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Europe complains to Microsoft over lack of browser choice

Wags finger, awaits reply
Wed Oct 24 2012, 12:30
European commission

THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION (EC) has written to Microsoft complaining about its failure to comply with browser choice commitments.

The EC and Microsoft have been dancing around this issue for some time, and most recently Microsoft told it that it had made a mistake in not including the browser choice feature in a Windows service pack update.

The EC gave this the "Hmmm" treatment, and its letter is the result of further consideration.

"The Commission takes the preliminary view that Microsoft has failed to roll out the browser choice screen with its Windows 7 Service Pack 1, which was released in February 2011," it said in a statement.

"From February 2011 until July 2012, millions of Windows users in the EU may not have seen the choice screen. Microsoft has acknowledged that the choice screen was not displayed during that period."

This is bad because back in 2009 the EC made it legally binding that Microsoft must offer the web browser choice screen, and the firm committed to doing that for the following five years.

Microsoft is sorry, or something close to sorry, and let's not forget that if the EC is really annoyed about this it could fine it ten percent of its total annual turnover.

"We take this matter very seriously and moved quickly to address this problem as soon as we became aware of it. Although this was the result of a technical error, we take responsibility for what happened, and we are strengthening our internal procedures to help ensure something like this cannot happen again," Microsoft said in a statement.

"We sincerely apologise for this mistake and will continue to cooperate fully with the Commission." µ


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