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Microsoft Meets EU Antitrust Deadline

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the grumbling-like-an-old-man dept.

65

An anonymous reader writes to mention a News.com article, which reports on Microsoft's attempt to meet the EU's requirements in their ongoing antitrust case. The updated documents that Microsoft has delivered, they hope, will put off the leveling of a several-millions-of-dollars-a-day fine against the OS maker. Whether or not the documents have accomplished that task will not be known for several months yet. From the article: "The commission set a deadline of July but delayed it until a court proceeding finished in December, 2004. In July, 2006, the commission fined Microsoft $357.3 million for dragging its feet, on top of a fine of almost $646 million in 2004 for its initial violation. In a statement calling the submission of documents a 'milestone,' Microsoft said it had completed the review and editing of some 100 documents, which number 8,500 pages."

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65 comments

Expected (0)

7bit (1031746) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981754)

Well, as expected..

Fluff (2, Insightful)

Dylan Knight Rogers (931327) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981768)

Almost a year ago, Microsoft released documents to the EU, which later responded with an epigram similar to, "There is indeed more page volume, but the content is still worthless." As much as I'd like to believe Microsoft is still not contributing to what they were required to do, you can only stretch the English language so far, then the fluff becomes thinner. There may actually be something within those pages this time. Maybe.

Just maybe.

Re:Fluff (2, Insightful)

a.d.trick (894813) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981970)

There may actually be something within those pages this time. Maybe.

Common sense tells me that after all this time and bickering they should have gotten it right by now. Unfortunatly, my experience tells me that my common sense doesn't work very well around Microsoft.

Re:Fluff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16983696)

Unfortunatly, my experience tells me that my common sense doesn't work very well around Microsoft.
If your common sense is anything like your spelling, I can see why it wouldn't be a help to anyone.

Re:Fluff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16986878)

I'm not the original poster but, are you a fucking idiot? Seriously, do you fucking comprehend simple mother fucking English? Are you so fucking stupid when the fucking store clerk hands you your change with a dangling motherfucking participle you have to go all fucking anal to prove your mental superiority on his ass? I am not the most intelligent fuckhead in the world but I read his post FINE, and that means if you had a PROBLEM reading it, you must be one stupid fucking bitch. Do us all a favor, and go kill yourself. Thank you.

Quote of the century (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16988604)

I am not the most intelligent fuckhead in the world
America- here's your future.

Bloated software = Worthless documentation (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982584)

You're talking about the world's largest, horribly coded software. Of course most of the content in documents are worthless. If we're going to nitpick about the content of documents, we should go after the U.S. tax code.

What about putting the fine in escrow (4, Interesting)

El Cubano (631386) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981788)

The updated documents that Microsoft has delivered, they hope, will put off the leveling of a several-millions-of-dollars-a-day fine against the OS maker. Whether or not the documents have accomplished that task will not be known for several months yet.

Being that they have already dragged their feet for years on this, they should be required to pay the fine (or at least a percentage of it) into escrow (which can bear interest for the benefit of the EU citizenry). Once the documentation is judged to have met the requirements of the EU regulators, the money can be returned.

Not sure if it would be possible, but I think it would help dissuade MS from future delay tactics.

Re:What about putting the fine in escrow (1)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982022)

Since escrow would deprive Microsoft the use of its money during the time the EU was verifying the documents, I would think any interest earned on that money would have to be returned to Microsoft, not used for the benefit of the people of the EU or anyone else.

Re:What about putting the fine in escrow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16982190)

Since escrow would deprive Microsoft the use of its money during the time the EU was verifying the documents, I would think any interest earned on that money would have to be returned to Microsoft, not used for the benefit of the people of the EU or anyone else.


Thank you very much for your insightful comment. It's always nice to see facts like these, verified and backed by references. Otherwise it'd be just complete speculation and worthless karma whoring.

Re:What about putting the fine in escrow (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16982396)

If Microsoft is found to be in compliance, then the interest earned should go back to them. But if they are found not to be in compliance, then interest should go to the EU since their fine payments would be late.

