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EU looks to punish Microsoft for browser non-compliance, and make a bit of extra revenue in the process

To date the European Union's antitrust regulatory body, the European Commission (EC), has pummeled operating system maker Microsoft Corp. (MSFTwith €1.6B ($2.1B USD) in fines for allegedly using abusive anticompetitive tactics in the European market.  But the EU is far from done.

According to Reuters, highly placed sources in the EC say that Microsoft will face more fines before the end of the month.  The commission's pending decision follows a so-called "statement of objections" filed last October.  One source at the EC comments, "The Commission is planning to fine Microsoft before the Easter break."

The planned action could slip a week or two, though, due to procedural issues.

Microsoft was mandated by the EU to provide a browser selection screen with Windows 7.  It did, but the browser selection screen mysteriously stopped working with Windows 7's first service pack.  Microsoft claims this was due to a "coding error".

Browser Ballot Box
Microsoft's Windows 7 Service Pack 1 "accidentally" turned off the browser ballot box.
[Image Source: Telegraph UK]

That little "whoops" and Microsoft's baffling decision to test the EU's resolve, declining to rush a fix may cost Microsoft dearly.  Experts say Microsoft could potentially face a billion dollar fine or more.

Microsoft's board is unhappy with CEO Steve Ballmer for failing to address the issue.  In an annual proxy statement filed last October it cited that as one reason for cutting the rambunctious chief's bonus (this was not the first time Mr. Ballmer had his bonus cut for mistakes).

The EC's decision to mandate a browser choice screen dates back to 2009 when Microsoft had more of a dominant position in the EU browser market.  Today Microsoft is in third place with only about 24 percent of the market, behind Google Inc.'s (GOOG) 35 percent and Mozilla's 29 percent.  The browser selection screen appeared to be a key driving factor in Microsoft's slipping market share.

Some argue that Microsoft's trailing position makes the decision to continue browser selection screen enforcement unfair.  Others argue that Microsoft's dominant market share with Windows would be too dangerous were it not for continued enforcement.

Source: Reuters

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And they are still trying to block competition
By jnemesh on 3/1/2013 1:12:51 PM , Rating: 3
I don't think they ever resolved the new issue with Windows 8 and RT only supporting IE either. I believe that they are restricting access to certain APIs for competing browsers that would cripple them...unless the browser is for the "desktop" mode of full Windows 8. RT users are boned, they HAVE to run IE.

By Mitch101 on 3/1/2013 1:21:48 PM , Rating: 5
Have they sold enough for another browser to care about porting their browser to it?

Its already ridiculous why not ask for a Apple store on the Microsoft campus.

The EU is abusing its power.

By half_duplex on 3/1/2013 1:38:08 PM , Rating: 2
EU needs cash, and this is the route they've decided to take. The UK is already starting to grumble about the way Amazon and Google are doing business.

Bottom line, EU hasn't been able to compete with American companies... so they are fining them.

RE: And they are still trying to block competition
By A11 on 3/1/13, Rating: -1
By NellyFromMA on 3/1/2013 3:12:12 PM , Rating: 2
European ignorance is bliss? So it seems.

By maugrimtr on 3/4/2013 9:22:27 AM , Rating: 3
It's ridiculous that the concept of the EU actually upholding its laws is somehow viewed as bad. Would you prefer if the EU allowed laws to be broken? Microsoft knew in advance that would be fined if they continued to remain non compliant.

Down rate away, morons.

By FiveTenths on 3/1/2013 2:52:12 PM , Rating: 2
I'd say you are severely understating BP's "scew up"

The EU and Microsoft have already been down this road and MS paid. Now the EU is broke and looking for cash.

By NellyFromMA on 3/1/2013 3:15:44 PM , Rating: 2
Lets not forget the fact that Microsoft has caused NO ONE harm. In fact, it created an entire ecosystem that hadn't even existed before so that cry baby EU companies could have an opportunity to even cry foul to begin with.

