Microsoft has announced that it is now on track to release its new Windows Vista operating system to corporate users in November and to consumers in January, following changes to meet European anti-trust requirements.
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The launch of Vista had been delayed by wrangling with the European Commission over compliance with competition rules. The dispute centred on security and other features in the new operating system that could threaten the market position of rival software firms.
Microsoft has already been fined for failing to comply with a 2004 European Commission anti-trust ruling in relation to earlier versions of Windows – a move it is looking to challenge in the courts.
But in an announcement confirming the Vista launch dates, Microsoft said it had been engaged in “constructive dialogue” with the European Commission.
The software giant’s general counsel, Brad Smith, confirmed that it had made changes to security and internet search in Vista to comply with the commission’s recommendations. Microsoft has also agreed to change the licensing terms attached to its XML Paper Specification file format (XPS) and to submit the format to an international standards body.
“We appreciate the constructive dialogue we have had with the commission and the guidance the commission has provided. Based on this guidance, we have made changes to ensure that we’re in compliance with our competition law obligations, and we are moving forward to make Windows Vista available on a worldwide basis,” Smith said.
He added that Microsoft was “committed to continuing this type of dialogue in the future”.
The company has also made changes to Vista to comply with competition rules in Korea.