In its statement on Friday the Commission said: "Microsoft's tying of Internet Explorer to the Windows operating system harms competition between web browsers, undermines product innovation and ultimately reduces consumer choice."
Microsoft that it was studying the commission's preliminary finding, and did not rule out requesting a formal hearing.
Msg#: 3828271 posted 11:59 am on Jan 17, 2009 (gmt 0)
Microsoft could avoid all these problems. All they need to do is to offer Firefox, Opera, etc. on Windows installation CDs and let the user choose.
Msg#: 3828271 posted 10:05 pm on Jan 17, 2009 (gmt 0)
This may be a result of the complaint Opera filed [webmasterworld.com] almost exactly a year ago. The EC press release doesn't mention Opera, but the complaint was about tying IE to the OS and thus hindering competition.
Perhaps Netscape should have filed a similar complaint 13 years ago...
Edit: in a press release [opera.com] Opera says they are happy with the steps taken by the Commission (my phrasing).
[edited by: RonPK at 10:13 pm (utc) on Jan. 17, 2009]
Msg#: 3828271 posted 1:34 pm on Jan 20, 2009 (gmt 0)
Yes, from what I can remember, that fine was for not providing developers with sufficient documentation on the API.
Insofar as it is possible to install and use other browsers, it is hard to argue that a browser is an integral part of the operating system. However, in addition to html help (mentioned above) ActiveX browser features are required by some users (and are currently integral to the update process).
However, a media player is not an essential part of an operating system, nor is an email client - these are clearly applications, yet these are also included with Windows. Clearly, this limits the commercial viability of competing applications. You can argue that bundling such software with Windows benefits users but, if users had the option to buy a version of Windows without these applications, the money saved could be used to buy alternatives. Given that Microsoft supplies many versions of Windows already, they would find it hard to argue against this.