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December 23, 2004

More on EU decision

Excerpts from some of the coverage and commentary following Wednesday's European court decision requiring Microsoft to, among other things, offer a version of Windows in Europe without Windows Media Player pre-installed:

  • Bloomberg News: "This is a very serious setback for Microsoft,'' Nicholas Economides, an economics professor at New York University, said in an interview. "It's the first time that a court has told them what they can and can't include in Windows. It's like telling General Motors what features it should have in their cars.''

  • BusinessWeek Online, Jay Greene: "[T]he ruling's real damage is far more subtle. Microsoft had hoped that it would win a modest point, a setback for the European Commission that would bring it back to the negotiating table. But its victory was so sweeping that the EC has little impetus to resume talks. And that means Microsoft will continue to slog this case out in court." (Link via Watching Microsoft Like a Hawk)

  • The Times (U.K.): Industry observers said the likelihood of talks with European regulators was questionable. Philip Carnelley, a director of Ovum EuroView, the technology research group, said: "Microsoft’s hope that it could negotiate a settlement with the EU is clearly now unrealistic."

  • Boston Globe: "Right decision, wrong continent," said [Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas] Reilly. "But with the markets as fluid as they are, it might work out anyway. It's going to be very difficult for them to keep these unbundled versions off the American shelves in the long term. Somehow, some way, they will get here."

  • Financial Times: [Judge Bo] Vesterdorf's decision is likely to boost the European Union's top antitrust office, which had staked much of its reputation on the fierce six-year battle with Microsoft.

  • CNet The European Union ruled on Wednesday that Microsoft must make Windows Server protocols available for license, but competitors showed little initial interest in the program. ... [Linux vendor] Mandrakesoft CEO Francois Bancilhon said he would rather "die than purchase a Microsoft license." Instead, the company will work on interoperability with Microsoft software through existing standards efforts.

  • eWeek, David Coursey: "It would be interesting to see an analysis of how the outcome would have been different if the Department of Justice's case against Microsoft could have been tried in the EU courts. Or merely if Microsoft had done business while taking such a prospect into account. The kinder-and-gentler Microsoft we're seeing as of late may be a reflection of this and of the increased importance of non-American legal systems."

  • Michael Gartenberg, Jupiter Research research director, explains "why product integration is so important to Microsoft." On the Microsoft Monitor weblog, Jupiter Research analyst Joe Wilcox adds, "Microsoft appears to be accelerating the amount of integration at just about every technology and product level."

  • Technology Pundits, Rob Enderle: "The long term problem for Microsoft is the increased introduction of government oversight and direction into their development process. This could block them from adding additional features to the product in the future and some of these, like virus checking and anti-spyware, could be critical to the continued reliability and security of the product."

  • NPR, Chris Arnold: "The case is a reminder of the growing power of the EU, which most Americans probably think of as little more than a curiosity involving a new currency. In fact, with 25 member countries and 450 million people, the EU courts now can make trade rulings affecting a huge area."

Posted by Todd Bishop at December 23, 2004 11:18 AM
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