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EU Concerned Windows Vista Could Break Antitrust Rules

Investigation not pending, but commission wonders about integration of new features that can put Microsoft back into antitrust violation.

(Brussels, Belgium) -- EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes has written to Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer to outline EU concerns that Windows Vista could break antitrust rules, said EU spokesman Jonathan Todd.

Todd said regulators were worried that Vista's new functions would mean customers would not be offered a real choice on software packages.

"We're concerned about the possibility that the next Vista operating system will include various elements which are currently available separately from Microsoft or other companies," he told reporters.

He highlighted Vista's integrated Internet search, digital rights management and software that would create fixed document formats comparable to Adobe's .PDF.

There is no investigation into Vista at this stage, he said.

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Reader Comments:

Wed, Apr 5, 2006 Loyal Anonymous

Sun releaased its latest version of "Star Office" and it has free PDF software converters in it. Why can't Microsoft give it away as well? The OS cost as much as combining many of those third party aps any how. They should be giving features away. They should throw in Windows One Care as a security solution for home computer users as well. I know this would cripple the ant-virus market and all, but they make a living making fun of security flaws. If Microsoft gave away new security features more often, they might not be so vocal and quick to attack.
Many Versions of Linux such as Xandros give away Skype, versions of Mozilla, and open office, all on One CD for $9-$89 depending on who you buy it from. How does that not combine too many competing features all on one disk? They are free and poorly updated most of the time anyhow, but hey, you get what you pay for.

Sat, Apr 1, 2006 Matthew UK

Funny, M$ we're getting all hyped up over Google taking over the planet, now they're having a go. All bow down to bill gates, our new dictator of software ::rolls eyes::

Fri, Mar 31, 2006 Ray UK

The EU in brussels is trying to justify its existence. Another layer of government making rules and getting paid wedges of money. Who cares. Its a free market out there. If Somebody comes up with something better they'll do the same to them. By the way its not only American companys that get it. We've got to have straight bananas.

Thu, Mar 30, 2006 phil uk

"A bunch of crybabies who can't stand that US companies get things done". Oh come off it. The US can't even torture its own suspects any more - even that gets outsourced by "The Compnay". As for getting things done the Microsoft product roadmap is a contenderer for best new work of fiction. They can't stick to a deadline to save themselves. And the "EU organizational manadate" what is that? A secret conspiricy by the cheese-eating surrender monkeys to stop you good ol' boys from eating too much and buying crap cars?

Thu, Mar 30, 2006 Anonymous Anonymous

Please yes ... let's have NT 4.0 back and dump the bloated, resource hungry O/Ss like XP and Vista ;-)

Thu, Mar 30, 2006 Anonymous Omaha

How about Gates, Balmer and company get smart -- rerelease Windows NT 4.0 as the European version and let everyone know there will be NO MORE development on any packages for EU clients.

Then, anyone wanting anything released for the US market will have to sign an agreement saying that they recognize they are going against the EU organizational mandate and will accept the product they buy anyway.

This will allow Microsoft to spend more on development, etc. and less on lawyers to defend against a bunch of crybabies who can't stand that US companies get things done instead of complaining about the competition.

In other words -- let the court of public opinion and the people making the purchases make the decisions instead of lawyers looking to make a buck and tie things up in court for years.

s

Thu, Mar 30, 2006 Anonymous Anonymous

I'm not surprised they are "concerned"

Microsoft should skip a release with them to fire a shot across their bow

Thu, Mar 30, 2006 Anonymous Anonymous

no kidding.

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