Microsoft Will Cooperate

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2008-01-14 Print this article Print


For its part, a Microsoft spokesperson would only say that it will cooperate fully with the commission's investigation and provide any and all information necessary.

"We are committed to ensuring that Microsoft is in full compliance with European law and our obligations as established by the European Court of First Instance in its September 2007 ruling," the spokesperson said.

But the two investigations do not focus on peripheral functionalities such as the media players, as others have done, but rather on the core of Microsoft's business: its operating and office suite software, Andy Updegrove, a partner with Boston law firm Gesmer Updegrove LLP, said in his standards blog.

"Both investigations focus on the benefits that Microsoft gains by combining features, such as search and Windows Live, into its operating system.  But the investigation sparked by the Opera complaint also includes some novel and interesting features, based upon Opera's contention that Microsoft's failure to conform Internet Explorer to prevailing open standards puts its competitors at a disadvantage," Updegrove said in the blog post.

The investigations will also look into whether Microsoft has failed to adequately open up its Office Open XML file format, or to take adequate measures to ensure that Office is sufficiently interoperable with competing products.

"This would seem to indicate that Microsoft's strategy of offering Office Open XML to [international standards body] Ecma, and then to ISO/IEC JTC1, may fail to achieve its objective, whether or not the format is finally approved as a global standard," he said.

The likely reasons for that include the software giant's heavy-handed actions during the ISO/IEC review period that ended unsuccessfully on Sept. 2, he said.

Microsoft also refused to implement ODF (Open Document Format), "consigning the marketplace to a web of imperfect converters and translators that are likely to always result in more complex Office documents being slightly less than perfect when converted into other word processing suites," Updegrove said. Microsoft had been pursuing a high-risk, high-wire act strategy since ODF was first adopted by Massachusetts in 2005, he said, noting that "today that strategy just grew riskier."


Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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