In the Microsoft ruling last year, one of the primary reservations of the European Commission (the "Commission") related to the issue of interoperability with Windows operating system.  The regulator ruled that Microsoft had to improve third party access to information which would allow them to access Windows.  The two sides have been negotiating since, with the Commission getting increasingly displeased with the software giant for not complying with the decision.  A deadline was set and Microsoft was told that it would be fined up to five per cent of its worldwide sales each day if it did not produce a plan for compliance.  This month the company at last made a proposal which involves a new licensing regime.  This proposition is now being market tested, with third parties getting the chance to comment.  Overall, technology companies are opposing the proposal, holding that a licensing scheme will not meet the concerns of the Commission.  The royalties asked for by Microsoft are said to be excessive and unreasonable and a sign that the company is still trying its utmost to avoid interoperability.

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