BP, on the other hand, destroyed an entire ecosystem and many living things.

If you think those are comparable, you CRAZY FOO.

By michael67 on 3/2/2013 8:23:59 PM , Rating: 2
You forgetting that BP was not the only one screwing up Halliburton was responsible for the cement-plug, and the company man from BP is responsible. (final responsible man onboard on all dissensions)

I have work offshore on platforms, and even do the company man is responsible, he is not all knowing, and leaves some tings over to external experts and rely on there expertise.

So even do BP is fully responsible, some of the blame should also be lay with Halliburton, as they are the experts on the plug.

By eldakka on 3/3/2013 9:40:40 PM , Rating: 2
The EU and Microsoft have already been down this road and MS paid. Now the EU is broke and looking for cash.

Actually they haven't.

The 'payment' from the anti-trust proceedings required several things:
1) Cash fine.
2) Browser selection process on windows
3) Not sure, other stuff,

MS did 1), they failed to honour 2). Therefore they have not 'paid' up as they have not fully complied with the order.

Now they are being fined for not paying up, for breaching condition 2.

This is not even a judgement call like the whole anti-trust process required. It doesn't require objective expert witnesses, economic analysis, not even an investigation/judgement as to whether MS is still a monopoly. It's pretty straightforward:

A) Microsoft were ordered to and agreed to provide the user with the browser selection process.
B) Microsoft failed to provide that browser selection process.


By NellyFromMA on 3/1/2013 3:14:08 PM , Rating: 2
LOL! BP totally botched the oil spill. They destroyed the ecosystem in that area for a long time, and NO AMMOUNT of smiling people in commercials will change the reality of that.

I'm in no way an environment-at-all-costs type of guy but seriously, that was a travesty.

BP Milkin LMAO have a crumpet. Lets have an oil spill off the English territories and see how you like it.

By Solandri on 3/1/2013 7:25:56 PM , Rating: 4
The local damage was heavy, and I'm keeping an eye on researchers' reports of the effect of dissolved oil carpeting the ocean floor. But oil in the ecosystem is normal.

Natural oil seeps in the Gulf of Mexico will in 1-5 years release as much oil into the ocean as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. It just won't be all concentrated in one place like the BP spill (which is why the local damage was heavy).

By Trisped on 3/1/2013 3:36:38 PM , Rating: 2
Billions of dollars in damage, and that is just people affected (jobs, property, health, etc.). BP should have followed the directions instead of cutting corners.

By JKflipflop98 on 3/1/2013 7:44:18 PM , Rating: 1
Did this mother fucker seriously just compare Microsoft not including it's competition's software within it's own product to BP destroying an entire sea?



RE: And they are still trying to block competition
By BZDTemp on 3/2/2013 10:35:27 AM , Rating: 1
Not this stupidness again.

First of all the the EU has strict laws against anti-competitive practices and any company not following the rules is dealt with - and this is regardless of where they are based.

Secondly the EU is aprox. 500 million people so the fines awarded here is peanuts ergo the whole notion of the EU trying to score money from US companies is silly.

By half_duplex on 3/3/2013 1:32:56 PM , Rating: 2
With so much of the EU dependent on US sales of BMWs... I don't think it's fair to say that the fines are peanuts. It's a lot of money regardless of how much the little guy will eventually take home.

By NellyFromMA on 3/5/2013 1:12:42 PM , Rating: 2
The EU assessing fines is actualyl what is anti-competitve. That there is no European equivalent to Android, Windows, OS X, iOS, etc is ANTICOMPETITIVE because they DONT EVEN TRY TO COMPETE.

Can't win if you don't try. Unless, that is, you have the EU assess a success tax. BS

By ichabod8119 on 3/7/2013 6:07:51 AM , Rating: 2
strict laws selectively enforced. where are the fines against Apple and Android. Try to install Google on your ipad. Approx. 500 million people too stupid to download and install any number of free browsers.

