Microsoft is giving in to demands from the European Union (EU) and will be releasing a stripped-down version of Windows Vista for that region. The company will also offer a similar version of Windows for the South Korean market in order to stave off further litigation.
"Microsoft agreed to make each of the changes that the Commission advises us today. Having made these changes, the company and (Microsoft Chief Executive) Steve Ballmer feel comfortable moving forward, feel confident that we are in compliance with our EU competition law obligation," said Brad Smith, an attorney for Microsoft. Whether the changes made will appease the EU remain to be seen. Reuters reports "The Commission, the EU's executive, said it recognized that Microsoft had made the changes to Vista but declined to comment on whether it was satisfied, reiterating that it was not up to the EU executive to give Vista a green light."
A number of companies have expressed their concerns to the EU over possible anti-trust violations in Windows Vista. Symantec and Adobe complained about Windows PatchGuard and the XPS document format respectively. Likewise, in the United States, Microsoft has also come under fire from McAfee and was the subject of a rather negative newspaper ad.
Despite the changes made to the operating system, Vista's launch will not be delayed in Europe or South Korea. The company had once threatened to delay the release of Vista due to uncompromising demands from the EU, but everything appears to be on track as of now. As it stands, Microsoft is set on a worldwide volume licensee release on November 30.
quote: It's important to note that Kernel Patch Protection applies uniformly to Microsoft products as well as third party products. No code is allowed to modify the kernel using unsupported patching techniques. Security products developed by Microsoft only have access to the same supported interfaces that any other vendor would use.