updated 10:50 am EST, Fri January 26, 2007
Microsoft in EU Vista Row
Though Microsoft has yet to release its highly anticipated Windows Vista and Office 2007 suites, both are already subject to official complaints by competitors, according to Reuters. Petitioning the European Commission, several chief rivals to Microsoft's core Office and Windows businesses -- including Adobe, Corel, RealNetworks, and Linux distributor Red-Hat -- argued that the Redmond developer was about to repeat the same anti-competitive mistakes that had ultimately resulted in a 500-million Euro fine in March of 2004.
The attention focused on both the XAML and OOXML formats built into Vista and Office respectively. While technically based on open standards, the two file formats are only designed to work best on systems using Windows and Office, the group said, potentially shutting out some users from work documents or even websites.
The EC has said that it will look into the allegations and is already inclined to support the allegations. Microsoft had "clearly chosen to ignore the fundamental principles" of the 2004 decision and was poised to use XAML to try and control the Internet, according to a spokesman for the European Committee for Interoperable Systems. The 2004 ruling saw Microsoft forced to release Europe-only versions of Windows XP without Windows Media Player after RealNetworks complained that the jukebox software's inclusion stifled its hopes of competing with the OS giant.