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Microsoft Under Third EU Investigation for OOXML 194

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the back-in-trouble-again dept.
The Wall Street Journal and Information Week reported this morning that EU regulators have announced a third investigation into Microsoft's conduct on the desktop. This latest action demonstrates that while the EU has settled the case against Microsoft that ran for almost a decade, it remains as suspicious as ever regarding the software vendor's conduct, notwithstanding Microsoft's less combative stance in recent years. The news can be found in a story reported by Charles Forelle bylined in Brussells this morning. According to the Journal, the investigation will focus on whether Microsoft 'violated antitrust laws during a struggle last year to ratify its Office software file format as an international standard.' The article also says that the regulators are 'stepping up scrutiny of the issue.'
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Microsoft Under Third EU Investigation for OOXML

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  • by Miguel de Icaza (660439) <trowel.gmail@com> on Friday February 08, 2008 @06:37PM (#22355136) Homepage Journal
    MSOOXML.NET is the future
  • Compassion (Score:5, Funny)

    by QuickFox (311231) on Friday February 08, 2008 @06:37PM (#22355152)
    Poor Microsoft, always under attack from all sides. How is the poor little thing to survive? Won't someone please think of the corporation?
  • Pythonic (Score:5, Funny)

    by Stanistani (808333) on Friday February 08, 2008 @06:44PM (#22355236) Homepage Journal
    No one expects the Flemish Inquisition!

    Our two weapons are surprise, chocolate, and sprouts!
  • LESS COMBATIVE? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by toby (759) * on Friday February 08, 2008 @07:01PM (#22355422) Homepage Journal
    Has somebody not been paying attention?

    Or do they mean, "less combative, more abhorrent"?
  • If anything, it seems (at least to me) that Microsoft is more brazen today about flouting its monopoly position than it was ten or fifteen years ago...
    • What monopoly position?

      You been asleep the last 5 years?
      • Wow, you wonder what monopoly position they hold, yet you ask whether they've been asleep for the past 5 years?

        Time to get out from under that rock I think.
    • Microsoft has learned that it will never be punished.
    • by rtb61 (674572)
      However in this instance they have behaved in a far more criminal fashion. M$ has attempted to corrupt the whole international standards process, a principal implemented so that companies and consumers can establish a baseline for a readily usable set of measures to ensure usability, fit for purpose and safety, of goods and services.

      M$ did this purely for B$ marketing purposes. The extreme and severe nature of the attempted fraud and the damage it could to do to the global acceptance of those standards an

  • by Colin Smith (2679) on Friday February 08, 2008 @07:14PM (#22355568)
    They must be absolutely TERRIFIED now!

     
  • This comment about less combative comes at an interesting time. Reminders of Zimbra's likely end of commercial support from Yahoo. Reminders that outlook's web client sucks balls in anything other than MSIE. And right now, XP is asking me to install some updates, but apparently won't do so unless I allow it to install the Genuine Advantage Notification tool... whose name at least doesn't imply that it is a critical piece of the operating system. At least my copy of Windows XP is legal.
    • by GreatDrok (684119)
      "At least my copy of Windows XP is legal."

      So is mine but WGA doesn't think so.

      MS abuses its monopoly, that is the problem. OOXML is just another example of them trying to force everyone to do things their way and if that means breaking a few rules so be it. If the ISO actually controlled OOXML then they would be able to fix some of the more hideous problems with OOXML but MS has publicly stated that they will retain control of the 'standard'. Basically, they just want OOXML to be an ISO standard so they
  • by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Friday February 08, 2008 @07:27PM (#22355690) Homepage
    It was the EU, in 2004, along with some other governments, that asked Microsoft to submit their formats for standardization. So now they don't like this?
    • uh-huh (Score:5, Funny)

      by RelliK (4466) on Friday February 08, 2008 @07:34PM (#22355754)
      EU suggested that microsoft bribe standards bodies to buy votes in favour of OOXML?
    • uh-uh (Score:3, Informative)

      by rewt66 (738525)
      No, IIRC the EU asked Microsoft to document (not submit for standardization) MS's existing file formats, not to create a new, badly-documented one.
    • Yes (Score:3, Informative)

      by aepervius (535155)
      They are the one which can define what a standard is and what is not acceptable. In the pure spirit of capitalism if MS thinks EU is out of bound they can go out of EU and stop selling there (fat chance in Hell). Furthermore I don't recall EU requiring MS to buy vote in to make their own cooked stuff forcefully becoming a standard. That last part is even more damning than making a bad document format with all the trapping of a standard without the spirit of one.
    • by dabadab (126782)
      Care to prove that by linking something relevant?...

      However, submitting a format for standardization and running around buying votes and playing dirty tricks all the way are two rather distinct things and MS is being investigated for the latter (which, sure as hell, was not suggested to it by the EU).
  • Learning by doing (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Ralof (760869)
    If EU spend 1% of the time they spend on meaningless quarrels with Microsoft on presenting a plan for he use of software that DO following international standards and DO have open source code that each states security people can scrutinize for Trojans and whatnot, then maybe Microsoft would conform to whatever EU wants by their own free will. Currently enormous amounts of money is spent on Microsoft licenses in schools and public offices that could be better spent elsewhere. Such an initiative from EU would
  • As we've all learned a few weeks ago, Ballmer suffers from an A1 genetic mutation [slashdot.org]. And how fucking dare anyone make fun of Steve, after all he's been through! He lost his hair, he went through a divorce*?, he had two fucking kids*? All you people care about is readers and making money off of him!

    *? Source unknown, so validity is questionable.
  • by jbr439 (214107) on Friday February 08, 2008 @09:25PM (#22356628)
    What ever happened to the notion of second sourcing? Shouldn't any self-respecting government require that there be more than one complete implementation of whatever standard it decides upon? As such, even if OOXML becomes an ISO standard, as is likely, it would seem to me that the next battle should for the requirement of 2nd sourcing. Given the fact that MSFT seems to have made the OOXML standard unimplementable, it would seem unlikely that there will be a 2nd source for a OOXML office suite (not to mention the fact that no company will waste its time trying to compete with MSFT in this manner). This is in contrast to ODF, which has several competing implementations.

    Should OpenOffice.org not have a definite advantage here?
  • Word for Word Lift (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Andy Updegrove (956488) on Saturday February 09, 2008 @10:45AM (#22359760) Homepage
    Whoever submitted this lifted it word for word from my blog. If anyone is interested in reading the full analysis, they can find it here: http://www.consortiuminfo.org/standardsblog/article.php?story=20080208082501776 [consortiuminfo.org]

    My blog entry begins:

    The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that EU regulators have announced a third investigation into Microsoft's conduct on the desktop. This latest action demonstrates that while the EU has settled the case against Microsoft that ran for almost a decade, it remains as suspicious as ever regarding the software vendor's conduct, notwithstanding Microsoft's less combative stance in recent years. The news can be found in a story reported by Charles Forelle bylined in Brussells this morning. According to the Journal, the investigation will focus on whether Microsoft "violated antitrust laws during a struggle last year to ratify its Office software file format as an international standard." The article also says that the regulators are "stepping up scrutiny of the issue."
    Sound familiar?

    - Andy

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