Microsoft has warned the European Commission to steer clear of requiring
the removal of important security features in Europe for its new Windows
Vista operating system.
The company said one of its main concerns is that European consumers
have access to the same security features in Windows Vista as everyone
else, said Microsoft’s vice-president and associate general counsel
for Europe, Erich Andersen.
"We want to launch Windows Vista in a fully lawful manner and we want
to avoid regulatory decisions that could increase security risks for
European consumers," Andersen added.
Microsoft has already raised the possibility that it might delay the
introduction of Vista in Europe because of the Commission's antitrust
requirements. The two sides have been locked in a legal battle since
2004, when Brussels landed Microsoft with a multimillion-dollar antitrust
fine and demanded changes in its business practices.
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When Microsoft failed to meet Commission requirements, the EU executive
fined the company another $350m this summer, and now says it is still
waiting for Microsoft to comply with its requirements.
I’m with Microsoft in this instance. While there has certainly been an
antitrust case to answer for Microsoft, the company is undoubtedly
justified in telling Brussels bureaucrats to steer clear of Vista.
It’s one thing for the Commission to safeguard consumers’ interests,
but entirely another to try and start skewing the market before a major
operating system launch, which most users’, if not Microsoft’s rivals,
would welcome for its improved security over previous Windows versions.
Brussels bureaucrats should stick to an area they have monopoly
practices at themselves: bureaucracy!