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Russia May Mount Legal Monopoly Challenge To Microsoft

Russian authorities have reportedly launched a probe into Microsoft's business activities over shortages in supplies of Windows XP operating systems in the country.

The state anti-monopoly department of Russia notified that it is looking into whether the software giant has cutback the delivery of Windows XP OS to the country, both as a separate software and pre-installed on computers.

Launching the probe, the anti-monopoly service said, “Analysis of the market for various operating systems shows that the transfer to the new Windows Vista operating system is occurring while demand for the previous operating system, Windows XP, continues”.

The department further went on to say that the demand for Windows XP, both as a standalone product and pre-installed on computers, has been confirmed by retailers as well as number of orders from government.

In addition to this, the department is also investigating to check out whether the software maker is using pricing to turn more buyers from XP to Vista.

Microsoft Moscow office informed that it hadn't received any official query from the department yet, and responded to the news by saying, “We (have) always answered anti monopoly service questions in full and intend to continue this practice in future”.

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Our Comments

Russia is known for doing things its own way, just like China. The country could possibly make life slightly uncomfortable for Microsoft, a capitalist, American company. The price of Windows XP is equivalent to an entire month of a Russian workers and it is therefore not surprising that piracy is so high in the country. As to the reason why Microsoft may be wanting to reduce supply for WIndows XP, that's simple. Windows 7 is just around the corner.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.