Re:What about putting the fine in escrow (1)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982026)

They're waiting to get the world hooked on Vista thus creating another monopoly on the OS software industry so they can afford to pay past fines without it even tickling. Dirty bastards.

Re:What about putting the fine in escrow (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16982046)

Thanks for fining us in a recent antitrust case. To save us both transaction fees I suggest we settle outside the courts using an escrow service http://www.123fakescrow.com/ [123fakescrow.com]
Simply log into the escrow service we suggested (Which we have already used and it's very secure and stuff).
We will need a 'processing fee' from you to release the funds.
We are also willing to throw in an Xbox 360 as a token of good will.

Love from Microsoft

Re:What about putting the fine in escrow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16982048)

Because thats not the way that justice should work.

I don't like microsoft, but I don't like government either, so to be fair, if they said they got it done, then it should be "innocent until proven guilty"...

Re:What about putting the fine in escrow (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16982546)

Not neccisarily.

If the fine was X dollars to be paid on Y date and It ends up in escrow on that date pending the outcome of a review of obligations wich might negate the fine, then if it was found the obligations were never intented to be satisfied but rather a stalling tactic for whatever reason, then the interest from the money in question should goto the person who should have had control of it in the first place (the one doing the fineing) and not the person(s) who had no intent to hold to thier oblgations.

Re:What about putting the fine in escrow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16982216)

Since Europe has piracy rates quoted as between 34 and 47% percent maybe Microsoft should make deductions. The EU is just running a racket.

Re:What about putting the fine in escrow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16982492)

You are suggesting the EU is behind this piracy? Shut the F Up, Troll.

EU != Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16985706)

Here's some news for you: The EU is NOT Europe. And in fact the worst piracy rates are in those European nations OUTSIDE the EU.

Any existing fine... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16982344)

...is for crimes already perpetrated, so should be exacted in full. For that matter, this current case of delivering at the eleventh hour (making it impossible for the EU to validate until past the deadline) should warrant a suspended fine from the picosecond that the deadline ran out until either the documents are certified as adequate OR are rejected. Microsoft should have absolutely ZERO claim over whether there was a misunderstanding or not, precisely because they waited until the last possible moment. They have no excuse for doing so - they were quite capable of releasing most - if not all - of this documentation prior to the case ever being launched. They could also have worked with others to ensure that the documentation met requirements. Their choice of last-minute dashes and deliberate secrecy should not be usable as a defense for any failures on their part.


Personally, I'd increment the fine by an order of magnitude each time they do this. Last time it was a million euros a day, this time should be ten million a day. Either that, or the EU should just seize Microsoft's European property on the grounds that Microsoft has clearly neither any intent of paying nor of complying with the law.


(This isn't just a Microsoft thing. I'd say this about any company that perpetrated deliberate malpractice to get ahead. I can't understand why British Airways was allowed to bankrupt Freddy Laker and conduct several attempts to cripple/destroy Richard Branson. Sometimes I think the Romans err'd in wiping out the Druids - they would be so much more effective at bringing these corporations in line than the courts are being.)

Re:Any existing fine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16986362)

Microsoft should have absolutely ZERO claim over whether there was a misunderstanding or not, precisely because they waited until the last possible moment. They have no excuse for doing so [...]

Ok, try this one on for size: You're being sued. The court tells you that you have 30 days to respond.

You respond on day 1. You're pretty stupid for not getting adequate legal representation.

You respond on day 29. Your attorneys have had 4 weeks to review the case, understand the appropriate precedents, discuss your options and tactics, and plan your strategy.

Granted, everyone here hates Microsoft. But if it was legal for them to hand in the documents up to a certain deadline, and they delivered the documents before that deadline, does it matter how many femtoseconds before the deadline it actually was? (One would be sufficient, according to the law...)

Re:What about putting the fine in escrow (1)

Scarblac (122480) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982510)

Return the money? Why? They're required to pay the fine and make available this documentation.

Re:What about putting the fine in escrow (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982774)

I still wonder where we can download these documents. Because they are going to be made public right ?

Re:What about putting the fine in escrow (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 7 years ago | (#16986314)

It will be released wit a non discriminatory license, that a court will review. That means that you'll probably have to pay to get the specs, but the same amount of everybody else.

