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Kicking And Screaming

Microsoft is peeved with the European Commission's move to impose daily fines for, among other things, not moving fast enough to make server source code available to other companies so that their apps can work within Windows Server. To which one is almost forced to say, "C'mon, already, just quit kvetching and give them what they want."
A daily fine of $19 million isn't quite chump change even to Microsoft, but it's also not necessary here. Microsoft says the EC keeps moving the goalposts on it; that may well be true. I'll bet it is, in fact. So what? The EC has the upper hand here, which is what Microsoft is really annoyed with--this is not a company that's used to being told what to do, and it's led by a brain trust that's incredibly averse to that.

Be that as it may, Europe is a big place and a critical market for any company, Microsoft included. Eventually Redmond is just going to have to shut up and make the EC happy under whatever terms the EC wants. The key thing, though, is that faster Microsoft does that, the better off it is.

I thought it had finally figured that out with its pragmatic settlements of all the lawsuits competitors had lodged--Sun, RealNetworks, etc. When those are out of the way, what is there to keep Microsoft from doing business and commanding markets? Nothing much, and the same situation applies here. The major goal is to protect Windows Server's market share against the attractiveness of Linux, and even to capture more of the market. Microsoft has R2 landing in customers' hands any minute now, and Longhorn Server down the road; making sure companies continue to use those, and that it can push further up into larger enterprises with the platform, has to be Goal #1.

The newest dustup with the EC just takes Microsoft's eye off the ball and postpones achieving that goal. Settle this case to the EC's satisfaction, though, and suddenly there are no obstacles in the European market and a host of potential application partners to help promote and grow Windows Server. This is a no-brainer; Microsoft just needs to realize that, shut up and get the EC off its back.