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Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Microsoft to Sell Stripped-down Windows in S.Korea

Microsoft will release new versions of its Windows operating system in South Korea on Thursday to comply with an anti-trust ruling, a company source said on Wednesday.

South Korea's Fair Trade Commission fined Microsoft 32.5 billion won ($34 million) in December, saying the world's biggest software company breached anti-trust laws by selling a version of Windows that incorporated its media player and instant messaging services.

The commission ordered Microsoft to unbundle its media player and messaging service from Windows software or allow the embedding of rival products in its operating system.

A Seoul court rejected last month Microsoft's request to suspend the ruling.

Microsoft will release two versions each of Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional Edition. One version has removed Windows Media Player and Windows Messenger, while the other includes a link to a Web page where users can download all rival instant messaging programs.

Microsoft has said its bundled version has benefited consumers and the local technology industry and has not blocked competition because South Koreans can already download and use competitors' software.

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