EU tech firms file formal complaint against Microsoft for bundling OneDrive with Windows

Humza

Posts: 996   +169
Staff member
The big picture: Dozens of European tech firms have accused Microsoft of abusing its dominant position in the industry due to how it aggressively pushes and bundles first-party services (OneDrive, Office 365, Teams etc.) with Windows. German cloud storage company, Nextcloud, has revealed that it officially asked the EU and German authorities to put a stop to Microsoft’s anticompetitive behavior, and that it’s also looking to file a complaint in France with a coalition of nearly 30 partners to establish a level playing field.

According to Nextcloud, anticompetitive practices from tech giants including Microsoft, Google and Amazon have allowed Big Tech to capture 66 percent of the total European market share over the years, while local providers had their share reduced to 16 percent, down from 26 percent.

The German cloud firm is leading an initiative against Microsoft and has organized the ‘Coalition for a level playing field’ to voice their concerns with the EU. Microsoft’s OneDrive integration with Windows, which rivals competing file storage services, has been likened to the browser wars of the late 90s, when it bundled Internet Explorer to compete with Netscape’s Navigator. There’s also a much more recent example of Microsoft demonstrating similar behavior with Edge.

Nextcloud accused Microsoft of pushing OneDrive onto users by pre-installing the service as part of the OS installation, giving users free storage and promoting the app in Windows with pop-up alerts. Microsoft Teams, which became the subject of Slack's EU lawsuit last year, was also highlighted, as the app has now become a default part of Windows 11.

The coalition includes LibreOffice' devs The Document Foundation, OpenProject, and dozens more

“This makes it nearly impossible to compete with their SaaS services,” noted Nextcloud on its antitrust website, where the firm is also gathering additional coalition partners and has posted the following set of demands for the EU:

  • No gate keeping (by bundling, pre-installing or pushing Microsoft services) for a level playing field.
  • Open standards and interoperability that make an easy migration possible. This gives consumers a free choice.

Nextcloud says it filed a complaint with German authorities due to waning interest in the original complaint filed with the EU earlier this year, and that it plans to lodge one with French authorities soon.

The company also believes that the EU’s proposed Digital Markets Act could reign in Microsoft’s gatekeeper position to give smaller players a fair chance at competing in the European market.

Permalink to story.

 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,080   +3,983
While this is a net positive even if it takes another 10 years of litigation like it has in the past with anti trust cases against Microsoft, you would think such big coalitions of people would do something more useful, like throwing more unconditional support to open source software initiatives as well: I bet even a fraction of the lawyer costs of this mega suit would give some Linux devs an unprecedented boost.

If you want SaaS to be a thing your companies rely on in the future, you've gotta start thinking about Operating-system-as-a-service or OSaaS if you would (Just to give it a catchy, business jargon name) so people actually don't really need windows and most personal computers can operate basically as thin clients based on linux: Think a better and more functional version of smart tvs except is for office workers.
 

Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 681   +1,079
While this is a net positive even if it takes another 10 years of litigation like it has in the past with anti trust cases against Microsoft, you would think such big coalitions of people would do something more useful, like throwing more unconditional support to open source software initiatives as well: I bet even a fraction of the lawyer costs of this mega suit would give some Linux devs an unprecedented boost.

If you want SaaS to be a thing your companies rely on in the future, you've gotta start thinking about Operating-system-as-a-service or OSaaS if you would (Just to give it a catchy, business jargon name) so people actually don't really need windows and most personal computers can operate basically as thin clients based on linux: Think a better and more functional version of smart tvs except is for office workers.
Do you mean like Citrix Workspace, Azure Virtual Desktop, or Windows 365? Cloud VDI is nothing new. Most people don’t want Linux for their personal machines, they prefer to use Linux when it’s running cloud products.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,659   +7,561
I'm all for greater development for Linux but this isn't anything new for MicroSludge .... they have done it for years and while they might lose the case, they have already profited significantly since the beginning. Until a court rules they must pay back ALL the profits plus interest & penalties, there is no incentive for them to change.
 

dangh

Posts: 502   +770
That's seems right. If love to connect and integrate my own cloud drive and work as well as onedrive. Is that my nas or a mega or whatever - I soul be able to use any product and have a good experience and integration.
 

bviktor

Posts: 782   +1,197
Could Nextcloud please explain how OneDrive on a home computer is an alternative to Nextcloud? Do they actually believe that home users are willing to and capable of running their own private servers for file sync? Is OneDrive being preinstalled really the burden to users switching to Nextcloud at home? Really?

Besides a bunch of nerds, no one needs or actually wants a file server at home. It's nothing more than maintenance burden. Nextcloud is NOT a product for home users, period. And for enterprises, the whole "oh no it is bundled" argument is utterly pointless as corporate systems are always set up and customized by IT, not the user. It's like saying IT is incapable of installing a Nextcloud client on their PCs or something, which is quite ridiculous.

And for the enterprise... well, good luck competing with Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace, which includes email services and Office applications. It's like they complain because they don't have a good product lol. Which is btw ridiculously overpriced, too.
 
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BadThad

Posts: 994   +1,124
Once again the EU goes after an American company with the end-goal being the confiscation of money. Perhaps they should change their business if a free MS product is causing them so much "damage". When you can't compete the answer is not to hire a bunch of lawyers.
 

yukka

Posts: 1,018   +167
No one I work with is going to start using another office app. Not while we have office 365 so. Everything.

Also are they going to go for Apple as they “bundle” iCloud. And pages/numbers/keynote
 

dangh

Posts: 502   +770
No one I work with is going to start using another office app. Not while we have office 365 so. Everything.

Also are they going to go for Apple as they “bundle” iCloud. And pages/numbers/keynote
That's the very definition of monopoly. And it have to be addressed.
 

theruck

Posts: 539   +341
Once again the EU goes after an American company with the end-goal being the confiscation of money. Perhaps they should change their business if a free MS product is causing them so much "damage". When you can't compete the answer is not to hire a bunch of lawyers.
wake up
its a company vs company and the court will decide if it is according EU legislation
EU consumer protection is above your understanding and imagination level
 
What will happen if they win is consumers will loose half the functionality in Windows 10 and 11. Say goodbye to Microsoft Accounts and sync, thats all part of onedrive. This is blatantly anti consumer BS, maybe if a cloud provider wants to compete they should offer a product someone wants to use. But by all means break a big feature of Windows because your garbage sucks and you demand people should have to know it exists. And Microsoft will not make it interoperable, its their copyrights, OneDrive is used by the DOD and other US Governmental entities and is considered secure for storage of classified data, they arn't going to open that API up because the EU says so, they will simply disable Microsoft Accounts, and along with it profile sync for EU users.
 

yukka

Posts: 1,018   +167
That's the very definition of monopoly. And it have to be addressed.
So we should use other office apps that don’t integrate as well because other companies can’t make money because office is nailing it. Right.