Will the EC Delay Vista?

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-09-20 Print this article Print

Opinion: Microsoft and the European Commission are at a standoff over the bundling of security software in Windows Vista. Who wins will determine the fate of Vista and the economy that has been built around it. (Microsoft Watch)

Are Microsoft and the European Commission set for a major showdown? Or is all the talk of a possible delay when Windows Vista ships in Europe and concerns about the new security features in the operating system just more bluster between the two sides? Microsoft has been speaking out of both sides of its mouth on this issue lately, trying to scare European lawmakers into pressuring the Commission to taking the action it wants: essentially, specific guidance about whether or not Vista is in compliance with European competition law.
Last week, the Redmond, Wash., software giant said it remains on track to ship Vista in Europe at the same time as in the United States, where it is expected to be available to businesses in November and to consumers in late January 2007.
But the week before it was lamenting about how much it could not guarantee that this would happen, as the Commission had not given it the assurances it sought with regard to the new security features in Vista. Further frustrating Microsoft is the fact that while the Commission has said it has no intention of preventing Vista from being more secure, it also wants to make sure that those improvements do not in any way prevent competition between providers or for customers. A delay in Microsofts release of Windows Vista could hurt its partners—and consumers. Click here to read more. The Commission has also made it quite clear that it is under no obligation to give Microsoft the green light to ship Vista in Europe and that it is the software makers responsibility as a "near-monopolist" to follow EU competition rules and not abuse its dominant position. As such, while Microsoft has included new security technologies like BitLocker, Windows Security Center and PatchGuard in Vista, the EC has not been shy in asking its competitors what they think about these new technologies being bundled into Vista. Read the full story on Microsoft Watch: Will Europe Delay Vista? Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at www.eweek.com.


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