Amidst charges of anti-competition over incorporating the Internet Explorer browser in Windows operating systems, the European Commission (EC) has offered a bit of relief to Microsoft, by saying that it will discontinue actively monitoring the software giant to check whether the company is complying with the 2004 antitrust decision.
Back in 2005, the Commission had appointed a trustee to evaluate whether Microsoft was providing information related to interoperability on Windows workgroup servers to software competitors.
Commenting upon the withdrawal of the full-time trustee, the Commission’s antitrust spokesman, Jonathan Todd, said in a statement, “We don’t think it's necessary to have a full-time trustee any more, as there have been changes in Microsoft's behaviour, and third parties can exercise their rights before national courts”.
Besides, the Commission said that technical consultants’ assistance on an “ad hoc” basis would be taken. Though the trustee has been discontinued, Microsoft still need to provide precise and full interoperability information, the Commission notified in a statement.
However, the Commission asserted it is pleased that Microsoft has documented the original set of interoperability information, and that the company’s licence for third parties are good enough to let those parties to make court cases, in case of any disagreements.
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The EC might go light on Microsoft for now but pressure will only build up for later. There's already more legal woes coming for the tech giant as its competitors try to separate Internet Explorer from Windows and level the playing fields. Microsoft may become more vulnerable as well which might make it more aggressive.