Microsoft Vista gets criticism before its launching in Europe

By EDRi · September 27, 2006

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

Vista, the new operating system developed by Microsoft, has received
vivid criticism from European officials and possible competitors regarding
the new features that might take advantage of the Microsoft position in the

Two major software companies, Symantec and Adobe, have complained to EU
regarding certain electronic document and security features of Vista.

Symantec has expressed its concern related to the Windows Security Center
and to the feature called PatchGuard that blocks access to the system
kernel. Adobe has complained about the inclusion in the new Microsoft
product of a free software for reading and writing electronic documents.

In its turn, the European Commission has also expressed concerns on how
compatible the new operating system would be with other
companies’ products. It also fears that Microsoft’s product could eliminate
the competition in computer security.

A letter was sent to Microsoft in March 2006, on this matter, by
commissioner Neelie Kroes expressing the fear that the bundling of Vista
with a very sophisticated antivirus program would have a similar impact as
to the bundling of Media Player with Windows XP in 2004. Then, the
Commission had fined Microsoft about 500 million euro considering the
bundling as anti-competitive and ordered a new version of Windows without
Media Player for the European market.

Microsoft and its partners has accused the Commission of driving a
“vendetta” against the company and advised over the risk that the EU
actions would delay the release of Vista.

In response to the criticisms, the EU Competition Commissioner said that the
agency was not taking actions to prevent Microsoft from making its operating
system more secure but was trying to ensure competitiveness is kept on the
security software market. Kroes emphasized that she was not asking Microsoft
to launch Vista without any security system but she wanted to see changes in
the European version to open it up to other software producers.

In a letter to Financial Times she wrote: “I have seen it suggested that the
Commission may seek to prevent Microsoft from improving the security of its
operating system. This is categorically not the case.”

While hoping that the Commission will not ask for the removal of security
features in Europe, Microsoft has announced the launching of the product for

European Union Criticized for Action Against Microsoft

EU Commissioner defends herself against Microsoft’s criticism (20.09.2006)

Yet Another Antitrust Challenge for Microsoft? (21.09.2006),127219-page,1-c,vistalonghorn/article.html#

Adobe, Symantec ask EU to ban Vista bundling (21.09.2006),+Symantec+ask+EU+to+ban+Vista+bundling/2100-1014_3-6117994.html

Microsoft accused over Vista row (19.09.2006)