Windows Vista and the EU: Signs of More Anti-Trust Battles?


The built-in security features that most observers agree are the main upside of Windows Vista are now surfacing as the prime sore spot between Remond and its old pal, the European Commission.


Microsoft has released what sounds like a preemptive statement declaring that the European release of Vista is on track -- unless, of course, EU trade authorities demand that Microsoft strip out built-in security features to meet their anti-trust standards.


The EU, for its part, says Microsoft is dodging responsibility for being a "near-monopolist," according to a Reuters report.


Aside from the antagonistic tone of these statements, recent history also foreshadows a renewed anti-trust scuffle with the EU. Its current sanctions against Microsoft were predicated largely by the close ties between Windows and Media Player, which the EU deemed to unfairly impede competition. How can the EU view a built-in virus scanning service any differently?


Back in the States, Microsoft is rolling along toward its planned release of Vista with a much-hyped announcement of peripherals "optimized" for for the new OS, and pretty much everything else.


On the high end is a Bluetooth-enabled wireless keyboard kit that's rolling out at $250. An article at The Seattle Post-Intelligencer actually went to the bother of interviewing analysts who said the ultra-sleek "command center," as one MS spokesman dubbed it, will appeal only to a small niche of enthusiasts.


We'll just keep hacking away at the keyboards that come with our OEM systems, thanks all the same.

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