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ECJ decided Microsoft must pay a 860 million Euro fine

4 July, 2012
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: EuGH verurteilt Microsoft zu 860 Millionen Euro Strafe


The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has rejected Microsoft’s appeal against the European Commission’s decision of 2008 to fine the company for not having shared interoperability information to its competitors, in a long case first brought by the European Commission's competition watchdog in 1998.

A record fine of 899 million Euro was given by the European Commission in 2008, which decided that, by the end of 2007, Microsoft had not fulfilled its obligations under the "Reasonable And Non Discriminatory (RAND)" conditi

Slovakia: Mandatory e-forms work only on software from one vendor

9 May, 2012
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Slowakei: Verpflichtende Web-Lösung funktioniert nur mit Software ein...


In Slovakia, a law introduced to reduce red tape has led to injustice. The state has mandated electronic means as the only way of fulfilling certain statutory obligations. However the dedicated web solution excludes some citizens from its use as it is not interoperable and runs only on the software from one vendor.

EU standards reform: Carte blanche stifles open formats

29 February, 2012
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Reform europäischer Normen: Blankovollmacht bremst offene Formate aus


The European standardisation system is being revamped.

Software-hardware bundling not accepted in France

15 February, 2012
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Frankreich: Verknüpfung von Hard- und Software nicht zulässig


The giant Lenovo computer hardware manufacturer that sold computers with Windows OS included suffered a defeat in a French court of Aix-en-Provence in a case introduced by a French customer. This is another case in a long line of defeats in France for companies that sell computers who include mandatory unwanted software licences in their products' sales.

The case was brought to court in 2007 by Mr. Pétrus who decided to buy a Lenovo laptop.

UK: Medical records in the open data programme?

14 December, 2011
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: GB: Medizinische Daten im „Open Data“-Programm?


British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that, under his "open data" programme, all UK medical records will in future be made available to researchers in both academia and the pharmaceutical industry, unless patients opt out.

Unlocking education in the Netherlands

16 November, 2011
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Befreit die niederländische Bildung


Dutch schools are progressively locking out students from online environments due to the use of proprietary web-technology (Silverlight) and closed standards. This contravenes with the 2007 Netherlands Open in Connection policy framework that mandates the use of open standards for all public sector organizations, including educational institutions.

The European Commission encourages the digitisation of culture

2 November, 2011
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Europäische Kommission fördert Digitalisierung des Kulturerbes


An EC Recommendation issued on 28 October 2011 is urging Member States to intensify their efforts and involve the private sector to help in digitising cultural material in order to improve the exposure and stocks of Europe's digital library Europeana.

The Recommendation, which updates a 2006 version, has taken into consideration the Member States' progress reports from 2008 and 2010 and assigns a precise target, establishing a minimum content contribution for each state so as to reach 30 million objects

Free operating systems might be blocked by Windows 8

21 September, 2011
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Das neue Windows 8 könnte freie Betriebssysteme blockieren


The hardware certified for the new 64 bit operating system from Microsoft (Windows 8) will have to use the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) with security measures that would not allow installing of other operating systems, such as GNU/Linux.

The UEFI firmware specifications might require next-generation PC firmware to only boot an image signed by a key chain rooted in keys built into the PC.

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