Microsoft to release Windows in Europe
Microsoft Corp., facing antitrust concerns in Europe, will release the coming version of its Windows operating system, Windows 7, without a Web browser in the region.
The move comes after European Union regulators said in January that including a browser in Microsoft's Windows operating system likely breached European antitrust rules. Windows is on more than 90% of the world's computers.
In a statement on the company's Web site Thursday, Dave Heiner, deputy general counsel for Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft, confirmed that the company would offer Internet Explorer, its Web browsing software, separately from the Windows product in Europe.
"Given the pending legal proceeding, we've decided that instead of including Internet Explorer in Windows 7 in Europe, we will offer it separately and on an easy-to-install basis to both computer manufacturers and users."
"This means that computer manufacturers and users will be free to install Internet Explorer on Windows 7, or not, as they prefer."
The statement followed an earlier report from CNet.com.
The EU has long been at loggerheads with Microsoft over its "bundling" practices, whereby one piece of software is included free with another one, which is sold. In early 2008, Microsoft was fined 899 million euros ($1.26 billion) for noncompliance with an earlier ruling that found that it had breached antitrust law by not making technical information relating to its Media Player software available to rivals.
But some observers have pointed out that Microsoft's market share in the browser market has actually shrunk amid challenges from rivals such as Firefox, a browser made by the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation, as well as Google Inc. and Apple Inc., both of which make browser software.
This raises questions over whether Microsoft's dominance in the market for personal computer software allows it to dominate the Internet browser market.
According to AT Internet Institute, Internet Explorer had just under 60% share of the browser market in Europe, while Firefox had just over a third. As little as two years ago, Internet Explorer's share was over 80%.
Windows 7 is scheduled to be generally available on Oct. 22.
Источник: Total Telecom
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