Microsoft stays put as EC deadline passes

Microsoft Corp. launched a last-ditch attempt to stave off the threat of million-dollar-a-day fines on Wednesday when it submitted its formal response to European Commission charges that it is failing to comply with an antitrust ruling.

In a statement accompanying the submission, the company said that it had fully complied with the Commission’s demands to ensure interoperability with its server software and accused the Commission of disregarding “critical evidence” in the case.

The company submitted its formal response, a 75-page document, to the Commission’s complaints, known as an S.O. (statement of objections). In a statement, Microsoft said that “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.”

It added that the company had also filed two reports by software system engineering professors who examined the technical documentation. Those experts concluded that the interoperability information provided by Microsoft met “current industry standards” and that the company had provided “complete and accurate information,” according to the statement.

The Commission did not immediately issue a comment on Microsoft’s response.

The Commission, the European Union’s antitrust authority, gave Microsoft until Wednesday to make a convincing case that it was complying with the 2004 ruling, which among other things ordered the company to ensure the interoperability of its server software with competitors. Based on information sent by the company last December, an independent trustee, computer professor Neil Barrett, said that the documentation Microsoft had provided was “useless.”

The company’s offer to grant access to the source code for the communications protocols for the server software has also received a lukewarm response by the Commission, which argues it does not help rivals develop products that can interoperate with Microsoft’s.

Microsoft faces daily fines up to

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