By Strunf on 3/4/2013 7:35:52 AM , Rating: 1
EU needs cash? the EU is a GDP of $15.7 trillion do you really think $1 billion would make that much of difference?

Funny as if the fact Apple wins most cases in the US didn't show that the US also favors american companies, maybe that also shows the US can't compete with the rest of the world so they fine non-US companies to no end.

By NellyFromMA on 3/1/2013 3:11:36 PM , Rating: 2
Two words: currency wars.

They are ramping up quite a bit amongst all of the economic powers and even a few of the underlings.

Their effects will crop up in many stupid places.

By Reclaimer77 on 3/1/2013 3:28:24 PM , Rating: 2
Any wonder why the EU is in the position it's always in financially?

They've virtually regulated their manufacturing and businesses out of the country. The United States is following suit, and how's that working out for us?

By Reclaimer77 on 3/1/2013 3:31:14 PM , Rating: 2

Edit: union.

RE: And they are still trying to block competition
By ae00711 on 3/3/2013 4:34:06 AM , Rating: 1
yeah a bit like Apple - USA's corporate poster child - no longer being able to compete.. so it abuses the broken & corrupt US legal system to fine the other non-USA companies (Samsung).

Didn't think before you typed, did ya ignoramus? Pot meet kettle.

By ichabod8119 on 3/7/2013 6:10:54 AM , Rating: 2
The EU government is like a circus with monkeys in charge.

By Avatar28 on 3/1/2013 1:54:43 PM , Rating: 2
Windows RT is not in any sort of dominant market position. It's not even close. Why should it have that requirement? Why not force Windows Phone to offer a choice while we're at it?

By NellyFromMA on 3/1/2013 3:16:59 PM , Rating: 1
In many ways, the unjustified EU fines were the beginning of the downward spiral MS finds itself in now.

Other companies didn't out innovate MS per se, the EU handled that for them and made it 'fair'.

Seems legit. Not.

RE: And they are still trying to block competition
By EasyC on 3/1/2013 2:36:34 PM , Rating: 1
I run Chrome on Windows 8.

Why should Microsoft have to cater to idiots who can't install their own web browser?

By NellyFromMA on 3/1/2013 3:20:47 PM , Rating: 2
It's not even about end-user choice. It's about EU companies getting marketshare despite inferior products.

In the age of the internet, MANY consumers can easily identify a product of quality and a product lacking it and promote it accordingly.

All they need to do is step it up WITHOUT government intervention.

The global economy seems to be a lame place to participate as a business these days.

By A11 on 3/1/2013 3:35:23 PM , Rating: 2
It's not even about end-user choice. It's about EU companies getting marketshare despite inferior products.

Last I checked EU investigated and fined MS/Intel due to complaints about their business practices made by other American companies (Realplayer, Mozilla and AMD are to my knowledge all American) and the driving force behind the current Google investigation is none other than MS itself. Not to mention the US DoJ is doing the same thing to foreign companies, but keep living in your dreamworld.

By NellyFromMA on 3/1/2013 3:20:48 PM , Rating: 2
It's not even about end-user choice. It's about EU companies getting marketshare despite inferior products.

In the age of the internet, MANY consumers can easily identify a product of quality and a product lacking it and promote it accordingly.

All they need to do is step it up WITHOUT government intervention.

The global economy seems to be a lame place to participate as a business these days.

By half_duplex on 3/3/2013 1:29:03 PM , Rating: 2
Because, in Europe, things must be "fair".

By Trisped on 3/1/2013 3:32:57 PM , Rating: 2
Seems Chrome works both on the desktop and in Windows 8 mode.

Just wondering
By NellyFromMA on 3/1/2013 3:23:57 PM , Rating: 1
Where are the European OS's? Oh that's right, no one wants them.

