UPDATE: June 11, 2009 – 5:30 p.m. Pacific
Posted by Dave Heiner
Vice President and Deputy General Counsel
Earlier today CNET reported
that Microsoft had sent a memo to computer manufacturers and retailers about our plans for Windows 7 in Europe. We’re getting quite a few calls on this, so we thought it would be helpful to explain our plans.
First, a little context. For the past three years Microsoft has been working to develop the next version of our Windows operating system, Windows 7. We’ve taken feedback from literally millions of beta customers to ensure that Windows 7 delivers the power, simplicity and ease-of-use
that customers want. We’ve also worked hard to ensure that Windows 7 will promote choice and competition in the computer industry, in keeping with our Windows Principles
. We’ve held hands-on workshops with hundreds of industry partners
to ensure they have the information they need to build products that work well with Windows 7. Customers running Windows 7 will be able to choose compatible products from among literally thousands of computer manufacturers, peripheral manufacturers, and software vendors.
The worldwide launch of Windows 7 is fast approaching, but a pending legal case raises concerns about the sufficiency of competition among the Web browsers that are available to Windows users in Europe. In January the European Commission provided its preliminary view that Microsoft’s “bundling” of Internet Explorer in Windows violated European competition law.