On the eve of a visit from Microsoft chief Bill Gates, the European Union (EU) said yesterday that it still has problems with how the software...
BRUSSELS, Belgium — On the eve of a visit from Microsoft chief Bill Gates, the European Union (EU) said yesterday that it still has problems with how the software giant is complying with the terms of a landmark ruling forcing the company to change its business practices.
Microsoft has said it will soon send computer manufacturers a version of its Windows platform without Media Player, under an interim EU ruling in December.
But the European Commission said yesterday it was still negotiating with the company over how the stripped-down version would be presented to consumers. The EU head office also has problems with the providing of information to allow third parties to ensure group servers function properly on Windows PCs.
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Microsoft agreed over the weekend to use another name for the stripped-down version after the commission balked at “Windows XP Reduced Media Edition.” Industry analysts thought the name would discourage sales.
The commission ruled in March that Microsoft wielded its Windows software monopoly abusively and locked competitors out of the market. It also imposed a $651 million fine and forced the company to share some software blueprints with competitors.
Gates will visit EU headquarters today and have talks with the top trade, industry and internal-market commissioners, but no meeting was planned with the head of the antitrust office, which imposed the measures on Microsoft.