The Free Software Foundation Europe has issued a statement welcoming the decision of the European Commission to fine Microsoft as a penalty for noncompliance. As you know, the Free Software Foundation Europe was invited by the European Commission to represent the interests of the Free Software movement in the case.
FSFE raises some arguments in its statement that I hadn’t heard before, so I thought I should present them here to complete the picture. This is, after all, history we are living, and the explanation for Microsoft’s alleged inability to comply earlier is intriguing.
Also, it’s important to remember who it was that did not quit and leave the field. According to the statement, every proposal Microsoft suggested was “deliberately exclusive of Samba.” As for Microsoft’s comment that it has 300 engineers working night and day trying to prepare the documentation, FSFE’s president Georg Greve comments, “If we are to believe Microsoft’s numbers, it appears that 120,000 person days are not enough to document its own software.
For users, this should be a shock: Microsoft apparently does not know the software that controls 95% of all desktop computers on this planet. Imagine General Motors releasing a press statement to the extent that even though they had 300 of their best engineers work on this for two years, they cannot provide specifications for the cars they built.”