Microsoft faces antitrust probe from Russia

By Justin Mann on June 4, 2009, 6:08 PM
It seems Microsoft just canít catch a break in foreign territories. Besides having to deal with the European Commission, the company is now facing a probe from Russiaís state anti-monopoly body, which claims Microsoft's restrictions in the supply of Windows XP constitutes anti-competitive behavior. The agency apparently has a problem with Redmond trying to transition customers to Vista, at a time when demand for XP remains strong, and said it would issue a preliminary ruling on the case before the end of next month.

Microsoft has commented on the situation, saying they haven't received any sort of official query from Russia yet. The company does have a vested interest in getting people to switch, for support reasons at least, but can one actually blame them for that? The operating system is almost eight years old, and with the release of Windows 7 later this year, a big fine accompanied by an order to increase XP shipments to Russia is definitely not something they need right now.

The suit bears no resemblance to past antitrust claims against the company for abusing its dominant position in the market, so the possible outcome here remains unclear. What seems clear, though, is that the company is having a hard time making friends largely because of Vista.

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