Vista free from anti-trust woes so far

So far, Microsoft's Windows Vista OS complies with Microsoft's anti-trust settlement, according to a US court report.


So far, Microsoft's Windows Vista OS complies with Microsoft's anti-trust settlement, according to a US court report.

The company has addressed all Vista's antitrust issues pertaining to third-party middleware, according to the report, filed in US District Court in Washington, DC. Microsoft has been cooperating better with the court's technical committee, and will help other vendors get their software ready for Vista before the OS ships, the report said.

Around 30 vendors of instant messaging programs, media players, e-mail clients Internet browsers and other software, are working with regulators and Microsoft on how their software works with Vista, the report said.

The US government and states that were a party to the antitrust suit against Microsoft have conducted "extensive testing" of interim builds of Vista and Internet Explorer 7 to ensure compliance with the November 2002 anti-trust settlement, it also said.

As part of the 2002 settlement, Microsoft agreed to license communication protocols to IT vendors interested in developing server software that works smoothly with its Windows operating system.

After complaints, Microsoft is rewriting some of the technical documentation for its Microsoft Communications Protocol Program (MCPP).

The status report said Microsoft has made the new documentation easier to understand, but the company needs to stay on schedule for delivering further documents. Microsoft has until November 2009 to provide the information.

The European Commission has also been scrutinising Vista, following its own 2004 anti-trust ruling against Microsoft. So far, the Commission has taken no action against Vista. Microsoft has warned that delaying Vista's European launch could hurt Europe's economy.

Microsoft plans to release Vista to business customers on 30 November.

In 2004, the Commission fined Microsoft €497 million (US$613 million at the time) for abusing its monopoly in the desktop OS market, ordered it to release a version of Windows XP without Windows Media Player software, and mandated it to license and document protocols used by its server products. Microsoft is appealing the decision before the European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg.

Original reporting by UDG News Service

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