Microsoft may be forced to withdraw the Windows operating system from South Korea if a regulatory ruling due next Wednesday goes against it. The country's Fair Trade Commission has announced that date as a deadline to end its deliberations about antitrust allegations filed against Microsoft, according to the Joongang Daily. "The final decision will be made next Wednesday. We just need time to review some technicalities," the paper reported a trade commission member as saying.
Penalties could include fines and an order to remove components from the versions of Windows sold in the country. In a statement last month, Microsoft warned that it might even be forced withdraw Windows from South Korea, depending on the changes requested to Windows.
The case has attracted much controversy, with a Korean government official making public statements criticising Microsoft, and US trade officials visiting the Korean regulators. The case started when Korean and foreign companies alleged that the free inclusion of messaging and streaming media player software with Windows amounted to unfair competition with their products. Microsoft has settled privately with these complainants, but Korean regulators have said that this would not affect their decision.
Sony announced today that the PlayStation 2 games console had topped 100m sales in the five years and nine months since its launch - making it the fastest selling games console ever. Launched in mid-2000, the console passed the 50m sales mark in January 2003.
Sony Computer Entertainment said that the USA and Europe account for approximately 40 per cent of sales each, with most of the remainder going to Japan, and less than one per cent to the rest of the world. Almost 1.9bn games have been sold for the PlayStation 2, with 6,200 different titles published to date, according to the company.
The announcement comes as Sony weathers competition from Microsoft's new Xbox 360 console, and gears up for the release of the PlayStation 3 at the end of 2006. Earlier statements by Microsoft suggest that it hopes to sell around 1m Xbox 360s per month in the months following the product's launch. If sales were to continue at that rate, it would take Microsoft's new console over eight years to match Sony's current record.
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