Weak measures

By Matthew Broersma  |  Posted 2004-12-22 Print this article Print

The measures are "weak," according to attorney Piana, and even if they are implemented, Microsoft may still find a way to make them ineffective. "The market is evolving very rapidly, and Microsoft has always been able to overcome or circumvent the implementation of measures of this nature," Piana said. Microsoft itself argues that the remedies will cause more harm than good. "We believe that the code removal remedy, obliging Microsoft to release a degraded version of the Windows operating system, will be harmful to consumers and competition and undermines the technology integration that has been the backbone of the IT revolution over the past three decades," the company said in its Wednesday statement.
But Piana argued the measures are better than nothing. "If they are granted a stay [by the ECJ], we can stop discussing this. It would be a disaster for free software," he said.
Other observers said that if the ECJ courts eventually uphold the Commissions decision, it could create a far-reaching precedent. If left undisturbed, the decision would give the Commission a supervisory and regulatory role over Microsofts continuing operations in areas such as the Internet, mobile telephony and digital rights management, according to some experts. Microsoft attorneys have suggested that revealing protocol information could expose new Windows vulnerabilities, which would be costly for the company to repair and could put the public at risk. Microsoft has also argued that the remedies arent necessary to allow competition, pointing to the success of rivals such as Apple, with the iTunes Music Store, and the Linux operating system. Editors Note: This story was updated to include Microsofts decision to comply with the decision. Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.


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