EU Ruling Could Further Alter Windows Bundling

By Matthew Hicks  |  Print this article Print


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

The expected European ruling this week against Microsoft is likely to set a precedent for when and where the software maker can add software and functionality to the operating system, opening it to further antitrust lawsuits, experts say.

When European Union regulators rule this week in their antitrust case against Microsoft Corp., their decision will do more than possibly force the software maker to offer Windows without a bundled multimedia player.

It appears likely to set a precedent for when and where Microsoft can integrate other software into the operating system and also to provide a legal analysis that could be used in private antitrust action against Microsoft in Europe, say legal experts and IT analysts.

The European Commission is expected to approve on Wednesday findings and recommended remedies against Microsoft that include a requirement that Microsoft offer two version of Windows for Europe—one with Windows Media Player included and another with it stripped out.

The EU's competition commissioner, Mario Monti, indicated the precedent-setting nature of the likely remedies in a statement last week after talks broke down between the EU and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

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Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for eWEEK.com, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for eWEEK.com. Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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