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Innovation

Russia drops it monopoly-abuse case against Microsoft over Windows XP

On September 7, the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service announced it was ceasing its anti-monopoly action it launched against Microsoft in June 2009 over the Redmondians' phase-out plans for Windows XP.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor on

On September 7, the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service announced it was ceasing its anti-monopoly action it launched against Microsoft in June 2009 over the Redmondians' phase-out plans for Windows XP.

Microsoft demonstrated to the satisfaction of FAS that XP was still available to users via four channels: On system-builder custom machines; via Microsoft's "Get Genuine Kit"; through downgrade rights for volume-license customers; and as a pre-install via неттопах (which one Russian speaker told me was something like a "nettop," or netbook).

As further evidence of XP's continued availability, Microsoft officials said they sold more than 1.2 million localized copies of XP in Russia during its fiscal 2008 (which ended on June 30, 2008.)

According to a translated version of the FAS press statement, Microsoft is going a step further and will be providing Vista Home Basic and Vista Home Premium users a free downgrade to Windows XP starting within three weeks. Free downgrades to XP will be available to Russian Vista users until the end of 2009. (Currently, downgrades are limited to volume licensees, who tend to be business users.)

"Microsoft is committed to full compliance with the laws in Russia. We are glad that FAS did not find any violation," a Microsoft official told Reuters.

I'm sure Microsoft is wishing the European Commission would go the route of the FAS... But seemingly, no such luck. The EC still has yet to issue a final ruling in the Opera browser-bundling antitrust case against Microsoft.

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