Microsoft is continuing to argue with the European Commission over its anti-trust findings but has prepared a version of Windows without the contested media player should its arguments be rejected.

The software giant's head lawyer, Brad Smith, has said he will continue to argue that Microsoft is not abusing its market dominance, but confirmed that the company would comply with any order from the EC's Court of First Instance, specifically that it would offer a version of Windows without Windows Media Player (WMP).

Smith said that while "the Commission says Linux would disappear" if Microsoft did not grant access to its documentation, Linux is nevertheless "alive and well". He added wryly: "And I don't know any person at Linux or any Linux programmers who share the Commission's view."

One Brussels disagreed with Smith's interpretation: "Unbundling WMP would be a victory for consumers and competitors," he remarked. "It would force Microsoft to compete based on the merits of its software."

It may be academic however, as no one has yet been able to find which member of the Commission allegedly made the "Linux would disappear" remark in the first place.