Re:What about putting the fine in escrow (1)

eneville (745111) | more than 7 years ago | (#16984556)

Once the documentation is judged to have met the requirements of the EU regulators, the money can be returned.
yeah just like now i've moved my car all those parking fines should be returned to my bank account. some chance buddy.

in other news (3, Funny)

RelliK (4466) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981796)

Slashdot meets dupe quota. The number of duplicate stories is now 1,000,000. Slashdot spokesman and frequent poster Zonk called it a 'milestone'.

Re:in other news (3, Interesting)

bmo (77928) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981864)

Incredible. Taco posted this story _two days ago_ and the article itself is the _exact_ same Reuters report.

Don't the editors and Taco talk to each other?

--
BMO

Re:in other news (2, Funny)

remembertomorrow (959064) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981890)

I'm beginning to think that Slashdot's "editors" are just poorly-written Perl scripts.

Re:in other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16983980)

Nah, perl scripts can be fixed.

Re:in other news (2, Funny)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981946)

It's called a re-run, much like what the tv stations are doing everyday. Microsoft is just making sure we get the point and that we get it correctly because after all they did meet a deadline.

Re:in other news (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981896)

The number of duplicate stories is now 1,000,000. You obviously don't know how to count. It's actually only 500,000 duplicate stories. When counting dupes, don't count the dupes.... simple principle, really.

Re:in other news (3, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981950)

The truly amazing part is, if you don't count the dupes, or dupes of dupes, Slashdot has only had 5 unique stories posted in its entire history.

Re:in other news (1)

davecarlotub (835831) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982060)

ok I just had the belly laugh of the day ... +5 Funny

Re:in other news (1)

Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982504)

Looking at the (tagging beta) flags, one needs to be 'Dupe'.

Re:in other news (1)

Taagehornet (984739) | more than 7 years ago | (#16983816)

...and we can all start reposting the cheap witty comments: 8500 pages! Boy, that's one large .doc

What we should expect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16981868)

I am disappointed.

I would expect a company with sooo much money to have been able to "persuade" a government much sooner than this. Right or wrong, respect should be given for effectiveness, and MS seems to be dragging it's feet in this regard.

Gasp! (2, Funny)

Jaansen (1006739) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981954)

I didn't know it was possible to meet the same deadline twice. Oh, its a dupe.

The real plan (4, Funny)

stox (131684) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981966)

The documents were submitted in Office 2007 format, with extensions that only run under Vista. Next month, Microsoft will announce the fast adoption of Vista by the European Commission. After all, if the commission is buying so many copies, it must be good. Soon, thereafter, they will announce a record adoption of Vista by leading open source developers.

Moo Ha Ha

Re:The real plan (1)

sharkey (16670) | more than 7 years ago | (#16986730)

Moo Ha Ha

Happy cow?

that was stupid (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982012)

If I were them, I'd tell em to fuck off and pull all plans for copies of Vista in Europe and disable all other Windows OS's in the next forced update as well as add protections. Then they can run all the third party crap they want. What a bunch of stuck up assholes.

Re:that was stupid (2, Insightful)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982304)

Then you'd get fired. Because you forfeited a large market to the competition as well as committing a large scale breach of contract (causing Billions of Euros of damage which the government WILL recoup from your company). Your local assets (MS has subsidiaries in Europe) get confiscated, you might be subject to extradition and a group of twenty countries will heavily invest in opensource while software developers will need to make Linux or OS X (most likely Linux because that's supported on the hardware that's already out there) versions of their software in order to reach that market.

Re:that was stupid (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#16987214)

if you think about it for 2 seconds you may come to that conclusion but if U think about it for 5+ seconds, you'd realize that govs taking over Linux development would spell disaster for it because they're control freaks.
Some new thing, I think SP2 had something in it saying that Microsoft could disable your version Windows whenever they wanted for any reason at all so XP at least could be shot legally.
and they wouldn't have gotten sued and with the lawsuit they'll never turn a profit on Vista, especially with the amount of pirates in Europe. Speaking of that, with them out of the picture they could get rid of a lot of the fancy crap like WGA and scale it down a bit to something less anti-Germany and just make the not work in Europe code better. Plus if NO copies of windows past ME are supposed to be there, it'd be really easy for whistle blowers, especially with a cash reward incentive from Microsoft. Plus eventually after they're practically amish and their half working eurolinux OS crashes for the millionth time and they're back to using abacuses, the gov would realize what dumbasses they've been and let Windows include whatever they want. Movie maker sucks! Sound recorded sucks! It makes no difference and people want their computer to do something without spending a ton more money right out of the box!

