Microsoft Introduces Changes to Cloud Computing Service for Complaints, to Revise Licensing Terms

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The improvements, according to Microsoft president Brad Smith, include allowing cloud service providers to provide Windows as a full desktop operating system.

Microsoft will alter its licencing terms and allow cloud service providers to better compete in response to complaints, according to its president Brad Smith, who was fined EUR 1.6 billion (approximately Rs. 13,066 crore) by EU antitrust officials on Wednesday.

Smith told a conference organised by research tank Bruegel in Brussels that the corporation was taking the first but not last step to address the issues.

According to him, Microsoft wants to hear the complaints and take action.

“It all starts with offering European cloud providers greater options.
So, if a firm has a data centre but wants to operate solutions in its cloud PBX data centre, we’re giving them additional alternatives with our software to do so, because that’s what they’ve been asking for “he added.

Allowing cloud service providers to offer Windows as a complete desktop operating system, extending longer-term price protection, and modifying licencing terms are among the changes, according to Smith.

After German software firm NextCloud, France’s OVHcloud, and two other companies submitted complaints about Microsoft’s cloud tactics, the corporation was once again on the EU competition enforcer’s radar.

According to a questionnaire seen by Reuters, EU antitrust investigators interviewed Microsoft’s competitors and customers about its cloud business and licencing relationships in April, a move that might lead to a formal probe and renewed scrutiny of the US software giant.

In the previous decade, the European Commission fined Microsoft a total of EUR 1.6 billion (approximately Rs. 13,066 crore) for breaking EU antitrust regulations and failing to comply with its order to stop anticompetitive conduct.

After German software firm NextCloud, France’s OVHcloud, and two other companies submitted complaints about Microsoft’s cloud tactics, the corporation was once again on the EU competition enforcer’s radar.

“The Commission has information that Microsoft is attempting to limit competition in certain software markets by abusing its potentially dominant position.”

“The Commission has evidence that Microsoft may be attempting to limit competition in some cloud computing services by exploiting its potentially dominant position in certain software markets,” the questionnaire stated.

Regulators wanted to see if the terms of Microsoft’s cloud service provider licencing agreements allow competitors to compete effectively.

They also want to know if businesses needed Microsoft’s operating systems and productivity programmes to compete effectively with their own cloud infrastructure offering.

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