The European Union's antitrust agency on Monday said it was examining complaints from a group of Microsoft rivals about the American company's Windows Vista operating system.
According to the European Commission's spokesman, the agency first received the complaint in February 2006, with a follow-up in December that included more information. "In December their complaint was about Vista in particular," he says. "We are examining the complaint. That's all we can say."
Last week, the European Committee for Interoperable Standards, a lobbying group whose members include Microsoft competitors Adobe, IBM, Opera, RealNetworks, Red Hat, and Sun Microsystems, sent a letter to the commission charging that Vista violates EU antitrust laws and the 2004 ruling against Microsoft. That decision fined Microsoft a record $613 million and forced it to unbundle some applications from Windows XP. In July 2006, the commission followed that with another $357 million fine for not producing documentation on interoperability protocols.
In October 2006, the EU pressured Microsoft into making changes to the still-in-development Vista, which included creating new APIs (application programming interfaces) to let third-party security vendors access information from the 64-bit kernel and block duplicate security alerts to users who have installed a rival status dashboard.