updated 11:00 am EST, Fri January 26, 2007
Vista draws fire in Europe
Microsoft has yet to release its forthcoming Office 2007 software and Windows Vista operating system -- which will compete with Apple's Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard release due in the spring -- but both of Microsoft's suites are already subject to formal complaints by competitors, according to one report. Several chief rivals to Microsoft's core Office and Windows businesses -- including Adobe, Corel, RealNetworks, and Linux distributor Red-Hat -- petitioned the European Commission and argued that the Redmond developer was about to repeat the same anti-competitive mistakes that 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, according to Reuters. 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 it will look into 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 in an attempt to 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 Redmond-based company, according to Electronista.