back to article Top cloud players reject Microsoft's attempt to settle EU licensing complaint

Microsoft has tried, so far unsuccessfully, to settle a complaint about alleged unfair software licensing policies in the cloud filed last year by a collection of Euro cloud providers with the European Commission's antitrust team. The Cloud Service Providers in Europe (CISPE) trade group representing 26 regional cloud …

  1. VoiceOfTruth

    The only chance the Euro companies have

    Is to force data sovereignty - European data must be kept in Europe and not transferred to the spyhole of the world. This would mean MS, AWS, Google would have the same basic infrastructure costs rather than leveraging already-built-at-scale data centres in the USA. Sure, there will always be differences at the scale they operate at. But being unable to (mis)use US data centres would change their business methods.

    1. talk_is_cheap

      Re: The only chance the Euro companies have

      This has nothing to do with the location of the server on which data is held, but rather the fees charged by Microsoft to install their software on the server and what other software you have to license at the same time.

      MS, AWS, and Google all have EU-based services that conform to the data sovereignty rules you hint at. But it is often far cheaper to license Microsoft Server and Microsoft SQL when installing it on a node at Microsoft Azure than any other cloud provider regardless of location. Such pricing can be considered anti-competitive practices and so such cases as this can result.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The only chance the Euro companies have

        As long as you are hosting anything at MS, or using any MS cloud service, you are in violation of the GDPR since the US security apparatus has access to it under the CLOUD act.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The only chance the Euro companies have

          Oh, there's much worse, but I can't talk about that yet. I first need to file a formal complaint, have it rejected by the national privacy watchdogs who have been told by the government to pretty much ignore any Microsoft violation and then bring it up at EU level and watch it explode. Takes a while, but it'll be worth the wait.

          Rule one when dealing anything from Microsoft or which has their involvement: don't trust it.

        2. TimMaher Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: The only chance the Euro companies have

          We need to get “Mad Max” Schrems on the case.

      2. LybsterRoy Silver badge

        Re: The only chance the Euro companies have

        -- Such pricing can be considered anti-competitive practices and so such cases as this can result. --

        Its interesting that an extremely competitive practice (ie charging less than your competitor) has come to be labeled as anti-competitive. Its about on a par with expecting Tesco to sell goods to the corner shop at low cost so that the corner shop can compete with Tesco on price.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: an extremely competitive practice

          >> Its interesting that an extremely competitive practice (ie charging less than your competitor) has come to be labeled as anti-competitive.

          It's not being cheaper than the competition which is anti-competitive. It's being the manufacturer of market-dominating products while also acting as a reseller of the very same products, using your advantage of also being the manufacturer to massively undercut your competitors.

          >> Its about on a par with expecting Tesco to sell goods to the corner shop at low cost so that the corner shop can compete with Tesco on price.

          No, it's not, not even close.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The only chance the Euro companies have

          Microsoft’s license terms dictate that customers cannot, for example, run Office 365 on any server hosted by GCP, AWS or Alibaba. This includes VDI workloads, Robotic Automation workloads and crucially, the installation of a copy of Office on a server to support the requirements of an application to output an excel spreadsheet or word document or something similar. These are relatively new licensing restrictions and mean that customers have no option than to spend vast amounts of. Money moving workloads OFF GCP, Alibaba and AWS if they want to remain license compliant. Microsoft suggest the solution to the Office 365 license restriction is to move the workloads to Azure……

    2. EvaQ

      Re: The only chance the Euro companies have

      "The only chance the Euro companies have" ... how about Pound companies?

      Euro = money.

      I think the poster means "EU". If so, please say so.

      1. Claverhouse Silver badge

        Re: The only chance the Euro companies have

        Britain doesn't count. We have freed ourselves from Tyranny and are now free to make our own arrangements with any outside partner; just like an ordinary worker taking control by leaving his trade union and now able to renegotiate with his bosses on an equal footing by and on behalf of only himself.

        1. TimMaher Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: The only chance the Euro companies have

          I didn’t see the <snark> tag @Claverhouse.

    3. ChoHag Silver badge

      Re: The only chance the Euro companies have

      I'm pretty sure Google et al have a computer or two in Europe.

  2. pnunn

    When the hell are the corporate IT goons going to wake up to the fact that all of these cloud offerings are nothing more than elaborate advertising scams to extract more money from the IT budget and absolutely NOTHING to do with saving costs.

    The best option here. Ditch Windows. Its really not that hard.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: cloud offerings are nothing more than elaborate advertising scams

      >> When the hell are the corporate IT goons going to wake up to the fact that all of these cloud offerings are nothing more than elaborate advertising scams to extract more money from the IT budget and absolutely NOTHING to do with saving costs.

      Well, many are beginning to realize that, after the ransom payments have skyrocketed to a level that makes on-prem look like a bargain in an increasing number of cases.

      There are elements where cloud does makes sense (such as hosting email/messaging/calendars), but for more stuff it really doesn't.

      >> The best option here. Ditch Windows. Its really not that hard.

      You're right, it's not (we have a number of clients who did exactly that, although they are all engineering centered companies), but when CTOs and other decision makers know little about what else is out there it's no surprise that Microsoft has such a big stranglehold on businesses around the world.

      Then there's also Microsoft Office and the Stockholm syndrome around it.

      But yes, often (not always, though) alternatives exist (also enterprise-grade), and I have little sympathy for businesses that enslave themselves to a company like Microsoft with a lackluster understanding of security, a track record of truly abhorrent software quality and the aim to turn everything including the kitchen sink into an advertising space.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      When the hell are the corporate IT goons going to wake up to the fact that all of these cloud offerings are nothing more than elaborate advertising scams to extract more money from the IT budget and absolutely NOTHING to do with saving costs.

      As long as they get a slice or a fat budget to play with they will not care one jot.

      It's not their own money they're spending, after all. Same principle in politics, which makes life easy for Microsoft.

  3. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Upside Down

    The entire business world is these days.

    Instead of a business telling a supplier what they want, we have these huge corporations telling companies what they can have and how much they must pay for it. - no negotiation.

  4. Stuart Castle Silver badge

    The photo on the front page for this article is a little wierd, but makes me nostalgic for John Lettuce's playmobil recreations of various things that happened..

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