Microsoft Agrees to Share Source Code in EU | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 25.01.2006
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Microsoft Agrees to Share Source Code in EU

Microsoft has said it will comply with the EU and license its source code -- necessary for competitors to build compatible products.


The deal could lead to more competition in the computer industry

US software giant Microsoft said it would comply with a key condition of the European Commission to resolve an anti-trust row by licensing the source code of its Windows operating system.

The source code provides the building blocks of the operating system that competitors need to make products compatible with Windows.

'We will license the code'

"We are announcing today that we will ... license the windows source code itself," said Microsoft's Brad Smith, briefing reporters on the firm's response to EU demands that it comply with a ruling or face hefty fines.

Microsoft Bill Gates in Las Vegas Betriebssystem Vista

Bill Gates finally allwed the measure

"It does not lay to rest every issue that one might raise about
compliance," he conceded, but he said he hoped it would convince the European Union's executive to hold off from imposing multimillion euro penalties.

Fines in past

In March 2004, the EU executive levied a record €497 million ($613 million) fine against Microsoft, ordered it to share code with rivals and offer an unbundled version of Windows without the Media Player software for what the court saw as an abuse of the company's dominant position in the industry.

Last month, the European Commission threatened to fine Microsoft up to €2 million a day backdated to Dec. 15 for failing to obey, saying the software giant was proving intransigent about sharing data with competitors.

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