Microsoft's latest constraint to force consumers who want the latest version of its Windows Player to upgrade to the new Windows operating system, is the latest example of continued violations of US antitrust laws, according to a group of Microsoft rivals.
The new version, Windows Media Player 8, will only be available to consumers who upgrade to the forthcoming Windows XP. The older version of Media Player, Version 7.0, will continue to be available as a free, separate download.
"Microsoft seems to become a bit more audacious with each new anti-competitive campaign," said Michael Pettit, president of the Project to Promote Competition and Innovation in the Digital Age (ProComp), a group funded by Microsoft competitors. "The company has taken the practice of forcing unwanted products on consumers to an all-time high."
He also said each campaign strengthens and broadens the monopoly, and allows Microsoft to eliminate consumer choice and to regulate the marketplace.
Pettit further stated that a review of Microsoft's actions in the marketplace during the US vs Microsoft trial demonstrated Microsoft's consistent defiance of the law, including promises it made to the government in 1995. "Microsoft would simply prefer that there are no antitrust laws at all."
A Microsoft spokesman confirmed that customers would have to buy Windows XP to get the new video player, but he denied any violation of antitrust laws. He said: "What our competitors seem to want is for us to stop innovating and improving our products."
In a report by analysts at the Meta Group, the researchers said: "We do not believe, as some have implied, that this is an attempt by Microsoft to block competitors to its software."
The report further stated: "We believe Microsoft may have confused the marketplace by calling its Media Player product for the XP operating system 'Media Player 8', implying that it is the only upgrade path for Media Player 7."
Ceres, located in the asteroid belt, has a carbonaceous-rich upper crust, SwRI study claims
The spacecraft found traces of hydrogen and oxygen molecules, known as hydroxyls, embedded in the rocky surface of the asteroid
The skeleton was unearthed more than 20 years ago in South Africa
Moon's dark side is mountainous, rugged and never visible from the Earth