Re:that was stupid (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16990114)

if you think about it for 2 seconds you may come to that conclusion but if U think about it for 5+ seconds, you'd realize that govs taking over Linux development would spell disaster for it because they're control freaks.

No idea who Mr. U is but if he thinks Linu can be easily controlled he forgot about a funny little thing called the GPL.

And it's not like the government had any control over Windows.

Some new thing, I think SP2 had something in it saying that Microsoft could disable your version Windows whenever they wanted for any reason at all so XP at least could be shot legally.

Yes, well, except EU law does not allow a non-negotiated contract to be cancelled by the company without compensating the customer appropriately and notifying him some time prior to the effective cancellation if there's no breach of contract by the customer.

and they wouldn't have gotten sued and with the lawsuit they'll never turn a profit on Vista, especially with the amount of pirates in Europe.

Um, what? Are you saying the fines and/or the cost of documenting the API are greater than the profit they'd lose from ceeding an entire market to Linux and giving governments even more reasons to heavily invest in the advancement of opensource? Sorry but that's bullshit.

Speaking of that, with them out of the picture they could get rid of a lot of the fancy crap like WGA and scale it down a bit to something less anti-Germany and just make the not work in Europe code better.

What makes you think people only use illegal copies in Europe?

Plus if NO copies of windows past ME are supposed to be there, it'd be really easy for whistle blowers, especially with a cash reward incentive from Microsoft.

Ahahaha, yeah, like MS could enforce their copyright in the EU after being practically an outlaw in the area.

Plus eventually after they're practically amish and their half working eurolinux OS crashes for the millionth time and they're back to using abacuses, the gov would realize what dumbasses they've been and let Windows include whatever they want. Movie maker sucks! Sound recorded sucks! It makes no difference and people want their computer to do something without spending a ton more money right out of the box!

WTF? Last I checked the govt was pretty happy with the performance of Linux over Windows while the only thing holding them back were the locked down file formats MS uses taking time and money to convert.

Do you seriously believe that over 400 million people with lots of disposable income starting to use Linux wouldn't increase software support for the platform?

Re:that was stupid (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#16994532)

so you think the famously non-technical governments taking over the development of a version of Linux would turn out to be a great OS? I've used Linux as it is now and it completely and utterly sucks. There was almost no thought put into ease of use or easy user understandability. And I don't know what Linu is but Linux is open source and anyone can take all the code and make their own new version.
Um, what? Are you saying the fines and/or the cost of documenting the API are greater than the profit they'd lose from ceeding an entire market to Linux and giving governments even more reasons to heavily invest in the advancement of opensource? Sorry but that's bullshit.
You're a complete, irreperable moron. They have to pay almost a billion to those greedy idiots after a corrupt, biased, bullshit trial and go ahead and google search what % of windows copies in Europe are pirated. If they pulled it from there, which is easy as pie to enforce no matter what you think, they'd have saved probably 2 billion or more and showed those idiots what happens when they create their own bullshit lawsuits and run them through their own bullshit courts just to get some money.

Re:that was stupid (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16998858)

so you think the famously non-technical governments taking over the development of a version of Linux would turn out to be a great OS?

Do you think they'll put politicians in front of computers and tell them to write code?

I've used Linux as it is now and it completely and utterly sucks. There was almost no thought put into ease of use or easy user understandability.

Or maybe you need to get a brain and try reading the manuals that come with many distros. No OS is perfectly intuitive, Windows only manages to get by because everyone is forced to learn it.

They have to pay almost a billion to those greedy idiots after a corrupt, biased, bullshit trial and go ahead and google search what % of windows copies in Europe are pirated.

