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Windows 7 And Ie8 (plus?)


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The European Union has filed an official complaint regarding Microsoft’s monopoly power over the browser market. According to the complaint, Microsoft is unfairly edging out competition in the internet browser market by including its Internet Explorer browser in Windows operating systems. The complaint was filed by Opera Software ASA, the makers of the Opera web browser to the European Commission.


On January 15th, 2009, the Commission offered a report concluding that Microsoft’s inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows operating systems has violated European competition law since 1996. Microsoft will have an opportunity to respond to the complaint within two months with a list of objections. They also may choose to request a hearing in which the Commission will set up trial-like debate about the issue.


Microsoft said in their report, “Such a remedy might include a requirement that OEMs distribute multiple browsers on new Windows-based PCs.” If such a remedy is decided neccessary by the Commission, Microsoft’s Windows 7 will likely be released by OEMs with browser options. Since Windows 7 is likely to be released in late 2009 or early 2010, any decisions made by the European Commission will most likely apply to the new operating system, or else Microsoft will face hefty fines on European sales of their product.


If OEMs are forced to include a choice of browser in their product, Windows PCs may come with Mozilla Firefox, Google’s new Chrome, or maybe even Apple’s Safari.



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