Microsoft has said that it is still on track to launch its Windows Vista operating system in Europe after what the company is calling "constructive dialogue" with competition authorities.

However business customers in November and everyone in January won't have a number of features pre-installed in Europe including no Microsoft Media Player, Messenger and no built in security lock.

“We are excited to bring the security enhancements and innovative new features of Windows Vista to our customers and partners around the world, and we are committed to adhering to local law in every region of the world”, said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft.

Ballmer said the company over the past 2 years had submitted information to competition authorities around the world about Windows Vista as it was being developed.

Microsoft agreed to make a number of changes to Windows Vista in response to guidance the company received from the European Commission, said Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith.

“We recognize that the European Commission does not give ‘green lights’ for new products, and we have not asked for one”, Smith said. “We appreciate the constructive dialogue we have had with the commission and the guidance the commission has provided. Based on this guidance, we have made changes to ensure that we’re in compliance with our competition law obligations, and we are moving forward to make Windows Vista available on a worldwide basis.”

In related news, Microsoft said it would make available parts of key data to security software firms such as Symantec and McAfee to enable their products to work smoothly with its new Vista operating system.

The codes are important for the software companies as they will allow them to suppress Microsoft's own security "pop-ups" if a PC user decides to buy alternative security software, thus keeping brands distinct from that of Microsoft.

A spokesman for Symantec told the Reuters news agency that technical talks had not started yet to resolve the issue. "The companies are in discussions to lay out a timeline for the technical discussions", said Symantec spokesman Cris Paden.