CyberTech Rambler

September 8, 2006

Microsoft upping pressure of European Commission

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 4:41 pm

Microsoft is upping the pressure on European Commission by proxy, i.e., via four British Members of the  European Parliament. Their concern is the negative impact on EU companies if Microsoft is forced to delay Vista launch in Europe.

I am not going to examine whether any of these MEPs can be said to be “in the pocket” of so-and-so.  I will not sink to that low. I will, however, like to examine whether this is proper or not.

The MEP do have a valid concern. As blogged here time and time again, I said the worldwide delay of Vista launch is hurting companies. If the delay is simply in Europe only, European companies will be hit very hard as they lose out to other companies. Interestingly, MSNBC choosed to use retail companies (PC World and Dixons) to highlight the problem. These companies are probably least affected by any delay: They sell to public and how many of us bother to pick up software on our overseas trip? Technology companies, especially those trading on Windows platform, are most likely to suffer.

These MEP is right to raise this issue of possible Vista delay. First and foremost is of course the obvious financial implication. Moreover, it is a legitimate concern of their constituents and their constituents include big companies such as Dixons, PC World and Microsoft whether you like it or not.

Only question remaining is whether did they address the issue correctly. We do not know what is in the letter they sent to the European Commission, which is the important bit, not the spin we digested around the internet grapevine. Did they have the complete picture? Probably not but so is the rest of us, including me. EC and Microsoft will always point the finger at each other regardless of who is actually to blame or both are equally responsible.

The one thing that is clear in the EC and Microsoft position is that they see it differently. Microsoft says it propose changes to Vista and “Once we receive the commission’s response, […] we will know whether the commission is seeking additional product design changes that would result in delay in Europe. However, EC reply is that “it is not up to the Commission to give Microsoft a definitive ‘green light’ before Vista is put on the market”. Who is dragging their heels? That depends on your view point, isn’t it?


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