WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Microsofts critics are increasing in number. Attorneys general from six states sent a letter to Microsoft stating concerns about anticompetitive aspects of the upcoming Windows XP system.
The Sept. 20 letter to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer from Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell was delivered on behalf of attorneys general from Arkansas, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
"Today, we write to you to express our support for concerns raised by the states and the Department of Justice in the litigation," Sorrell wrote. "Given our understanding of Microsofts new [Windows] XP operating system [OS] . . . we are concerned that aspects of this new product may lead to further erosion of competition in various software markets."
Microsoft could not be reached for comment.
The attorneys general wrote of their deep concern that Microsoft has ignored an appeals courts ruling that the company has illegally maintained its OS monopoly as it moves to cement Windows XP in the marketplace.
"Microsoft may have constructed this new product without due regard for relevant legal rulings, and without due regard for other issues involving consumer choice and consumer privacy," the letter said.
There has been widespread worry in the U.S. and the European Union that Microsoft continues to use its OS power to muscle out competing applications, particularly media player technology.
The letter went on to say that the attorneys general agree fully with the 18 states bringing suit against Microsoft that Windows XP must be considered when punishments are meted out by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.
"We therefore are supportive of efforts of the litigating states and the Department of Justice to incorporate Windows XP into the remedy phase of the remanded case," the letter said.
The document came to light the same day the DOJ and Microsoft met in court to set the ground rules for the final phase of the trial.