Microsoft Faces Friendly Court at Home, Less Friendly Court in European Union


The economic downturn and staff reductions merited a mention in Wednesday's hearing before federal Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on Microsoft's antitrust compliance. The judge brought up reductions in force at Microsoft, reports Reuters UK, in relation to the company's production of technical documents for developers of applications for Windows.


The bulk of the hearing on Microsoft's Court Extends Microsoft Oversight for Two Yearswas reportedly "friendly." Microsoft's Bob Muglia said employee cuts would not affect compliance. And the Technical Committee that reviews documents provided by Microsoft and advises the courts on its findings is modifying its procedures so it will be better able to examine Windows 7, reports Computerworld.


Microsoft is also facing a new statement of possible sanctions that the European Commission could impose, after Microsoft's two-month window for response. In its examination of possible anti-competitive actions in the European Union, the EC this month indicated that it might require Microsoft and its partners to include competing browsers on PCs sold in Europe, remove components of IE if users choose a competing browser, and possibly impose more fines, according to internetnews.com. Or it may not choose to go forward with any of those actions. Analysts say that the EC might have pursued this complaint too far, given that the Market Forces Make Microsoft's Browser Share More Vulnerable, More Key. Though that fact doesn't remove the EC's right to impose its sanctions.