The Cost of Anti-Trust: Skeletal XP for South Korea

Dennis Faas's picture

You want proof that the seemingly endless number of antitrust suits against Microsoft is actually having some effect? Look to South Korea, where the Redmond-based company is currently launching a version of its operating system XP that has seen many of its prominent features removed.

Late last year, long after its legal troubles began in the United States, a South Korean court found Microsoft guilty of monopolistic actions. At that time, the South Korean Fair Trade Commission lashed out at the Big M for its bundling of media player software and instant messaging with its newest operating system. (Source:

As a result, Microsoft was slapped with a fine that, after transfer to U.S. dividends, totaled about $34 million. For South Koreans, this means that when they pick up Windows XP Professional, they won't be getting Windows Media Player or Windows Messenger. The measure is part of Microsoft's release of four new versions of XP, all of which carefully avoid angering South Korea's courts. (Source:

Microsoft remains positive throughout the mess in one of its larger markets. A company representative told Reuters that "The impact will be minimal. The only notable difference is that Microsoft won't be able to sell the old Windows XP from tomorrow (in South Korea)". Such an attitude is hardly believable in considering the hit to the Asian flap in Microsoft's wallet, but with Vista approaching fast repairs might already be under way. (Source:

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