See, American companies know how to compete (more or less). Apple has an OS. Google has an OS. Where's the EurOS (sry had to do it).

RE: Just wondering
By ClownPuncher on 3/1/2013 3:44:05 PM , Rating: 2
You just listed two Linux based OS's and asked where the European entry was.

RE: Just wondering
By inighthawki on 3/1/2013 6:08:07 PM , Rating: 2
OSX is not based on Linux (or even the same branch of UNIX, for that matter). Google's OSs are also not "Linux" they simply use the Linux kernel, there is a difference between an OS and an OS kernel. My PC would be pretty useless if all I had was the Windows kernel, for example.

RE: Just wondering
By ClownPuncher on 3/1/2013 6:20:43 PM , Rating: 3
Yea, I'm too lazy to put together a good post today.

RE: Just wondering
By Penti on 3/1/2013 6:27:55 PM , Rating: 2
On top of that Suse has reformed as their own entity / division and moved back their headquarters to Germany. EU countries has made plenty of contribution, the Nokia/MS deal closed down Symbian and Maemo though so in mobile OS's it's all North America some of that tech is used in BB10 though and is pretty much tech that was driven by Norwegian and Finnish engineers/companies. There is also embedded products from Europe such as OSE, one of the most successful OS's ever. PikeOS is also used in some aerospace applications. Of course we have companies like ARM which is based in the UK.

RE: Just wondering
By NellyFromMA on 3/5/2013 1:11:23 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not saying Euro countried haven't CONTRIBUTED in x number of ways.

What I am saying is I am unaware of any MODERN and POPULAR (meaning people actually want to use it in some measurable consumer-related way) European OS that is equivalent or even comparable to Android, OS X (or iOS), or Windows.

I don't hate Euro's, I just think its highly hypocritical to charge a success tax that harms international entities solely for domestic gain. Eff that!

There is no abuse here, except for on the part of the unwieldy EU body trying to steal US dollars from US companies.

That's my gripe.

RE: Just wondering
By ichabod8119 on 3/7/2013 6:24:38 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft should pull all products from the EU and refuse to service any existing products then tell the commission to shove the fines. Watch the EU crash and burn.

RE: Just wondering
By half_duplex on 3/3/2013 1:38:38 PM , Rating: 2

Edumacate yourself homie.

RE: Just wondering
By Reclaimer77 on 3/1/2013 6:43:51 PM , Rating: 1
Where are the European OS's? Oh that's right, no one wants them.

Exactly. What would happen if Microsoft just called the EU's bluff? Seriously, what would the EU do if MS told them to shove it? Ban Windows? Good luck! lol

RE: Just wondering
By JKflipflop98 on 3/1/2013 7:47:10 PM , Rating: 2
That's exactly what I would do if I were Ballmer. I'd tell the EU to lick my wrinkly old taint.

RE: Just wondering
By Reclaimer77 on 3/1/13, Rating: 0
RE: Just wondering
By half_duplex on 3/3/2013 1:36:41 PM , Rating: 2
One problem, London-Heathrow would shut down entirely... restricting travel to places like Siberia.

RE: Just wondering
By NellyFromMA on 3/5/2013 1:01:56 PM , Rating: 2
lmao for asking a straight legitimate question and getting down rated by envious euro nerds. And I don't want to hear about how WAY BACK the origin of a component of a MODERN OS today means Euro has claims on it.


Please, tell me. That is if you can stand sacrificing your downrate to actually articulate a point. Doubtful.

RE: Just wondering
By NellyFromMA on 3/5/2013 1:08:21 PM , Rating: 2
lmao for asking a straight legitimate question and getting down rated by envious euro nerds (not Euro bashing, just ID'ing these nerds as Euros). And I don't want to hear about how WAY BACK the origin of a component or distant memory of a MODERN OS today had some slight European origin. That doesn't mean Euro has claims on an entire OS.


Please, tell me.

