Gaining the commissions approval
The organizations to appear on behalf of the commission are RealNetworks, the SIIA (Software and Information Industry Association), the FSF Europe and Los Angeles-based advertising media company VideoBanner. "We believe strongly that the appeals process will benefit from the participation of the broadest possible range of European companies," said a Microsoft spokesman in an interview.Microsofts compliance with the antitrust remedies has yet to gain the commissions approval.In January the commission rejected Microsofts proposed name for the unbundled Windows"Reduced Media Edition"and Microsoft has submitted a range of other proposals, the spokesman said. The commission has market-tested the names to assess how consumers will view them, and is now analyzing the tests. Microsoft originally planned to deliver the unbundled Windows to retail by the end of February. PC manufacturers already have the software. Microsoft and Time Warner Inc. got a break from the commission this week when the body decided not to review the companies acquisition of ContentGuard Holdings Inc., a maker of anti-piracy software. The commission withdrew its scrutiny after French electronics giant Thomson joined the deal, saying it lacked the appropriate authority. However, Director General of Competition Philip Lowe said there may be ongoing antitrust concerns in the "long term" and said the commission would continue to monitor the market situation. In addition to the unbundled Windows, Microsoft is also required to license Windows server protocols to competitors. Both remedies are intended to address competitive imbalances created by Microsofts effective monopoly on desktop operating systems, the commission said. But even given the relatively quick institution of the penalties, some competitors say they are unlikely to make much difference, since Microsoft has already eliminated nearly all media-player competition. Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.