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Move draws criticism from some analysts

Remember those allegations by browser makers Google Inc. (GOOG) and the Mozilla Foundation, alleging that Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) wasn't giving them full access to necessary interfaces in Windows 8?

Well, the European Union sure remembers.  Not too long after it admonished Microsoft for breaking its browser ballot box promises and threatened more fines, it announced a new probe into whether Microsoft was impeding competition.

The browser makers have suggested that Microsoft may be effectively banning third-party browsers from Windows 8 RT.  Microsoft has denied this claim.

Surprisingly, typically pro-Apple, Inc. (AAPL) blogger John Gruber blasted the probe in a post on his blog Daring Fireball.  The unlikely ally points out that Apple has a near identical model of differentiation and has received little EU scrutiny, writing:

So Apple can do it with iOS but Microsoft can’t with Windows RT, despite the fact that the iPad and iPhone are selling tens of millions of units per quarter and there is yet to ship a single Windows RT device?

With that said, even unlikely allies may be unable to save Microsoft as the EU salivates at the prospect of collect more billion-dollar fines from the beleagured operating system giant.

Sources: Daring Fireball, Reuters

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RE: This is ridiculous
By vXv on 7/20/2012 5:56:06 AM , Rating: 2
I was joking bro. Still, now that youve told me this are they going to force google to show its competitors sevices in its results?

I did a search for translate and of course googletranslate popped up but so did microsofttranslate and several others.

I just told you what the complaint and the investigation is about. I cannot predict which action (if any) the EU commission will take ... we will have to wait and see ;)

IE only has just under 25%, chrome has 27%, firfox 19 according to wiki. So now that they have destroyed MS grip on web browsers, why is this still an issue? EU is coming after them about the ballot box which was accidentally disabled, and fixed quickly.

It is not about IE's marketshare but Windows's. i.e as long as Windows has a dominant position in the market there is potential for abusing it. So they are investigating whether this is the case with Windows 8 / RT.

As for the ballot screen they had a contract and broke it hence the commission's reaction. Just because they are looking into it does not mean it will result into fines (per law those can be as height as 10% of the yearly revenue).

RE: This is ridiculous
By maugrimtr on 7/20/2012 8:38:15 AM , Rating: 3
Thanks for the last sentence in the article. For a moment, I almost though it would be an objective article. The EU has antitrust laws, which means those breaking the laws are fined. Microsoft keeps finding ways to break those laws and then spending lots of money trying to escape justice.

It has nothing to do with the EU budget, socialism (which many appear from the comments not to even understand since the US is a socialist nation unless I imagine all the social services provided), or corruption (see EU Courts please).

If MS break the law, as a monopoly enacting monopolistic barriers to competition, they will be investigated and fined appropriately.

RE: This is ridiculous
By lightfoot on 7/20/2012 11:03:48 AM , Rating: 2
Fines of 10% of global sales.

When they are applying fines to sales that occur outside their jurisdiction, they are NOT appropriate. Why should EU courts get to collect fines on sales that occur in the US?? Should the US be able to fine Airbus for sales made to France?? It is insane, and it is NOT appropriate.

RE: This is ridiculous
By othercents on 7/20/2012 11:54:29 AM , Rating: 2
Simple Solution... Scrap Windows 8 RT, or at least don't distribute it in the UK. Move to Windows Tablet 8 to differentiate the products. Now you will have Windows 8, Windows Tablet 8, and Windows Phone 8.


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