I haven’t been following the story very closely but my intial inclination, were I at Microsoft in charge of dealing with the socialists in Europe, would be to tell them “We are suspending sales of products to your country. All future versions, including updates to existing products, will refuse to operate if the IP address of the computer is within your country. Language support for the dominate languages in your country will be disabled if it doesn’t affect other countries who are friendly to us. We can chose whether to do business in your country or not. We chose NOT.”
Of course, short term, this would be harmful to the stockholders of Microsoft but it would get my (a very, very minor stockholder) approval. Here’s the story that pushed me over the edge:
BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s antitrust chief says Microsoft (MSFT) cannot charge licensing fees for software blueprints that it is offering to share with competitors unless it can prove the computer code is innovative.
Neelie Kroes also told European lawmakers on Tuesday that she has not yet received all information on Microsoft’s offer to share software code and comply with a 2004 EU antitrust ruling.
Microsoft has until Feb. 15 to meet European Commission demands from December that it provide complete and accurate information on code that would allow competitors’ products to communicate smoothly with servers running Microsoft operating systesms.
EU antitrust regulators have threatened Microsoft with daily fines of 2 million euros ($2.36 million), retroactive to mid-December, if it fails to comply by the deadline.
In December, Microsoft provided EU officials with thousands of documents but an independent monitor said they were “fundamentally flawed” and required a drastic overhaul to make them workable.
Last week, Microsoft offered to let competitors examine some server source code, calling it the “ultimate documentation” which might address regulators’ concerns. Kroes said the first she heard of that offer was via a Microsoft press release.
The EU has never asked Microsoft to supply source code. Backers of open source alternatives to Microsoft’s proprietary operating systems called last week’s offer a “poisoned apple,” as the terms of access to the code were unclear.
EU officials and an independent monitor held talks Monday at Microsoft’s U.S. headquarters to discuss improvements to the technical documentation that the software company has so far supplied.