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Thursday, September 14, 2006
Microsoft: Vista Europe Launch on Track

Microsoft said on Thursday it was on track to launch its Windows Vista operating system in Europe in January but again asked the European Commission to detail concerns it may have with the system.

"The release of Vista, as far as we are concerned, remains on track. However, we have received no clarity as of yet from the Commission over their concerns," said a Microsoft spokesman at the release of a study it commissioned on the potential economic gains from Vista.

"To say nothing creates an uncertain environment. We urge the Commission sooner rather than later to come forward with their concerns," the spokesman said.

The European Union's executive Commission, which has been involved in a long antitrust battle with the U.S. software group, this week warned Microsoft against foreclosing competition in computer security by tying new security features into Vista.

The Commission also said on Tuesday it was up to Microsoft, as "a near monopolist," to ensure compliance with EU antitrust rules in the new system and that it was misleading to imply that it could be the cause of delays.

Microsoft has said it hopes the Commission will not require removal of security features from Windows Vista in Europe.

In 2004, the Commission found Microsoft abused its market dominance in audiovisual software players and office servers, forcing the U.S. firm to strip out Windows Media Player which was tied into its ubiquitous operating system.

The Microsoft-commissioned study published on Thursday said Vista could drive $40 billion in economic activity and create 100,000 new jobs in six European countries next year.

However, International Data Corporation (IDC), the authors of the report, said any delay in releasing the new product could halve the number of new jobs.

"From what we describe as the bounce effect, we estimate that at least 50,000 fewer jobs would be created," Marcel Warmardan, researcher at IDC told a news conference.

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