EU: Vista May Violate Antitrust Rules

EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes has written to Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer to outline EU concerns that the new Vista operating system could break antitrust rules, EU spokesman Jonathan Todd said Wednesday.

Todd said regulators were worried that Vista's new functions would mean customers would not be offered a real choice on software packages.

"We're concerned about the possibility that the next Vista operating system will include various elements which are currently available separately from Microsoft or other companies," he told reporters.

He highlighted Vista's integrated Internet search, digital rights management and software that would create fixed document formats comparable to Adobe's pdf.

There is no investigation into Vista at this stage, he said.