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Microsoft is accused by EU again [news.bbc.co.uk]
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.
It has been given eight weeks to reply.
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]
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.