Xbox Linux team issues EU antitrust plea

The programmers who got Linux to run on Microsoft's gaming console now want the EC's antitrust body to head off a legal response, sending an open letter to the European Commission, asking the EU's executive arm to protect their efforts to build Linux software for Microsoft's Xbox video game console.

Three members of the Xbox Linux Project, which has successfully built versions of the GNU/Linux operating system that can be run on the Xbox, argued in a letter faxed to the EC's antitrust arm that the console is little more than a Microsoft-only PC system cross-subsidised by the software company's operating system monopoly.

The project's letter raises questions about the extent to which computer manufacturers should be allowed to control what runs on their hardware. Intel and Microsoft are working on initiatives that would tighten controls over how software is allowed to run on PCs.

The project is hoping to be able to release a version of Linux that can be booted on an Xbox without the use of a mod chip, and says it has contacted Microsoft on three occasions to ask that Microsoft "sign" the software -- attaching a cryptographic code that would allow the console to recognise it as legitimate.

View: XBox Linux Project's EU letter

News source: ZDNet

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