Feeds

Windows Vista under EC spotlight

Probe extended

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Microsoft has moved to re-assure European regulators there's nothing anti-competitive going on with its delayed Windows Vista operating system.

The company told the European Commission Wednesday it's working hard with partners and competitors to build products and services capable of working with Windows Vista.

Microsoft said it was a "priority" to keep outsiders informed about product plans. "We have worked hard to include partners and competitors in our planning so they can build products and services that work with Windows Vista," Microsoft said. Microsoft was responding after it emerged European competition commissioner Neelie Kroes has taken what could turn into the first steps in an official investigation into Windows Vista.

Kroes is reported to have written to Microsoft's chief executive Steve Ballmer expressing worries about Windows Vista's bundling of features. Concerns specifically appear to center on packaging of internet search functions and software, and the ability to create fixed document formats.

Kroes told the Wall St Journal Europe he expects Microsoft will design Windows Vista "in a way which is in line with European competition laws." "It would be rather stupid to design something that is not," Kroes said.

The warning comes as Microsoft prepares for two days of hearings into whether it should pay a 200-million-a-day euro fine for allegedly failing to comply with the terms of a 2004 EC ruling that found Microsoft had hurt the competition in low-end servers and media players through its established practice of bundling software.

Microsoft does at least appear to have taken some steps to satisfy regulators in Windows Vista. The company plans SKUs of the home and business edition without the Media Player, which helped originally land the company in hot water with Europe's competition chiefs.

As is Microsoft's way, though, the latest planned version of its operating system promises integration in other areas that were bound to concern regulators. Aside from search and document formats, there is also tighter integration at an architectural level with Office.

Pressure, or even a probe, from Europe is unlikely to get in the way of Microsoft's already delayed development and delivery plans for Windows Vista. Microsoft pressed on with Windows XP in 2001 despite the fact its long-running case with the US Department of Justice hadn't wrapped-up.®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer quits Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.