While Windows XP SP3 and Windows Vista are in the clear, word is still out on Windows 7, when it comes down to antitrust issues.
With the exception of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 which has hit RTM on February 4, 2008, Microsoft is still cooking Windows XP Service Pack 3, and it is in the early stages of baking of Windows 7. And yet the Redmond company has had to submit all these products while still in the development phase for review, in order to address antitrust concerns. This aspect was noted in the recently published "Joint status report on Microsoft's compliance with the final judgments," authored by the Technical Committee that keeps an eye on the Redmond company's compliance with the 2002 U.S. antitrust settlement.
TC said in the report dated March 2008 that it has reviewed both upcoming service pack for Vista and XP, and that it started evaluating a build of Windows 7 delivered by Microsoft. I've contacted the company and asked if at this point in time there are still any antitrust problems with Vista SP1 and XP SP3. "We are not aware of any issues of concern for the Technical Committee in these releases," a Microsoft spokesperson revealed in an email to Softpedia.
But at the same time, I asked whether Microsoft had also submitted a build of Windows 7 to the EU Antitrust regulators, along with the one offered to the TC. A representative from the company failed to answer either way. This is to say, Microsoft neither confirmed nor denied having offered a build of Windows 7 to the EU Commission. "We work constructively with regulators and provide large amounts of information in response to their requests. We do not discuss the specifics of our exchanges," the Microsoft spokesperson added.
At the time of the report, TC noted that it was still discussing with Microsoft "another middleware issue, which the TC has sought to have Microsoft include in Windows 7." I inquired as to the nature of the middleware issue TC was referring to.
And this is the answer I received: "Microsoft and the technical committee have been working together to address a variety of middleware issues identified by the TC. As the report states, Microsoft has corrected most of the middleware issues identified by the TC. We are working with the TC to identify mutually agreeable solutions to any outstanding issues. We are not in a position to discuss the technical details of any issues under discussion at this time."