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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Microsoft Anti-Monopoly Probe Dropped

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service said Monday that it had closed a probe into Microsoft as it had found no violations of anti-monopoly laws over cutbacks in supply of the Windows XP operating system.

The service launched a probe against Microsoft in June, saying it thought the company had violated legislation by cutting delivery of Windows XP to Russia both as a separate system and preinstalled on personal computers, as well as in its pricing policy on the product.

The bulk of Microsoft's revenue comes from corporate customers who make payments on long-term licensing contracts, which allow them to upgrade to the newest versions of its software.

In reality, however, most customers do not upgrade immediately, forcing Microsoft to support older versions of the software.

Microsoft is keen to move customers onto newer versions, both to save on costs and to get them to adopt newer standards and systems that lock them into Microsoft's technologies.

The company has largely stopped selling Windows XP to retailers and major computer makers, forcing customers into using its successor, Windows Vista.

"Microsoft is committed to full compliance with the laws in Russia. We are glad that [the service] did not find any violation," the company said in a statement.

The president of Microsoft Russia, Nikolai Pryanishnikov, said the company had provided evidence to the service that Windows XP was indeed available to customers and said the company had sold 1.2 million localized Russian copies of the operating system in the 2008 financial year.

"We also showed the importance of replacing products by newer versions, and this is a normal practice for all companies," Pryanishnikov said by telephone late on Monday.

He said the company would also offer customers a free-of-charge exchange of Windows Vista Home Basic and Windows Vista Home Premium for Windows XP Home.

The offer will become available within the next three weeks and last until the end of 2009.

On Sept. 10, the regulator will also consider another case as part of a probe into laptop makers whose machines contain preinstalled Microsoft software.