Yeah, because pirated copies of Windows cost them SO MUCH money. The piracy rates matter jack shit (and in your plan would just hit 100% anyway), what matters is how many legal copies are sold in the area. You can't tell me that all Microsoft software and hardware combined doesn't make more than a billion dollars a year in Europe. They'd lose all Office, Windows and Xbox sales in the area permanently (returning would get them arrested after all) and give the competition a free victory. Their shareholders would run into their headquarters and strangle Ballmer.

If they pulled it from there, which is easy as pie to enforce no matter what you think, they'd have saved probably 2 billion or more and showed those idiots what happens when they create their own bullshit lawsuits and run them through their own bullshit courts just to get some money.

Yeah because governments really have no business punishing corporations that violate the law as long as they are big enough, right? And because it's really impossible to just FUCKING DOCUMENT THE API OF AN OS YOU WROTE YOURSELF WITHIN A TIMEFRAME OF TWO YEARS. Clearly documenting the Windows API is so expensive that you'd rather ceede an entire continent to the competition.

Re:that was stupid (2, Interesting)

slashbart (316113) | more than 7 years ago | (#16983066)

Please mail your insightful comment to Steve Ballmer. I'm sure he'll implement your wise suggestion immediately. Imagine the joy the Microsoft shareholders would have from just telling us Europeans to go fly a kite. Imagine the sorrow on our European faces when we hear we'll no longer be privileged to use the magnificent software flowing from Redmond.

Thanks

Re:that was stupid (1)

Kristoffer Lunden (800757) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992698)

Do the one possible thing that would effectively and instantly break Microsoft monopoly forever? Yes please! Oh why oh why aren't you in charge of MS...?

expensive pages... (3, Interesting)

Tmack (593755) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982106)

just over $1billion in fines already, and only 8500 pages to show for it after two whole years? That doesnt sound like much, and comes out to $118,000 per page. Taking the average of 275 words per page, that comes to $429 per word, or about $72 per non-whitespace.

Tm

Re:expensive pages... (1)

Null Nihils (965047) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982232)

But how much is that in Libraries of Congress?

Re:expensive pages... (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 7 years ago | (#16983304)

Taking the average of 275 words per page

Stop right there!
When Microsoft lawyers write to the EU (likely to obscure their real intentions) they use *much* bigger words.

That explains also why big words are by definition (like lawyers) very expensive.

What do the documents cover? (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982212)

Does anyone know what things (protocols, file formats, whatever) the doucments that Microsoft have given the EU and/or that the EU has been asking for actually cover?

Re:What do the documents cover? (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982356)

More importantly, is/will there be a link we can read them at?

Re:What do the documents cover? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16984298)

Does anyone know what things (protocols, file formats, whatever) the doucments that Microsoft have given the EU and/or that the EU has been asking for actually cover?

I have it on good authority that they fully cover every Microsoft protocol and format which is going to be replaced within the next six months by something "new and innovative"

We need MS watch committees. (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982400)

In Soviet Union, you read Party in full compliance with the Helsinki Accords.
In Capitalist West, Microsoft emails new EU Antitrust laws to you!

But as a dissident or competitor you know how it will end.

Shouldn't it be "Second Deadline"!? (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982508)

Well, there were two fines already: one for antitrust violations and another for failure to comply. Second one was also deadline. IOW, the article should be titled "Microsoft Meets Second EU Antitrust Deadline."

And I suspect that is not last dead line M$ is going to push up to its limit. Because, as of now, if there is something wrong with submitted documents, M$ wouldn't have time to correct raised issues and would breach the deadline.

waiting until the last day .. (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 7 years ago | (#16983158)

"Whether or not the documents have accomplished that task will not be known for several months yet"

By which time Vista will be in the market, making it difficult to recall if MS is found to be still in breech of the ruling.

This won't be the end (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16983496)

The EU won't EVER be satisfied by what Microsoft supplies. It's just a way of damaging Microsoft and by implication American interests in Europe, so that the EU can "catch up" with its own pathetic software industry.

