I know the EU has its heart in the right place, but its ignorance may end up forcing Microsoft to remove security features (1, 2), which would in-turn support hackers, malware providers, and the like. The argument is that Microsoft isn’t playing fair by disallowing access to low-level capabilities, which are accessible in current versions. The thought is that Microsoft can use these features, but vendors can’t. This is a misconception. Windows may be able to use these features, but don’t expect other Microsoft products to be able to access them (i.e. Office). Microsoft apps live by the same rules as vendor apps. So the anti-competitive claim is absolutely bogus. The EU seems like a schoolyard bully -- if you pay, they’ll keep coming back for more. I honestly think someone on the board has stock in Microsoft competitors and is simply trying to make their stock go down as much as possible. Is there a such thing as anti-stock? If not, I’m sure the EU will be the first to come up with it -- or fine Microsoft for not having it.
Ultimately, if this does go thru, I think Microsoft will simply have a less secure version of Windows Vista to comply with the regulation. At least that's what happened last time when there was an issue with bundling Windows Media Player (Windows XP N was born). So, keep your eyes out for Windows Vista EU (Extra Unsecure) Honestly, Microsoft won't release anything it considers unsecure -- yeah, yeah, you may be laughing, but Microsoft puts a great deal of effort into making apps secure. I could see there being options to turn off some features, while others will be required. Beyond that, there are some things that can't be options because they are core to the system. To get around it, Microsoft may have to create a few API calls to tunnel thru the security. This would have to have minimal distribution and would have to be protected quite heavily. If in use, it would definitely open up the system to being compromised. All we can do is hope that the EU doesn't make such a moronic move. Personally, knowing the difference, I'd rather purchase the more secure version. I can't see the EU banning the use of one version and not another, but you never know.