Microsoft Statement in Response to the Adoption of the Statement of Objections by the European Commission

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 22, 2005 – Microsoft today released the following statement from Brad Smith, General Counsel and Senior Vice President, in response to the adoption of the Statement of Objections by the European Commission:

“We believe today’s Statement of Objections is unjustified. The Commission has issued this Statement regarding technical documentation we submitted last week, even though by its own admission neither it nor the Trustee have even read or reviewed these new documents.

“We revised the technical documents last week at the Commission’s request, responding to new feedback raised with us only six days before. In the interest of due process, we think it would have been reasonable for the Commission and the Trustee at least to read and review these new documents before criticizing them as being insufficient.

“We are fully committed to comply with the Decision. We’ve shipped a new version of Windows, we’ve paid an historic fine, and we’ve provided unprecedented access to Microsoft technology to promote interoperability with other industry players. In total, we have now responded to more than 100 requests from the Commission. We continue working quickly to meet the Commission’s new and changing demands. Yet every time we make a change, we find that the Commission moves the goal post and demands another change.

“Of particular concern is the Commission’s latest demand that the internal workings of Windows be documented and licensed, which can open the door to the production of clones of parts of the Windows operating system. During the September 3, 2004 hearing with President Vesterdorf, the Commission clearly stated this was not within the scope of its decision. Yet the Commission confuses disclosure of the source code with disclosure of the internals and insists that it will fine the company if it fails to address this.

“We will continue to take new steps to address each new demand from the Commission, in order to ensure our compliance with the Commission’s March 2004 decision in a timely manner. At the same time, we will contest today’s Statement to the full extent permitted under EU law, including a full Oral Hearing on these issues.”

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Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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