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I believe the EU is way off-base on this.
since when is a company obligated to help its competitors with their
software problems in this unprecedented of a way?
five hundred hours of free technical support a piece I believe is more than
generous.
After that, they can pay just like everyone else.
But forcing Microsoft to turn over source code is just plain wrong.
How are they supposed to prevent competitors from stealing ideas and
concepts that way?
Last I checked, Windows wasn’t created under a Creative Commons License.
It’s copyright, all rights reserved, and Microsoft has every right to share
as much or as little as they see fit.
It doesn’t have an obligation to help its competition along.
If you want top market share, earn it, don’t expect it to be handed to you.

Antitrust Chief Kroes Says EU Hasn’t Received Microsoft Details
Associated Press

January 31, 2006 4:13 a.m.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113869837680960868.html?mod=technology_main_
whats_news

BRUSSELS, Belgium — The European Union’s antitrust chief Neelie Kroes
said
Tuesday she had not yet received all information on Microsoft Corp.’s
offer
to share software codes and comply with a 2004 EU antitrust ruling.

She also told European lawmakers that the software giant couldn’t
charge
fees for the server protocol and communication codes if it couldn’t
prove
that the code was innovative.

“If no such innovation … no remuneration can be charged by
Microsoft,”
she said.

Microsoft has until Feb. 15 to reply to the formal charge sheet the
commission sent in December over providing complete and accurate
information on interoperability of its software codes.

“We have not yet received full details from Microsoft,” Ms. Kroes told
a
parliamentary committee.

Microsoft offered last week to let competitors examine some of the
blueprints to its flagship Windows operating system in response to a
European Union antitrust ruling calling for greater openness.

Ms. Kroes said the first she heard of the offer by the U.S. company
was via
a Microsoft press release.

The technical information is important for competitors to make their
software compatible with Windows servers.

Although Microsoft insists it had already complied in December by
supplying
the documentation and offering rivals 500 hours, or about $100,000
worth,
of free technical support apiece, it says it will license the Windows
source code — which it says is the “ultimate documentation” — to
address
any lingering concerns that EU and U.S. regulatory officials may have.

EU officials and an independent monitor held talks Monday at
Microsoft’s
U.S. headquarters to discuss the documentation the software company
has so
far supplied to comply with the EU antitrust ruling.


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