Rival says Microsoft unready to obey European order

Microsoft is failing to comply with a European Commission order to sell an unbundled version of its Windows operating system, competitors that were asked to examine the program said on Tuesday.

A year ago, Mario Monti, then the European commissioner for competition, ordered Microsoft to sell a second version of Windows in Europe that has its music and video-playing program, Media Player, stripped out. The order was intended to restore competition. The second version, installed with a rival alternative to Media Player, is supposed to be introduced in the next few weeks.

But David R. Stewart, deputy general counsel for RealNetworks, said Tuesday that Microsoft was still not ready to comply with the European ruling. RealNetworks, of Seattle, which makes rival software, has the most to gain from enforcement of the order. The commission has yet to decide whether Microsoft's proposal for introducing the unbundled version of Windows meets its requirements. Stewart contended that "the version of Windows Microsoft is proposing to sell has technical problems that render it less functional than the existing version of Windows."

News source: C|Net News.com

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