European Commission and Microsoft: Court of First Instance Decision
Being an employee of the company I keep my personal opinions on this case to myself and defer all questions to our legal counsel. But I do want to tell you I'm really proud of what Microsoft has achieved in Europe for its economy, our customers and partners, and our thousands of (new) employees since this case started in 1998. I've spent my entire 6 years at Microsoft traveling extensively all over Europe, Middle East and Africa meeting and working with customers and have seen this impact first hand. Here's an excerpt of what Microsoft Senior Vice President and General Counsel Brad Smith had to say at today's decision:
“I would note that a lot has changed since this case started in 1998. The world has changed, the industry has changed, and our company has changed. We sought to underscore that over a year ago when we published what we described as our Windows® Principles, principles intended to ensure that future versions of Windows, starting with Windows Vista, would comport not only with the principles of U.S. law but with the principles that are applicable here in Europe as well.
“We’ve sought to be open and transparent, and we’ve sought to strengthen our ties with the rest of our industry. Indeed, it’s notable that just last week we announced a new agreement with Sun Microsystems, and the week before that we announced a new agreement with Novell, two of the companies that started out on the other side of this case almost nine years ago.
“A lot has changed, but I will say that one thing has remained constant, and will continue to do so, and that is Microsoft’s commitment to Europe. When this case started, we published Windows in 24 European languages; today that number is 41, and it will continue to grow. When we started this case, we had 3,900 employees in Europe; today we have 13,000, and that number will continue to grow. When this case started, we were spending $3 million a year on research and development in Europe; today we are spending almost half a billion, and that number will continue to grow. Today we work with over 200,000 business partners, who employ almost 3 million people on the European continent, and that number too will continue to grow."
My thanks go to the hundreds of people in Microsoft right across the board who worked on this case. Despite the decision going against us, what you catalyzed in the company over the past decade in terms of attitude and change is quite amazing! My personal commitment to Europe and my customers in this great continent remains high and unwavering.
For the full speech go here: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/sep07/09-17Statement.mspx
For more complete background and details of the case go here: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/eucase/default.mspx