Russia Closes Microsoft Antitrust Probe

Noting that it found no violations, Russia's anti-monopoly agency, FAS, announced Monday that it has closed its antitrust probe of Microsoft. FAS had been investigating whether Microsoft had artificially restricted customer access to Windows XP in a bid to promote Windows Vista.

"We showed the importance of replacing products by newer versions and this is a normal practice for all companies," a Microsoft spokesperson said. "We are glad that FAS did not find any violation."

The FAS investigation started in June when the agency announced it thought Microsoft had violated Russian antitrust laws by restricting the delivery of Windows XP on new PCs and as a separate retail product. Microsoft explained that Windows XP was still available to those that really wanted it, but that it had moved on to a more recent version of Windows. Microsoft was able to demonstrate that 1.2 million copies of Windows XP were sold in Russia during the company's 2008 fiscal year.

Microsoft did make one concession to FAS: It said it would soon start a free trade-in program in Russia that allows customers to exchange Windows Vista Home Basic or Home Premium for Windows XP Home edition. That program will start in about three weeks and run through the end of the year

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