A Tale Of Two Windows, In Europe At Least

While Microsoftis settlement with the US DoJ made a mockery of antitrust regulation in the US, the less business-friendly European Union (EU) may be coming down a bit harder on Microsoft. The New York Times is reporting, via the Houston Chronicle, that the EU may require Microsoft to distribute two different versions of Windows in the EU. One version would have multimedia software bundled with and built into the operating system, while one version would not.

The thought from the EU on this is that such a remedy would keep Microsoft from Netscaping competitors in the multimedia arena. From the New York Times article:

European antitrust regulators are considering a requirement that Microsoft sell two versions of Windows in Europe -- one with the music- and video-playing software stripped out -- should they find the company to be an abusive monopoly, people close to the case said Tuesday.

Regulators may also demand that Microsoft itself propose "within a few months of a ruling" what computer code for Windows it should disclose to make the operating system fully compatible with programs and servers manufactured by rivals, these people said. Servers drive networks of personal computers.

Thereis more information on the background story in the full article.