EU may force Microsoft to bundle Firefox with Windows

Just as Internet Explorer 8 goes RC1 we have the European Commission's anti trust considering forcing Microsoft to bundle Firefox with future versions of Windows as per the Microsoft's quarterly filing with the U.S Security and Exchange Commission.

The European Union(EU) recently accused Microsoft of breaking antitrust laws by including the company's Internet Explorer (IE) browser with the Windows operating system. The outcome may require Microsoft or other computer manufacturers to install Firefox or other browsers (Chrome, Opera and Safari) by default alongside Internet Explorer on new Windows-based PCs.

Microsoft reported that while computer users and OEMs are already free to run any web browsing software on Windows, the Commission is considering ordering Microsoft and OEMs to obligate users to choose a particular browser when setting up a new PC. Such a remedy might include a requirement that OEMs distribute multiple browsers on new Windows-based PCs. Microsoft may also be required to disable certain unspecified Internet Explorer software code if a user chooses a competing browser.

The filing further notes that non-compliance would see the EU impose a significant fine based on sales of Windows Operating Systems in the European Union. Microsoft has two months to respond to the charges, after which the EC will make its final ruling on the matter. The software company can also request a hearing and says it's considering this alternative.

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