OS X, made in America. Android, made in America. Both have Unix and Linux ties in both substantial and negligble ways, NEITHER OF WHICH MEANS they are Euro OSes. Do I REALLY have to explain further...?

Simple equation
By Trisped on 3/1/2013 4:10:54 PM , Rating: 2
<rant> (press - on top left to collapse)

It is a simple equation.
People use the simplest path. This is why Safari and IE had large followings, they were the browser which came with the OS.
Because Microsoft controlled the majority of the OS business, and the majority the users of its OS stuck with the default browser, Microsoft never needed to fix the glaring issues of IE.

The browser voting screen only drove people away from IE (in large numbers). They found that most people who preferred another browser kept using that browser (so select FireFox, Chrome, or whatever they were using). Those who were just using the default browser would often randomly chose a browser. Of those random choices ~10% to 20% would switch browsers latter, the remaining kept their selected browser.
The browser voting screen put IE's usage rates in free fall and threatened to move the browser out of the top 5.

Microsoft had a few choices:
• Remove the ballot screen (and stop the free fall).
• Get the word out about its browser.
• Make the browser look more modern.
• Fix the issues with the browser.

Microsoft did all of these things except the last. The browser is still a pain to develop for, slow, and lagging in support for new HTML features. Until it is forced to compete on equal footing, IE will continue to have these issues.

I agree with the EU, Microsoft should be required to give users a choice of which browser to use when they first log onto a computer.
I think it would be fair to give Microsoft 6 months time to start fixing the problems with IE. That being said, it has been over six months since the original ruling came down so it is a moot point. Also, if Microsoft had continued to invest in the platform as they had at the start then they would not need to do so much catch up now.
I think the EU should expand its ruling to cover any OS which comes pre-installed on over 1 million consumer devices. It does not seem fair to me only Microsoft's desktop operating system is required to give users a browser choice but not any other OS on a commercial device (OSX, iOS, Android, WP8, etc.). If it applies to one, then to be fair, it should apply to all.


RE: Simple equation
By JKflipflop98 on 3/1/2013 7:49:43 PM , Rating: 2
WTF is this crap? You have a choice of any browser you want right out of the box. All you have to do is go download it FFS. Are you really so dumb and lazy that you need a list of all of them flashed before you on boot?

RE: Simple equation
By TSS on 3/2/2013 7:49:26 AM , Rating: 2
You're so absorbed in your own world that you cannot fathom somebody else not knowing what a browser *is*, do you? Much less that there are multiple options if not given to you.

I agree with his suggestion. Where was the ballot box on the android device i recently bought? It had the default browser (chrome knockoff) and chrome pre-installed. And to be honest, i just use the default browser, serves my all of my smartphone needs. When i first got it though, i was used to chrome, so i probably would've selected chrome in a selection box. Or a mobile firefox since i'm not all that keep on how google tracks just about everything.

No such icon on the desktop though, nor a choice menu, just a list of 4 icons one of which the google play store and the other one said "internet". So i've been using that one ever since. And i'm actually a tech savvy user (just can't care that much about smartphone usages. Don't even have a subscription, i just use teh wifi's).

RE: Simple equation
By spronkey on 3/2/2013 4:49:53 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry but... what's wrong with IE? IE9 and 10 have CSS3 and HTML5 support that's more than fine, in many cases they are actually more complete browsers than the Webkit-based crowd. Their JS engines are also fine - and I have no significant issues developing quite complex JS apps on them. Oh, and they're fast! Don't forget that HTML5 and CSS3 aren't even standardised yet.

So please stop the IE bashing, these days it's just as good as the rest.

I agree that the EU should expand its ruling to cover all OSs - at the very least this would force Apple to (in the EU, at least) allow the default browser to be changed in iOS - I'm still amazed that this isn't seen as hugely monopolistic. At least MS let you change the default browser in Windows back when they bundled IE - Apple don't even allow that!

