Microsoft Refutes European Commission Case

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 15, 2006 — Microsoft has complied fully with the technical documentation requirements imposed by a 2004 European Commission decision, and the Commission has ignored critical evidence in its haste to attack the company’s compliance, according to a formal response filed by Microsoft today.

“Hundreds of Microsoft employees and contractors have worked for more than 30,000 hours to create over 12,000 pages of detailed technical documents that are available for license today.  In addition Microsoft has offered to provide licensees with 500 hours of technical support and has made its source code related to all the relevant technologies available under a reference license,” the company said in a 75-page response filed Wednesday.

The company also filed with the Commission two independent expert reports by software system engineering professors who examined the technical documentation created by Microsoft.

“We conclude that the interoperability information as provided by Microsoft meets current industry standards, particularly in such a complex domain.  We believe that it has provided complete and accurate information, to the extent that this can be reasonably achieved, covering protocols, dependencies and implicit knowledge,” noted a 49-page report authored by five computer science professors in the United Kingdom and Germany. 

The company’s response also documents numerous ways in which the Commission had ignored key information and denied Microsoft due process in defending itself.

“The Commission waited many months before informing Microsoft that it believed changes were necessary to the technical documents, and then gave Microsoft only a few weeks to make extensive revisions,” Microsoft’s filing states.

Microsoft’s response clearly shows that the Commission did not even review the exhaustive documentation Microsoft submitted within the deadline period. 

“When the Commission issued its Statement of Objections on December 21, 2005, the Commission and its experts had not even bothered to read the most recent version of those documents which Microsoft had made available on December 15, 2005,” Microsoft’s filing states.

Similarly, the response demonstrates that the Commission repeatedly refused to clearly define its requirements and concerns, despite repeated requests and accommodations by Microsoft.

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