European woe for Microsoft averted?

The European Commission isn't happy about the browser ballot pop-up in Windows 8 or Windows 7-SP1. The EC says it's inadequate in the former and missing in the latter. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) faces possible huge fines as a result. However, there is at least some good news for Redmond.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers dig into the story.

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By Richi Jennings: Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

Vanessa Mock reports:

Microsoft...had agreed to the measure three years ago and...could face a maximum fine of as much as 10% of its total annual revenue. ...the EU's antitrust watchdog...has already fined the company more than...$1.3 billion, for failing to comply with an EU order.

...

In a statement, Microsoft said it "sincerely apologized" and reiterated that the mistake was a technical glitch [in] Windows 7...Service Pack 1.  MORE

Loek Essers adds:

Microsoft had promised to show a browser choice screen...but the Commission has been investigating complaints that [it] was not shown to some Windows 7 users. ... The Commission said the statement of objections is a formal step in the investigation. ... Microsoft said...that it takes the matter "very seriously" and...that it has moved quickly to address the problem.

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Microsoft decided to change some aspects of...Windows 8 and will have those changes implemented when [it] launches later this week.  MORE

David Meyer looks to the future:

These changes are to do with Windows 8, rather than Windows RT. ... The RT machines will not run any browser other than Internet Explorer.

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While the browser limitations on Windows RT are far more restrictive than those on Windows 8, [Europe] is probably steering clear of the issue because Windows RT is not a market-dominating product. ... Windows RT will launch as an underdog in a tablet market dominated by Apple's iPad and...Android slates.  MORE

And Paul Thurrott sees the significance:

This a blockbuster development.

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You may recall that Google and Mozilla complained in May that Windows RT...does not support any desktop browser other than Microsoft’s [and] that Microsoft was limiting the capabilities of third party Metro-style browsers. ... In July, the EU said that it would investigate Windows 8 to determine whether Microsoft was unfairly inhibiting competition.  MORE

Meanwhile, Charles Hammons is incensed:

...there comes a time when one would like to see companies call these petty tyrants out and be willing to...stop doing business in the offending nation(s). ...the sociopaths running the EU...deserve harsh comeuppance.  MORE

But Neil Ryan figures it serves Microsoft right:

Let Microsoft pay the piper for ignoring what they agreed to do in the first place.

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They didn't forget,....they just tried to get away with [it] and now it's biting their backsides!  MORE
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