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Chinese SAIC gives Microsoft 20-day deadline in antitrust investigation

China is turning up the heat in its antitrust probe into Microsoft, with the authorities laying down a deadline for Redmond to respond regarding allegations of the software giant unfairly leveraging its products.

The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) has laid down a time limit of 20 days for Microsoft to provide a satisfactory response to the antitrust probe which is focusing on Windows and Office (Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player (opens in new tab) have also been previously picked out as bones of contention, as well).

Reuters (opens in new tab) reports that a SAIC statement on its website read: "[A] special investigation team conducted an anti-monopoly investigation inquiry with Microsoft Vice President Chen Shi (David Chen), and required that Microsoft make a written explanation within 20 days."

SAIC believes Microsoft has not fully disclosed all the details it requires concerning the compatibility of its desktop OS and software, an accusation which has been levelled before. SAIC criticised Redmond's lack of transparency just last week.

Related: Why is China building its own operating system "wall?" (opens in new tab)

For its part, Microsoft has responded to say it's serious about addressing these "questions and concerns", and complying with Chinese law. So we guess the Microsoft legal team and others are busy compiling the necessary response as we write.

If SAIC doesn't find this (presumably) detailed response satisfactory, what will happen next is the big question – as China is shaping to throw off the shackles of Windows, with the government instigating a project to help develop its own home-grown desktop OS (opens in new tab). Android is in line for the chop as well, although the timeline for a mobile OS replacement is much further out.

China also previously banned Windows 8 as a security risk.

Read more: Chinese creates security frenzy by banning use of Windows 8 (opens in new tab)

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.