"I intend to publish a yearly progress report on the Digital Agenda with a scoreboard on how we are doing in terms of implementation. This scoreboard will chart progress towards the key targets outlined in the Digital Agenda," Kroes told EurActiv.
The commissioner said one of her main priorities will be ensuring that new market trends in digital consumer goods do not lock buyers into supporting monopolies.
"User data is moving more and more into the 'cloud' and people are getting their music, videos and applications digitally (for example through iTunes) instead of buying them in physical media," Kroes said.
"We need to make sure that significant market players cannot just choose to deny interoperability with their product. This is particularly important in cases where standards don't exist," she said.
"Under the Digital Agenda for Europe, we will examine the feasibility of introducing measures to make big market players license interoperability information."
The lack of interoperability information was at the heart of one of her most high-profile battles with ICT giant Microsoft, which cost the company a $1.3 billion fine in 2008.
"This is not just about Microsoft or any big company like Apple, IBM or Intel. The main challenge is that consumers need choice when it comes to software or hardware products," the commissioner insisted.
"Any kind of IT product should be able to communicate with any type of service in the future," she added.
Applications for Apple products, like the iPhone, were another example of a big market player locking consumers into proprietary technology, the commissioner said.
Kroes said she plans to ask big market players' to start licensing information that for the moment they are not making available at all. Those same players have cast doubt on whether the commissioner will go so far.
Commenting on previous efforts to introduce a European Interoperability Framework (EIF), CompTIA, a global ICT industry group with companies such as Microsoft among its members, said it was ''concerned about the proposal's promotion of ICT standards and development models that reject valid intellectual property".
"Any company which holds a significant market position and acts against interoperability should know that the Commission is ready to act to defend the interests of European consumers," the commissioner insisted.
Kroes herself is also answerable to the Commission, which this year set out the 'Europe 2020' strategy, the EU's action plan for growth, which has very specific broadband targets.
Under the strategy, all Europeans should have access to broadband by 2013 and by 2020 all Europeans should have access to much higher Internet speeds (30 Mbps or more), while 50% (or more) of European households should have connections above 100 Mbps.
However, a policy to foster more competition among networks has suffered constant delays and the question still remains as to whether it will give investors – mainly large network operators – the right incentive to roll out more network infrastructure to accommodate faster connectivity.
"The goal is to strike a balance between the need to promote efficient investment and innovation in new and enhanced infrastructures and ensuring competition to the benefit of European consumers," Kroes said, speaking about the difficulty in striking the right balance in the upcoming Next Generation Access (NGA) recommendation.
"The recommendation will take due account of investment risk using a risk premium in exchange for regulated access prices to boost competition," Kroes further explained.
For smaller operators, the Commission may use term and volume discounts to encourage them to commit to existing networks.
Neither small nor incumbent networks will be completely happy with the EU executive's conditions for regulated access, a Commission source told EurActiv.
The European Telecoms and Network Operators Association (ETNO), however, welcomed the commissioner's recognition of the need to address investment risks, including through risk-sharing agreements.
"In order to achieve the intended effect on investment, the NGA recommendation should include real incentives for investors and access seekers to enter in such agreements," said Michael Bartholomew, the association's director.
The NGA recommendation is now foreseen for September, and not late June as had been expected.