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Security bundling prompts another EU anti-trust case against Microsoft

Antony Savvas

Microsoft is facing an anti-trust case brought by the European Commission over the way it is starting to bundle security products with its Windows operating system.

Symantec is believed to have made informal complaints to the commission over the way Microsoft is making a big play in the security products business.

Symantec is particularly concerned about the introduction of the new Windows Vista operating system next year, which is expected to contain a whole range of new security solutions.

Symantec said it had not made any formal complaint to the commission but confirmed it had supplied information to the European legislative body. It is not clear whether other security software suppliers are part of a wider investigation by the commission into the security software market.

Windows XP already comes with an integrated firewall product, while the forthcoming Internet Explorer 7 browser will have new anti-phishing and spyware features to protect users from remote attackers.

Microsoft has already released a free anti-spyware beta to users and a limited public beta is currently in circulation to test the company’s OneCare anti-virus consumer product.

Earlier this week, Microsoft said it would be introducing a beta for an enterprise security protection product, called Microsoft Client Protection, by the end of the year.

With these products coming on stream and Microsoft expected to introduce a host of other new security technologies, partly generated by recent acquisitions, Windows Vista is expected to be the most protected operating system the company has ever released.

Microsoft is already dealing with the ramifications of a European Commission anti-trust case it lost last year over the way it sold the Windows operating system in Europe.


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