What you need to know
- A coalition of companies has formed to urge the EU to keep Microsoft in check and prevent it from bundling software such as Teams and OneDrive with Windows.
- The coalition claims such bundling practices create an unfair playing field.
- This is not the first time Microsoft's software bundles have attracted negative attention and caused the EU to be involved.
A coalition of 30 companies has formed to take a stand against "Big Tech" and the danger it poses to EU businesses and consumers. Specifically, though the coalition namedrops Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, it takes the most direct aim at the Windows 11 maker in its actual complaints and demands.
You can see the coalition's multitude of statements on the situation over at its landing page, wherein the companies involved in the group reiterate their displeasure with Microsoft's practices. Here's the coalition's opening statement on the matter:
Microsoft is integrating 365 deeper and deeper in their service and software portfolio, including Windows. OneDrive is pushed wherever users deal with file storage and Teams is a default part of Windows 11. This makes it nearly impossible to compete with their SaaS services. In the wider context, you see that over the last years, Microsoft, Google and Amazon have grown their market share to 66% of the total European market, with local providers contracting from 26% to 16%. Behavior like this is at the core of this growth of the tech giants and has to be stopped.
As to what the group demands, it wants no "gate-keeping," which it defines as the bundling or preinstallation of Microsoft services on Windows or associated efforts to "push" services that disrupt an otherwise even playing field. It also wants "open standards and interoperability" so migrations are easy for consumers. Though there is a lack of clarity on that last demand, one can imagine it's aligned with common complaints lobbed at Microsoft in the past, such as Slack arguing that Teams' and Office's integrations made it harder for Slack to have a fair shot at attracting consumers in the same capacity as Microsoft's services.