Microsoft has been ordered to comply with EU remedies which are intended to tackle antitrust issues with the company. Microsoft will take immediate steps to provide secret server communications protocols to competitors, and will be releasing a version of Windows that does not have an integrated media player.

Microsoft's first step will be to publish a Web site on Wednesday offering competitors access to communications protocols specified by the Commission.

Microsoft will also begin distributing a version of Windows without an integrated media player to EU PC manufacturers. Using this software, manufacturers could choose to offer PCs without any media player, or possibly incorporate media players from competitors such as Apple Computer Inc. or RealNetworks Inc.

However, Microsoft is keeping the option open to make a further appeal with the European Court of Justice. If it wishes to do so, it must do so within the next two months. That is Microsoft's only hope now of reversing these decisions.