Following the delay of the PlayStation 3 launch in Europe
, Microsoft officials have also hinted that the launch of the Windows Vista operating system may be delayed in Europe, but not the rest of the world.
According to a Reuters news report
, four British MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) raised the prospect of a delay in a letter to the European Competition Commissioner, as a result of ongoing antitrust actions within the European Union.
Microsoft then responded to the letter, indicating that: “Last spring, we made concrete proposals to the Commission to respond to their concerns about the inclusion of various new features (in Vista) and we are awaiting a response … Once we receive the Commission's response, we will know whether the Commission is seeking additional product design changes that would result in delay in Europe.”
The Microsoft response, as reported by Reuters, continues with the comments, “It is not up to the Commission to give Microsoft a green light before Vista is put on the market, it is up to Microsoft to accept and implement its responsibilities as a near-monopolist to ensure full compliance with EU competition rules.”
Windows Vista is the successor to Windows XP, and forms the backbone of Microsoft’s attempts to reinvigorate and standardize the PC games market. It will be a requirement for upcoming PC titles such as Halo 2
and Electronic Arts’ Crysis
– which will be unable to launch in Europe until the operating system is available.
Already the victim of several major delays
, Windows Vista is currently scheduled to launch in January 2007 in most major markets. The antitrust actions in Europe began when Microsoft was found to have broken antitrust law and was fined €500 million ($640m) and told to change its business practices. The company was then fined an additional €281 million ($360m) for failing to initiate these changes.
The European Commission is now discussing with Microsoft whether Windows Vista has anti-competitive features which would require change under EU law.