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Microsoft Vows To Fight Korea's Windows Ruling

In the final ruling, the Korean commission ordered Microsoft to offer two new Windows editions. One must strip out Windows Media Player and Windows Messenger, and would be similar to the "N" version ordered last year by the European Union.
After South Korea's Fair Trade Commission Friday ordered Microsoft to produce two new versions of Windows, the Redmond, Wash.-based company vowed to appeal the ruling.

On Friday, the Korean FTC (KFTC), which has worked the case since 2001, issued the final edition of a preliminary decision given late last year.

In the final ruling, the commission ordered Microsoft to offer two new Windows editions. One must strip out Windows Media Player and Windows Messenger, and would be similar to the "N" version ordered last year by the European Union. The other must include links to sites from which users can download competitors of Microsoft's player and instant messenger.

To no one's surprise, Microsoft Friday said it would file an appeal within 30 days. When the KFTC laid out its preliminary decision in December, Microsoft had then promised it would fight the charges.

"[This] is one step in a long legal process, and we believe the facts will show that Microsoft's actions have respected Korean law," Microsoft said in the statement.

"The restrictions proposed by the KFTC are different and even more than those required by the European Commission," the statement continued. "Microsoft would need to develop and distribute two new versions of Windows for Korea, including a version that has significant features removed. It remains difficult to understand how Korean consumers would benefit from such a product."

Last year, Microsoft briefly threatened to leave the Korean market if the KFTC pressed its case, but later retracted the ultimatum.

Antitrust actions have plagued Microsoft for nearly eight years. It has settled actions filed by the U.S. government and various states, and is in the middle of an appeal of a 2004 verdict by the European Union.