Modular Windows plan

Windows Features allows users to turn off applications such as Media Centre, Media Player and Internet Explorer. Professor Neil Barrett said this would help promote effective competition.

Plans to introduce modular features in Windows 7 have been welcomed by the European Commission’s former Microsoft monitoring trustee.

EU regulators have ended full-time monitoring of Microsoft, which was started to ensure the firm complied with an anti-trust ruling.

Speaking to the BBC, Professor Barrett said it was a welcome move on all fronts. “Microsoft did this off their own bat. From their perspective, making the operating system modular is a good thing.

“For competitors, this will allow them to compete on all fronts.

“It also benefits European Commission monitoring, as this will give them a clear understanding of what would be needed in the future should other firms fall foul of anti-trust laws.” Microsoft is currently facing an anti-trust filing led by browser maker Opera, and supported by Mozilla, the makers of Firefox, and Google, who last year launched Chrome. The companies have complained that Microsoft’s bundling of Internet Explorer into Windows XP and Vista is anti-competitive.

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