Pender's Blog

Blog archive

More Eurotroubles on the Way for Microsoft

Well, here we go again. The European Union, not content to have already hammered Microsoft with all sorts of fines and other hassles (which Redmond has appealed, of course), wants more. This time, "people" (we just love Bloomberg's headline on this one) say that the EU is going to look into Microsoft's dominance in the word-processing and spreadsheet games. And if "people" say it, it must be true...right?

The EU's main beef seems to be with interoperability with productivity suites that compete with Office -- specifically, for instance, whether Microsoft is making it too hard for developers of, say, StarOffice to let their product handle Word documents and Excel spreadsheets.

Microsoft counters with its Office Open XML format, which was cruising through various certification organizations on its way to becoming a standard (having already been accepted by at least one) -- until this week, when things hit a bit of a snag. Regardless, Microsoft says that OOXML and its thousands of pages of documentation make it possible (if not necessarily easy, we'd hasten to add) for developers of rival systems to create interoperability with Office formats.

We're all for interoperability here at RCPU, and we're all for anything that makes it easier. But we're not for excessive government intervention into anybody's business or products -- and we're not for measures that weaken intellectual property. So let's see what rivals have to say about Word and Excel and how legitimate their claims seem (although we suspect there will be nothing new under the Eurosun). Our guess is that this whole episode amounts to more Microsoft-baiting from the EU and Redmond's rivals...and more multi-figure paychecks for corporate lawyers.

Posted by Lee Pender on 07/19/2007 at 1:21 PM


Featured

  • Microsoft Releases Windows 10 Version 1909

    Microsoft on Tuesday announced the release of Windows 10 version 1909, a new operating system product that's also known as the "Windows 10 November 2019 Update."

  • November Microsoft Security Bundle Addresses 75 Vulnerabilities

    Of that number, 13 vulnerabilities are rated "Critical" to patch, while 62 vulnerabilities are deemed "Important."

  • The Future of Office 365 Pricing

    With a raft of new Office 365 features in the pipeline, Microsoft also seems ready to change the way it bills its subscribers. Will it replicate Azure's pay-per-use model, or will it look like something else entirely?

  • Microsoft Offers 1 Year of Free Windows 7 Extended Security Updates to E5 Licensees

    Microsoft is offering one year of free support under its Extended Security Updates program to Windows 7 users if their organizations have E5 licensing.

comments powered by Disqus

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.