It's also useful to remember that a lot of people don't really understand what a browser is - so the ballot is somewhat confusing. To be honest, I don't have any issues with the OS vendor being able to put their browser first and claim that it's better than the others. As long as there's a simple choice.

RE: Simple equation
By Trisped on 3/5/2013 3:03:46 PM , Rating: 2
IE 9 has only partial CSS3 and HTML support.
IE takes forever to load, is slower when running complex javascript, and is slow loading the pages I visit regularly.

The only times I use IE are when I am testing a website I am developing or when I am posting a comment on MSDN (because strangely on IE does not put strange characters into the message). Every time I do use IE I am amazed at how many seconds I have to wait before it even starts loading the home page. I can not even use the menu while it is loading. With chrome I have never noticed a load time issue, as soon as I start the browser I can hit Alt-D, type in an address, and go.

So no, IE is still behind.

It is very easy to explain what a browser is, it is the thing you use to surf the web. The way Microsoft created the ballot screen they wanted it to appear confusing to the users so that they would take the one Microsoft suggested, rather then try out the other options. A more fair approach would be to keep a link to the ballot screen in the start menu, that way it would be easier for the average user to test out multiple browsers and find which one they like best.

RE: Simple equation
By Reclaimer77 on 3/3/2013 8:55:06 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with the EU, Microsoft should be required to give users a choice of which browser to use when they first log onto a computer.

I'm upset because when I first start up my Subaru, it doesn't ask me the choice of tires I'll be using for the day...

Seriously your argument starts out well reasoned, but when it hits this quote, derails and explodes right in the middle of Stupidville.

RE: Simple equation
By Trisped on 3/5/2013 3:18:45 PM , Rating: 2
Silly Reclaimer77, who is going to change the tires on their Subaru every day?

A more correct analogy would be requiring Subaru to provide you with a choice of tires when you purchase the car. Of course that analogy also does not work, as tires wear out and need to be replaced. When that happens you can use what ever tire you want. There is no wear out point on a browser when the user will have to pick a new browser, so it can easily be claimed that Microsoft is unfairly using their OS dominance to impose their browser dominance.

By Beenthere on 3/3/2013 6:48:05 PM , Rating: 1
It never changes with Microsucks or other large corporate bullies. They feel that they are above the law and that government should bow to their illegal acts as the U.S. government often does - for a nice political contribution...

Thankfully the EU can't be bought like U.S. politicians and they are holding Microsucks accountable for chronic violations of anti-trust laws. The only thing that unscrupulous corporations understand is financial punishment. Until the EU fines Microsucks $500 BILLION - that's with a "B", for their crimes, Microsucks will continue to violate law for profit.

If you can reap $300 billion in revenue from crime and you're only fined a couple billion dollars, what unscrupulous company wouldn't continue to violate law for PROFIT? This ain't rocket science. The EU needs to fine Microsucks $500 Billion and suspend all sales and importation of Microsucks products to the EU until Microsucks pays the fine in full plus any interest while Microsucks appeals, aka stonewalls - as they have done ever time in the past.

It's a disgrace that the U.S. allows unscrupulous companies to abuse consumers and buy political favor to escape prosecution and accountability for their crimes but it's "The American Way" in recent decades.

By half_duplex on 3/4/2013 9:51:23 AM , Rating: 2
We're talking about a web browser here... The only crime is Microsoft not doing business the way the EU has deemed is 'fair'.

What's next? EU going to tell Ford they need to be fair and give the people a choice to have an MB engine?

You may wanna lay off the big bad corporation only government can save us propaganda for a while... you're just about to lose it.

By Alexvrb on 3/5/2013 12:30:11 AM , Rating: 2
Hey now, go easy on him. He once bought a computer that came with Internet Explorer preinstalled. The lack of a browser poll left him traumatized. He may never fully recover. Thank God the European Commission rode in on a white horse and saved the universe!

