Microsoft reconfirmed on October 13 that it won't delay Windows Vista's launch in the European Union or South Korea. But Microsoft will be making further modifications to the product to appease EU regulators, Microsoft officials also acknowledged Friday.
Here's what will be changing, according to a Microsoft corporate spokesman:
* In the area of search, we have made changes to provide computer users who are upgrading Windows XP to Internet Explorer 7 with additional opportunities to set the default Web search provider of their choice. Specifically, according to a spokesman, "upon upgrade to Windows Vista, a screen will come up once during setup now identifying the user’s current search default and asking them to actively choose whether they want to keep their current default or want to select a new default from list of search providers." (My take: this is Microsoft's concession to Google)
* In the area of fixed document formats, we have agreed to submit our new fixed-layout document format – the XML Paper Specification – to a standards setting organization, and to revise the licensing terms on which the specification is made available to other software developers. (My take: The Adobe concession)
* In the area of security, we have committed to create a new set of APIs that will enable third-party security products to access the Windows kernel in a secure manner. We are also creating a new set of APIs to ensure that Windows Security Center will not send an alert to a computer user when an alternative competing security console is installed on the PC and is sending the same alert instead. (My take: The Symantec/McAfee concession)
Another corporate spokesman provided further details. Changes will be made in all versions in all countries. That means Windows Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise, Ultimate, plus all of the Vista N releases (for the EU market, sans Media Player); the Vista K releases (the releases tailored for the South Korean market that will include links to third-party music and instant-messaging products); and the Vista KN versions (the South Korean release that won't include Media Player or instant messaging).
The new round of Vista modifications will be made at release to manufacturing (RTM), the spokesman also said.
Will this push RTM back from Microsoft's internal targets? Not sure. The word is the business launch is still on for November 2006 and the worldwide launch for January 2007.