Microsoft bows to EU and vows to ship Windows without Media Player

Microsoft is set to comply with the decision of the European Commission forcing it to offer a version of Windows without Windows Media Player. The move follows the failure of Microsoft’s appeal to delay implementation at the end of last year.

The company had sought to delay the remedies imposed by the Commission. This was after it had found that Microsoft had acted unlawfully by using its monopoly control of the operating system to force other media players out of the market.

In a statement Microsoft said it had decided not to appeal against that decision but instead had taken steps to comply with the European Commissions remedies. These include both making it easier for rival developers, such as Real Networks and Apple, to interoperate with Windows and to make a version of Windows available to European OEMs without Windows Media Player. Microsoft says this version will be available ‘in the coming weeks’.

However Microsoft is making it clear it is far from giving up the fight. In a statement the company said, ‘although we will not appeal the December 22 Court ruling, we will continue our appeal on the merits of the Commission’s underlying decision…and are encouraged that the December court order noted that a number of Microsoft’s arguments could provide a basis for overturning the EC’s decision.’

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