The European Commission has given


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a bit of breathing room, suspending an order requiring the company to sell a version of its Windows operating system without a media player software.

The order, a product of the commission's

March anti-trust ruling against the Redmond, Wash., software giant, would have taken effect Monday. Microsoft asked for the stay on Friday, and it was granted Sunday "in the interest of a proper administration of justice," said an EU spokeswoman.

The news didn't make much of an impression on investors; in recent trading Microsoft shares were up 7 cents, or less than 1%, to $28.64 on normal volume.

In March, the commission said that Microsoft had abused its "near monopoly" power and levied a record $613 million fine, as well as ordering the company to ship a media player-less version of its Windows operating system. It also ordered Microsoft to release a programming code that allows Windows computers to run better with other companies' servers.

Real Networks


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was the U.S. company with the most at stake -- it's flagship media player competes directly with Microsoft's player. But other Microsoft rivals, such as

Sun Microsystems

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, fear that if left unchecked, Microsoft could severely damage their server business.