Microsoft Rivals Complain to EU about Vista

31 January 2007

BRUSSELS: Microsoft's launch of its Vista PC operating system has done little to endear it to its fiercest rivals. They are demanding that EU regulators act speedily to compel the software giant to share its technology in accordance with the March 2004 antitrust ruling.

The European Committee for Interoperable Systems accuses Microsoft of failing to fulfil its disclosure obligations for its existing technologies, and claims the company is extending its monopoly with the new system.

Thunders ECIS, whose membership includes IBM, Nokia, Sun Microsystems, Adobe and Oracle: "The very same practices the European Commission found to be illegal almost three years ago have now been implemented in Vista."

The not-for-profit association's spokesman Thomas Vinje adds: "The end result will be the continued absence of any real consumer choice, years of waiting for Microsoft to improve - or even debug - its monopoly products, and of course high prices."

The EC has pursued Microsoft to comply with the antitrust ruling, which included a record fine of nearly €500 million ($647m; £329m). It followed up in July last year with another €275m million fine for not producing documentation on interoperability protocols.

But the company has appealed at every turn and is currently awaiting a decision by the EU's Court of First Instance.

Microsoft remains zip-lipped about the most recent criticism and the EC is equally unforthcoming, saying only: "We are examining the complaint."

Data sourced from Moscow Times/Associated Press; additional content by WARC staff