New EU Antitrust Charges Against Microsoft

The European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS) has filed a new complaint with the European Commission, complaining Microsoft competes unfairly and has been dragging its heels over a 2004 antitrust ruling against the company. Adding new fuel to the fire, ECIS now points to the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software as an area where Microsoft did not permit competitors to interoperate properly with Windows.

The European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS) is a voluntary industry group formed in 1989; its members currently includes members IBM, Nokia, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, and RealNetworks, and the organization was active in the EU antitrust case against the Redmond software giant. Now they want the European Commission to take strong action to fully enforce the 2004 decision and force Microsoft to share its software protocols. “ECIS deeply regrets that strong antitrust law enforcement appears to be the only way to stop the sustained anti-competitive behavior of Microsoft,” Simon Awde, ECIS chairman, said in a statement.

“We have evidence that Microsoft has refused to disclose formatting and other information,” said Thomas Vinje, an antitrust lawyer for the firm Morrison & Foerster, representing ECIS. “Word processing, spreadsheets and presentation programs can’t achieve full interoperability with Microsoft Office.”

Aside from the Windows operating system, Microsoft Office is the Redmond software maker’s top revenue generator, and controls approximately 95 percent of the market for productivity software (word processing, spreadsheets, slide-show presentations, and email software). Microsoft Office’s primary competitors are Sun’s StarOffice and the free OpenOffice.

For its part, Microsoft hasn’t blinked, saying ECIS is simply a front for IBM and other rivals who would prefer to litigate through regulatory processes rather than innovate.

[Updated 23-Feb-2006 with additional quote from Vinje]

Smart Home

The Glas thermostat is now available and works with Cortana, Alexa, and Google

Microsoft just debuted its very own smart thermostat (the first that it's created), and of course, it can be controlled via voice with Microsoft's virtual assistant Cortana. It also works with Alexa and Google Assistant.

Take control of your Xbox with these top-tier Xbox One gamepads

A number of different controllers are available on the Xbox One, from gamepads made by Microsoft, to third-party controllers loaded with special features. Here are the best you can buy.
Smart Home

Cortana and Alexa can now call each other as new relationship begins

Microsoft and Amazon announced a public preview of Cortana and Alexa integration. U.S. customers can now open Cortana with Alexa and vice versa. Basic functions such as calendars and shopping lists are available with the preview.

Tired of choosing between Windows and Mac? Check out these Chromebooks instead

We've compiled a list of the best Chromebooks -- laptops that combine great battery life, comfortable keyboards, and the performance it takes to run Google's lightweight Chrome OS. From Samsung to Acer, these are the Chromebooks that really…

The Facebook dating service will be free of charge and free of ads

Facebook is getting into the dating game. While the feature was one of the surprises from this year's F8, new details suggest what the feature may entail, including a few screenshots from a computer programmer.

Find your way around Google Maps with these handy tips and tricks

How good are your navigation skills? We've got a delectable menu of Google Maps tips and tricks for you right here, to take the pain out of your trips. Go from newbie to mapping master and learn how to use Google Maps.
Emerging Tech

Widespread internet access is causing mass sleep deprivation, study suggests

A study claims that high-speed internet may be costing us up to 25 minutes of sleep per night. And, surprisingly, the biggest problem isn't among those young people who are under 30.

Network routers with roaming enabled are likely susceptible to a new attack

Jens Steube discovered a new method to break into network routers while researching new ways to attack the WPA3 security standard. He stumbled onto an attack technique capable of cracking hashed WPA-PSK passwords.

Saving your favorite YouTube videos for posterity is quick, easy with these tools

Learning how to download YouTube videos is easier than you might think. There are plenty of great tools you can use, both online and offline. These are our favorites and a step by step guide on how to use them.

Hacker plays ‘Doom’ on John McAfee’s ‘unhackable’ BitFi Bitcoin wallet

The BitFi hardware cryptocurrency wallet isn't as unhackable as John McAfee claims. A 15-year-old bedroom hacker has managed to get Doom running on the device, suggesting its days may soon be numbered.

Having issues with Microsoft Edge? Here's how to fix the most common problems

If you're feeling frustrated with Microsoft Edge, or have run into a serious problem with Windows 10's built-in browser, take a look at these common issues and the solutions that can help you get back on track.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

Amazon Prime brings more perks than just free two-day shipping. Subscribers get access to a huge library of TV shows to stream at no extra cost. Here are our favorite TV shows currently available on Amazon Prime.

Spotify vs. Pandora: Which music streaming service is better for you?

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.

The best place to print photos online: Seven top photo labs

Have you been looking around for the best place to print out your favorite photos online? Don't fret, we've pored through dozens of options and narrowed it down to the seven best.