EU to "remain vigilant" on Microsoft browser agreements

In the wake of complaints from both Google and Mozilla about web browsers running on Windows RT (also known as Windows 8 ARM), the European Commission said today in a statement it will make sure Microsoft stays true to a previous agreement that was supposed to allow competition for all web browsers on Windows PCs.

PCWorld.com reports that Antoine Colombani, the Commission's spokesman for competition, said:

The Commission is aware of these allegations and will remain vigilant that Microsoft fully complies with its commitments under the Commission's 2009 decision on browsers. This decision applies to Microsoft's Windows operating system for PCs.

The statement refers to the agreement where Microsoft is now required to display a screen in Windows that offered linked to not just Internet Explorer but other web browsers.

The agreement, however, is just for Windows on PCs, according to Colombani. In theory, Microsoft could claim that devices that run on Windows RT are not real PCs. Both Mozilla and Google had complained that Microsoft has limited access to Windows RT for their Chrome and Mozilla web browsers.  Microsoft's web browser competition agreement with the EU is supposed to last for five years, meaning it will expire in 2014.

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19 Comments

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I think this anti-trust stuff against Microsoft is ridiculous. If the browser makers are so upset why don't they make their own OS as Google are doing? Microsoft are building the OS and they shouldn't be forced to allow other browsers

Vivid Blue said,
I think this anti-trust stuff against Microsoft is ridiculous. If the browser makers are so upset why don't they make their own OS as Google are doing? Microsoft are building the OS and they shouldn't be forced to allow other browsers

What has Google done? You mean the ChromeOS? It's a joke that won't ever catch up to OS X not to even mention Windows so therefor they need to rape MS with stupid browser choices like this.

Google just needs to come back down to earth before they need to rewrite Android completely to get out of MS patents.

So how come Apple isn't being forced to do what Microsoft has to do? They're becoming pretty popular lately.

I feel sorry for Microsoft. Even with the antitrust expired back in May 2011, they still can't bundle a browser and have the SIMILAR (but less) restrictions as Apple without getting labeled as "anti-competitive".

That's the price you pay for being on top with a massive market share. In the grand scheme of things they could be facing much larger and more threatening problems. All this anti-trust mumbo-jumbo is probably nothing more than an annoyance these days.

Meanwhile their competitors get to bundle all these super cool software into the OS and restrict access to certain APIs without much a sneeze from the DOJ and EU.

Tim Dawg said,
That's the price you pay for being on top with a massive market share. In the grand scheme of things they could be facing much larger and more threatening problems. All this anti-trust mumbo-jumbo is probably nothing more than an annoyance these days.

WIndows RT has 0% market share...

Google and Mozilla must have forgotten you never adopt version 1 of an MS product or do so very lightly . MS just saved them lots of trouble.

WinXP 64bit = do not touch
WinVista 64bit = decent
Win7 64bit = great!

Office 2007 64bit = do not touch
Office 2010 64bit = better
Office ver15 = more than likely a winner and will see adoption

WinRT = first release... tread carefully

zeke009 said,
Office 2007 64bit = do not touch
Office 2010 64bit = better
Office ver15 = more than likely a winner and will see adoption
Except there was no Office 2007 64-bit. You installed Office 2007 32-bit on 64-bit OS's. Office 2010 was the first to offer native 32-bit & 64-bit versions.

Tim Dawg said,
Except there was no Office 2007 64-bit. You installed Office 2007 32-bit on 64-bit OS's. Office 2010 was the first to offer native 32-bit & 64-bit versions.
Good catch Tim, that was my mistake.

Melfster said,
Microsoft doesn't have monopoly on tablets so there is nothing the EU or any one else can do.

doesn't matter, its still windows, and windows is one entity, just different versions

Melfster said,
Microsoft doesn't have monopoly on tablets so there is nothing the EU or any one else can do.

It's about browser marketshare, not whether Microsoft has a monopoly on tablets or not. If Microsoft is using its Windows operating system to lock out competitors, then it's in anti-trust territory again.

Melfster said,
Microsoft doesn't have monopoly on tablets so there is nothing the EU or any one else can do.

Over the past few weeks, we have heard quite often here on NeoWin when there are government investigations into Apple or Google, that they need to be left alone, it is their software and we need to let them do with it as they want. But when it is about Microsoft, even if it is on a brand new product such as RT, we will get dozens of comments about how their "abusive" behavior must be stopped.

simplezz said,

It's about browser marketshare, not whether Microsoft has a monopoly on tablets or not. If Microsoft is using its Windows operating system to lock out competitors, then it's in anti-trust territory again.

Then if that's the case why don't they go after windows phone ,The iPhone... WIndows RT does not equal Windows 8.

neufuse said,

doesn't matter, its still windows, and windows is one entity, just different versions

Yup, doesn't matter, still Microsoft. Apple and Google are saints.

Seriously, at this rate the only way for MS to shed off this bias against them is to dissolve completely. The world doesn't need innovation, only marketing. Manure in shiny white plastic is pure innovation. Wheels can be reinvented with the correct honeyed words.

If Microsoft has to make changes to Windows RT so other browsers/programs can be install this could delay Windows 8 (or just the RT version) by a lot.