Microsoft will be fined over browser commitment: EU

2012-09-24 20:33

Brussels - US software giant Microsoft faces yet more heavy fines after it promised to offer clients a choice of web browser but has failed to do so, the EU's competition commissioner said on Monday.

Microsoft apologised in July for a "technical error" as the EU launched a probe into why 28 million users of the Windows 7 operating system were unable to choose between the company's default Internet Explorer and other browsers.

It has not made the change so far and inevitably faces more fines - to follow some of the heaviest EU penalties ever - if it does not act soon, commissioner Joaquin Almunia told AFP in an interview.

Microsoft committed in 2009 to provide Windows users in Europe a "choice screen" enabling them to pick an alternative web browser until 2014.

The screen, however, has been missing from an update to Windows 7 since February 2011 and the commission has run out of patience after launching a formal probe in July.

"It is easier to make progress in our investigation if a company which has broken competition rules recognises the fact," Almunia said.

"The fault is there, it has been there for more than a year and it is clear that we need to react.

"It is not only the distortion of competition during this period which concerns us; it is very serious, from my point of view, that the remedies imposed on Microsoft have not been applied," he said.

The commission planned "to act very firmly", he added.

The EU fined Microsoft €899m in 2008 for failing to comply with an order to share product information with rivals so that their software can work with Windows.

  • mynhardt.johan - 2012-09-24 21:01

    Ha ha! Loving this... They deserve it.

      tribe84 - 2012-09-24 21:57

      Why? Don't be stupid. I think its ridiculous that they have to advertise competing products on their platform. Why is Apple not sued because they removed Google Maps or because they have the Safari browser installed? If anyone wants to download a different browser, MS is not stopping you, why do they need to pre-install? This is all a big joke.

  • mothapa1 - 2012-09-24 22:40

    same goes for search engines, i'm happy for this. maybe i'll find a wider variety of search engines

  • lala.kunene - 2012-09-24 22:58

    looks like.......GIANT!!!

  • Larry Leefar Moshibe - 2012-09-24 23:18

    Can anyone who already used windows 8 explain the difference as Microsoft promised better browsing on their recent offer Win-8.

  • sycomachinery - 2012-09-25 05:01

    This is stupid people will use whatever they like.

      DSBennie - 2012-09-25 08:10

      The reason for the fine is because some of the windows products sold in Europe, prevented people from using other browsers

      stirrer.stirrer - 2012-09-25 09:47

      Not true. This is all about choices during installation.

  • julie.j.vanrensburg - 2012-09-25 08:34

    to be brutally honest, I LOATHE Windows7, whereas I LOVED XP. After almost 1 months I'm STILL trying to navigate my way through W-7 which - at times and at my age - drives me to distraction, but my son (he's a geek) refuses to put me back on to XP, saying it's becoming outdated and will not be updateable in the near future. Oh-well, What can I say? After my previous computer gave up the ghost, I bought this one which had W-7 installed, and Son also tells me this machine is not XP-compatible. Personally I think he's just trying to persuade me to keep my brain active, which I do appeciate, as I would HATE to go ga-ga....

      julie.j.vanrensburg - 2012-09-25 08:35

      Sorry - should have been 18 months - typo error...

      jason.dutoit - 2012-09-25 09:44

      xp does not allow for the use of more than 2GB of ram. it will also only be supported for another year or so. win 7 is leagues ahead of XP. looking for a program? just hit the start button and begin typing the name of the program - try it?

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