It won't be stopped until the EU member states (I'm hoping Poland, they seem to be sensible about software) force all this petty bullying out of the EU court system.

It's a travesty and yet another abuse of EU power.

Re:This won't be the end (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16984010)

Stating the obvious will *not* win you any karma around these parts ... but then you posted AC so it wasn't karma you were after.

It's the other way around (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 7 years ago | (#16985372)

Msft won't ever supply what the EU is actually asking. Msft prefers to play games, and waste time, while bill is working in the background to undermine the EU's authority.

Re:This won't be the end (1)

Decaff (42676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16985894)

The EU won't EVER be satisfied by what Microsoft supplies. It's just a way of damaging Microsoft and by implication American interests in Europe, so that the EU can "catch up" with its own pathetic software industry.

If this were the case, there would have to be some European-based alternatives to Microsoft software that had to catch up.

Perhaps you could tell us what these are?

Had to wait for the Novell Deal (1)

10scjed (695280) | more than 7 years ago | (#16988626)

Microsoft has complied with all of the EC decision except the interoperability documentation [boycottnovell.com] , one of the squabbles is what the 'license terms' should be for the interface info - MS doesnt want it to be free, and heaven forbid GPL-friendly.

Novell has now validated MS claim [boycottnovell.com] that the interface info is indeed license worthy, notice they are paying royalties, so now MS can say to the EU that Novell found their license terms "Reasonable and Non Discriminatory". The Novell deal will undermine the EC ruling, and ensure that anyone wanting to interoperate with MS will need to license and pay royalties [microsoft.com] (and NOT REDISTRIBUTE).

Novell sold the community out, why did they pay MS for the interoperability info that the EC was forcing them to hand over? The deal was about interoperability after all, but that may be worse.

I'm not a lawyer but..... (1)

heybo (667563) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991834)

In a statement calling the submission of documents a 'milestone,' Microsoft said it had completed the review and editing of some 100 documents, which number 8,500 pages."

I thought you weren't suppose to "edit" documents before you submitted them to the courts. Isn't this called evidence tampering?

Intellectual Property... (1)

milette (744560) | more than 7 years ago | (#16993720)

In what other industry would the government (ANY government) have the right to force a company to release its trade secrets to its competitors in order for them to 'compete'?

Do drug makers have to release their formulae to their competitors to release competing (or even complimentary) products?

Does Boeing send their engineering specifications to Airbus? Does Ford have to send the documentation on their latest engine design to General Motors or Volkswagen?

Microsoft is the "American Dream" -- it has produced more millionaires than probably any other company in America. How many other companies have generated so much money for the American taxpayer coffers -- from the taxes on everything they consume, to every employee they hire world-wide.

How many businesses 'live off' Microsoft technologies? (Every software company in the world that develops any kind of software or system based on the Windows platform -- that's who.) How many workers across the entire planet work faster, easier and better because they have access to Windows and Microsoft Office?

Probably the wrong message for /. but true nonetheless -- Microsoft developed these technologies, and is now being forced to hand them over to their direct competitors. Where's the incentive to innovate if you can't capitalize and have your intellectual property protected? How would you like YOUR work handed over to YOUR competitors?

Devil's advocate OUT...

Re:Intellectual Property... (1)

kubitus (927806) | more than 7 years ago | (#16999236)

The patent on flaps as controls for an airplane, instead of twisting the wings, were forced by the US Governement to be used by the competitors of its inventor. ( I am not sure if it was Grumman )

Re:Intellectual Property... (1)

Magada (741361) | more than 7 years ago | (#17000090)

No. Bad troll. Sit. Microsoft isn't being asked for the source. All the EU wants is the API documentation, so that people can develop new stuff based on Microsoft's OS. Of course, when your entire business model is based on customer lock-in and monopoly judo, handing over the API docs is akin to granting the keys to the kingdom but still, Microsoft is not being asked to reveal any trade secrets.

Re:Intellectual Property... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17001870)

... says the scumbag, who is abusing Microsofts very valueable intellectual property and toolbar programming interface trade secrets to create awful MSIE toolbars and screwing the American Dream by not making millionares. TO HELL WITH YOU CANADIANS!!1!
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