European Commission investigating Windows 8 browser options

Jul 19, 2012
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Microsoft found itself in a tough spot this week as the European Commission announced that it would investigate the lack of a browser choice screen on PCs Windows 7 Service Pack 1. Microsoft responded by saying that a technical glitch prevented PCs from seeing the option screen, and offered to extend the compliance period. The company may still face sanctions, and now the European Commission has set its sights on Windows 8 for a similar issue.

Reuters reports that the European Commission is looking into Microsoft’s handling of third-party browsers in Windows 8. Microsoft only provides a limited set of APIs to vendors such as Mozilla and Google, preventing browsers offered by those companies from making full use of Windows 8 features. The same goes for Windows RT, where Microsoft will allow Internet Explorer to run on both Metro and the desktop interface, whereas third-party browsers will be restricted to Metro only.

The European Commission isn’t the only organization looking into the issue. Back in May, the US Senate Committee said it intended to look into the browser issue surrounding Windows RT, but that it had no plans to launch a formal antitrust investigation. The announcement followed complaints from Mozilla that the browser plans for Windows RT were anticompetitive, saying that certain APIs were restricted on ARM chips to just Internet Explorer.


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