By ichabod8119 on 3/7/2013 6:19:10 AM , Rating: 2
You have the option not to buy the product it is not compulsory. Buy a computer made in the EU with an EU operating system and a browser choice screen or quit whining. The Eurosucks competitive commission members should be investigated for incompetence and just plain being uneducated.

Release a new 'N' version of Windows
By Nekrik on 3/1/2013 2:36:34 PM , Rating: 2
Don't include any browsers, but also remove the TCP stack so it's just a standalone machine with no networking or web access. See how much they like the idea of having to manually build the stack from scratch and then FTPing in to get their precious competing browsers.

RE: Release a new 'N' version of Windows
By CaedenV on 3/1/2013 5:16:54 PM , Rating: 2
If I was president of MS for a day I would so do this. I would go a step further and include this as a Windows Update. Write a nice little email to the EU explaining why you did what you did, and when they call in complaining I would play innocent and say "didn't you get my email?"

The other option of course would be to send the EU a bill to pay for the time required to make the changes in the product. Most of the time you get to pay extra for a custom product, perhaps it is time that Windows EU should be treated like a custom product as well.

But then again, this is probably why I am not the president of MS.

By Alexvrb on 3/3/2013 2:00:29 PM , Rating: 2
No. I wish people would stop saying this like it's a new idea. Years ago, MS actually suggested to the EC that they would release a version of Windows 7 without a browser to satisy their complaints. In other words MS already tried this. The EC basically told them that if they did this, they would rape MS hard. They essentially forced them into the browser ballot.

That's from the European Commission, and this is the EC statement issued after MS said they would release a browser-free version of Windows 7. The ballot was not MS' idea. The EC, in that document, put forth the browser ballot, with more than a hint of "Do this or we screw you harder than usual". Just search the document for ballot.

Keep in mind too that this whole mess only really affected retail copies of Windows 7. OEMs would continue to be free to preinstall IE or whatever they wanted. The EC doesn't bother proving damage or harm to consumers, and yet claims they're doing this for the little guy. Horse poop. They're doing it to line their pockets, and to help poor lil' Opera who whined about the whole thing. Chrome and Firefox did just fine before a ballot.

Ironically, now Opera is becoming YAWB (Yet Another Webkit Browser). So instead of continuing to champion genuine standards, they're contributing to making Webkit the de facto standard.

Something wrong about the lede
By wookie1 on 3/1/2013 4:26:17 PM , Rating: 2
I think that the lede is incorrect. Here's my fix:
EU looks to make a bit of extra revenue and punish Microsoft for browser non-compliance in the process.

Also, I don't think at this point that it would be possible to "surprise" Microsoft with more fines. This is an annual occurrence, nearly as predictable as the sunrise.

By Alexvrb on 3/3/2013 2:12:45 PM , Rating: 2
I guess that's one sneaky way to raise taxes on foreign companies.

RE: Something wrong about the lede
By Strunf on 3/4/2013 7:51:37 AM , Rating: 2
The EU is a GDP of $15.7 trillion, extra revenue? $1billion is peanuts...

That explains
By Strunf on 3/4/2013 7:59:28 AM , Rating: 2
The EC's decision to mandate a browser choice screen dates back to 2009 when Microsoft had more of a dominant position in the EU browser market. Today Microsoft is in third place with only about 24 percent of the market, behind Google Inc.'s (GOOG) 35 percent and Mozilla's 29 percent. The browser selection screen appeared to be a key driving factor in Microsoft's slipping market share.

The last sentence explains why MS waited almost 1 year before fixing the problem... it's funny to see how Americans react had an European company violated the US law knowingly for 1 year they would ask for blood but since it's a US company doing in Europe it's all cool.

RE: That explains
By ichabod8119 on 3/7/2013 6:13:34 AM , Rating: 2
If you want a law to be fair it should be enforced fairly. Make all companies comply or none.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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