Monday, January 03, 2005

Microsoft loses again

Dec 29th 2004 From The Economist print edition

First, it must provide in European markets a stripped-down version of its Windows operating system without a media player (the software that plays music and video on a PC). This is to prevent Microsoft's media format becoming the de facto industry standard by dint of the firm's operating system monopoly.

Second, Microsoft must license technical information to rivals so their products can interface with its server software as efficiently as Microsoft's own products do.

Making Microsoft “unbundle” its media player is a symbolic victory: it is not certain that PC-makers will actually offer PCs with the stripped-down version of Windows. Yet it could set a precedent that will force Microsoft to unbundle other bits of Windows in future. That is why the firm was so keen to reach a settlement with the commission.

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