Monday, 18 Aug, 2008 Technology

Microsoft Forces Consumers to Buy Vista?


Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission is investigating the complaints filed against software giant Microsoft by a group of activists who claim that the company forces consumers to purchase Windows Vista.

It is worth mentioning that in case Microsoft is found guilty, it will pay a fine of NT$25 million (about $796,000). In addition the software developer will be ordered to stop its illegal practices. Microsoft's spokeswoman in Taipei, Sophia Chang, denied the accusations that the company forces consumers to purchase its new operating system.

In its complaint, the non-profit group called Taiwan's Consumer Foundation states that Microsoft should be penalized for taking advantage of its monopoly and forcing people to buy Windows Vista.

Windows Vista was launched in January of 2007. If compared to XP, Vista requires much more memory capacity as well as processing power.

"It would be a very unusual and creative interpretation of antitrust law to say that a company is obliged to keep selling a product," said Brendon Carr, a Hwang Mok Park (Seoul) attorney who informs multinational companies on antitrust issues.

According to the Consumer Foundation, its study showed that over half of consumers (56 percent) who buy computers with Windows Vista, reinstall the previous operating system. At the same time 67 percent are voting against ending the sale of Windows XP, which is now only available preinstalled in several low-cost computers, including Aspire One laptop developed by Acer Inc.

Taiwan's Fair Trade Act states that a company is not allowed to "use incentives or other devious means to induce a business to alter a consumer's shopping choices," outlined the foundation in the statement. It added that "The Fair Trade Commission should fine Microsoft a large enough amount that would strip away its profits from selling Vista."


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