Microsoft dropped its prohibition on running the most popular versions of Windows Vista in virtual machines because of a complaint filed with antitrust regulators, court documents show.
According to a status report filed with US District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, Microsoft changed the end-user licensing agreements (EULA) of Vista Home Basic and Vista Home Premium under pressure from Phoenix Technologies.
Phoenix, best known for the BIOS, or firmware, that it sells to PC makers, had filed a complaint with regulators sometime after early November 2007, arguing that Microsoft should open the less-expensive versions of Vista to virtualisation.
"The complaint concerned a restriction in Microsoft's Vista EULA, which purported, for less expensive versions of Vista (Home Basic and Home Premium), to bar the user from running those versions of Windows on virtualisation software," said the joint status report submitted to Kollar-Kotelly, the federal judge who oversees the settlement agreement struck between antitrust officials and Microsoft in 2002.
"Phoenix, which had recently announced a virtualisation product, complained that Microsoft's EULA restrictions would deter OEMs from including its product on new PCs, and also deter consumers from using virtualisation software made by Phoenix and other companies," the report continued.