Microsoft's chief lawyer has confirmed that the software company will appeal following the break down of talks with the EU over alleged antitrust abuse.

Microsoft chief counsel Brad Smith told Dow Jones Business News: "We've always said that we would prefer to work this out. Given that we haven't been able to do so, it's clear that we will all be able to benefit from the clarity that the courts can bring to these questions."

According to Smith, talks failed because: "We were not able to reach agreement on a formula that would solve all future questions in respect to other issues. We certainly worked very hard with people at the Commission. Ultimately we were not able to come to a common point of view on future questions and other cases."

He confirmed that although talks have failed, the process has been "very constructive, very cooperative and very professional", and that the company appreciates "all the constructive spirit and hard work brought to the table by both sides".