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Russia Starts Microsoft Monopoly Probe

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Another year, another monopoly probe. At least, that’s how it must seem to Microsoft, now that Russia has announced it plans an investigation into the company’s monopolistic practices in the country.

In a statement, Russia’s anti-monopoly body said it plans to see whether Microsoft has been restricting supplies of Windows XP into the country, both as pre-installed software and stand alone.

"Analysis of the market for various operating systems shows that the transfer to the new Windows Vista operating system is occurring while demand for the previous operating system, Windows XP, continues."

"Demand for separately packaged and pre-installed versions of Windows XP is also confirmed by retailers and the number of orders from the government."

The investigation will also see if Microsoft used price to push customers from XP to Vista.

In response, Microsoft spokesperson Marina Levina told Reuters:

"We (have) always answered antimonopoly service questions in full and intend to continue this practice in future."