“To smooth the rising bad feelings, Mr. Ballmer last April
quietly sought the meeting with Ms. Kroes. Despite the leak to the
press, the meeting went well, both sides say. Ms. Kroes said she
didn’t want confrontation. ‘I’m just looking for practical results
in the market,’ she told Mr. Ballmer, both sides confirm. Mr.
Ballmer said he agreed, and they sketched out a rough road map for
resolving their differences by the end of May 2005.
“There was one important sticking point: Ms. Kroes was adamant
that companies that service and distribute the increasingly popular
Linux computer operating system, including Red Hat, be able to use
the programming manual Microsoft had been ordered to develop. Many
businesses favor Linux because its cost is nominal and its
underlying programming code is published openly, making it a
cheaper, more flexible alternative to Windows…”