The number of probes the European Union has launched investigating Microsoft has increased to three, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. The EU began an investigation into Microsoft's activities over its attempt to get Office Open XML adopted as an International Standards Organization (ISO) standard. A story reported by InformationWeek quotes Microsoft critic Andrew Updegrove on the news:
"The investigation will be especially welcome in standards circles, due to the wide range of reports from the field that Microsoft has engaged in 'stacking' of the national committees that were voting on OOXML as well as other overreaching activities intended to influence the result" of standards voting, said Andrew Updegrove, a standards expert who has opposed the Microsoft effort in the past, in an e-mail."
Microsoft's efforts - the cause of this current investigation -- did not pay off. ISO did not choose to put OOXML on the fast-track for adoption as a standard. But the controversy surrounding the vote (and the standard itself) has been unceasing both before and since the vote. Among the more juicy alleged tactics are accusations that Microsoft employees resorted to bribery, that ISO committee members were fed false information, and the Microsoft manipulated the committees.
Last month, the uproar started again. Microsoft executives slammed IBM, saying IBM sabotaged the vote, ZDNet UK reported. IBM retorted to the slam (per Ars Technica article ), and Microsoft retorted to IBMs retort, Network World reported.
Nana-nana-boo-boo. The standards community has been doing a good job of mimicking a carload of cranky school-aged children.
So the EU, with its decidedly anti-Microsoft twist these days, will now investigate. It is also investigating antitrust accusations brought by Opera Software that Microsoft is competing unfairly in the browser market. And the EU is looking into how well Microsoft is following the EU's previous edict to make Windows communications protocols more available so that Windows works better with third-party applications. (It is that edict, urged along by the EU probe, that allowed Samba in December to license Windows documentation for $10K Euros - a boon to the open source community).
Go to Microsoft Subnet for more news, blogs, opinion.
More posts from Microsoft Subnet
A step by step on how to add a role to Server Core
How to get started with Server Core in WS2008
Let's Get Reacquainted & How to Optimize Windows Server 2008 for Branch Office Communications (Four Part Series)
Windows Server 2008 Management and Maintenance tips
Fabulous giveaways from Microsoft Subnet and Cisco Subnet All Micronet blog posts
Sign up for the bi-weekly Microsoft newsletter. (Click on News/Microsoft News Alert.)
Julie Bort is the editor of Microsoft Subnet and Network World's Online Community Editor. She also writes the Open Source Subnet blog and is the editor responsible for the Cisco Subnet and Open Source Subnet web sites. If you have an idea for a blog, or a news tip on Microsoft, Cisco or Open Source technologies, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, 970-482-6454 or follow Julie on Twitter @Julie188.
The Microsoft Subnet blog is the official blog of the Network World's Microsoft Subnet community. Microsoft Subnet is the independent voice of Microsoft customers and is your gateway to daily Microsoft news, blogs, opinion, books, prize giveaways and more. Visit the Microsoft Subnet index page daily, and while you are there, subscribe to the Microsoft newsletter.
Policy on comments: Respectful discussion is welcomed! However comments that use inappropriate language, consist of name calling or personal attacks, or include accusations of wrongdoing are not appropriate. Those comments will be deleted or edited