Real Interoperability

A recent Computerworld article “Microsoft loses appeal against EU antitrust ruling” contains some very good news for IT consumers everywhere. OK it took legal force, a massive fine (€497 million), and it was resisted every step of the way, but Microsoft is finally going to enable genuine interoperability.

How is this good? It means competitors to Microsoft finally get a fair go. Monopolies are bad for consumers and bad for innovation. It’s as simple as that.

From Computerword –

Carlo Piana, FSFE’s legal counsel, described the court ruling as “a milestone for competition. It puts an end to the notion that deliberate obfuscation of standards and designed lock-in is an acceptable business model, and forces Microsoft back into competing on the grounds of software technology.”

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This is especially good for Samba:

The Court of First Instance’s judgement, like the commission’s before it, sees Samba as the means for competition, in the Work group server space (i.e. file servers, print servers, etc). All potential competitors to Microsoft are using Samba, (the commissions own research found that 98% of competing products in this space use Samba), so it is good that the commission and the CFI are keen to get the documentation from Microsoft in a form that open source projects such as samba can use.