Political opposition is growing to stop Microsoft releasing Windows XP on its scheduled date of 25 October, unless the company addresses antitrust issues.
A press conference will be held later today (Tuesday) during which an influential US senator will call for congressional hearings into Microsoft's alleged continuing antitrust abuses, especially because so much other software is bundled with XP.
Against this backdrop, comes word that senior Microsoft officials are in the US capital this week to try and negotiate a settlement to the long-running antitrust wrangle.
The talks, which neither side would confirm on Monday, follow the 28 June ruling by a federal appeals court that upheld a lower court verdict that the company abused its monopoly with the Windows operating system.
The same appeal court, however, did not agree with the remedy that Microsoft should be broken up and is sending the case back to the lower court.
The appeals court ordered that a new lower court judge should consider other actions against Microsoft and determine whether it illegally tied its internet browser to Windows.
Some analysts are sceptical of Microsoft's motives for going to Washington and believe that the company wants to delay matters until XP, which is very important to the company's revenues, is out and installed on new machines.
New York senator and Judiciary Committee member Charles Schumer is to hold a press conference today to call for committee hearings and "demand that Windows XP allows users to choose their media player, messenger service and other applications instead of being forced to use Microsoft applications".
Industry watchers acknowledge that any such changes to the operating system at this stage, which is currently going through beta testing, would inevitably delay its release. No one at Microsoft would comment on the developments.
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