Microsoft revealed yesterday that it won't appeal a European Union (EU) court order that upheld previously issued EU antitrust sanctions that require the company to release a version of Windows without Windows Media Player (WMP). As a result, Microsoft will soon ship a new version of Windows XP without WMP in the European market to both retail stores and computer makers.
"Microsoft has decided to forgo its right to appeal the Court of First Instance's interim measures ruling of December 22, 2004," a Microsoft statement issued yesterday said. "Rather than seeking to suspend the Commission's remedies, Microsoft's focus now is on working constructively with the Commission on their full and prompt implementation."
In addition to giving European customers a Windows version without WMP, the software giant will also have to supply more technical interoperability information about Windows Server to competitors. Microsoft said that it has made licensing information for communications protocols available to competitors, as requested.
Microsoft was quick to point out that its decision not to appeal the court order doesn't mean that the company won't continue to pursue an appeal of the sanctions themselves. "It is important to note that although we will not appeal the December 22 Court ruling, we will continue our appeal on the merits of the \[European\] Commission's decision," the statement said. "We remain very optimistic as we move forward in this process and are encouraged that the December court order noted that a number of Microsoft's arguments could provide a basis for overturning the EC's decision."