[JURIST] Microsoft [corporate website; JURIST news archive] announced [press conference transcript; recorded audio] Wednesday that it will comply with a European Union [official website] antitrust ruling [PDF text] by licensing its Windows source code in order to allow competitors to develop products compatible with Windows. In March 2004, the European Commission [official website] found Microsoft in violation of EU antitrust laws [JURIST report], and ordered the company to offer a version of Windows without its own MediaPlayer software and to give rivals information about its operating system. Microsoft previously refused to license the source code, claiming that the EU demands would lead to competitors cloning the company's main product. The Commission last month, however, threatened to fine Microsoft up to $2.36 million per day if the company did not comply. The software giant's chief counsel Brad Smith said that software developers will have to pay for the licensed code and expressed his confidence in winning a legal challenge [JURIST report] to the EU ruling before the European Court of First Instance [official website], which is currently expected to hear the appeal in April. Microsoft has case materials on its implementation of the Commission's decision. AP has more.