Microsoft announced today that it will not appeal against the European Union's court order compelling the company to remove Windows Media Player from the Windows XP operating system in Europe.
In a statement to the Associated Press, they announced the company had "decided to forego its right to appeal the Court of First Instance's...ruling of December 22, 2004. Rather than seeking to suspend the Commission's remedies, Microsoft's focus now is on working constructively with the Commission on their full and prompt implementation."
The software giant lost its bid in December to delay the sanctions any further. The original ruling in March 2004 involved a wopping £331m/$613m fine against the company. As well as stripping Windows Media Player from Windows XP, Microsoft has been ordered to reveal essential APIs to rival software companies like Apple and RealPlayer.
The company must now deliver a new version of Windows XP sans Windows Media Player. Microsoft has stated that the version will be available in "coming weeks" but it's still not clear just how they will remove it. A lot of elements native to Windows XP refer to Windows Media Player meaning that the removal task could be much more than taking out media player code, and could affect various user interfaces. Whatever happens in terms of the code, one can expect Microsoft to begin offering a Windows XP without WMP by March in Europe. The rest of Microsofts appeal against a previous EU ruling continues.
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