsoft has suggested that it could be forced to pull some of the security features to avoid being ordered to withdraw them from the final commercial product, to the disadvantage of European users.

But Kroes went on in her letter, “There appears to be a coordinated campaign to portray the Commission in a negative light. For example, I have seen it suggested that the Commission may seek to prevent Microsoft from improving the security of its operating system. This is categorically not the case,” she said.

Microsoft has still not complied with the Commission’s 2004 anti-trust judgement, and was recently fined for not doing so. It is appealing the whole judgement.

 

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