Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 18th Jul 2012 21:12 UTC
Windows The moment Microsoft announced it would lock other browsers out of being installed on Windows RT, we all knew regulatory bodies the world over were wringing their hands. Today, this has been confirmed: in the wake of an investigation into Microsoft not complying with the existing antitrust rulings regarding browser choice, the EU has also announced it's investigating Windows 8 x86 and Windows 8 RT (ARM).
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Tip of the iceberg
by ozonehole on Thu 19th Jul 2012 00:46 UTC
ozonehole
Member since:
2006-01-07

I never quite understood why attempts to hit Microsoft with antitrust actions are so focused on the browser (Internet Explorer). Especially now that IE has fallen to less than 50% market share, the EU should be focusing on more relevant issues.

Microsoft is guilty of plenty of rotten things, but the browser "problem" is the tip of the iceberg. Why don't antitrust prosecutors focus on the fact that OEMs are not allowed by Microsoft to install any other OS on their machines. Many manufacturers have wanted to offer a dual-boot computer with Windows and Linux both installed, but Microsoft will have none of it. Microsoft's power rests on the fact that they can charge full retail price for copies of Windows to manufacturers who don't toe the line. In the highly competitive computer market, this is a powerful threat.

When ASUS starting offering the eeePC with Linux only installed, Microsoft had a fit and pulled their leash hard, with the result that now eeePC buyers (like me) are forced to buy a nonrefundable copy of Windows (which I immediately erased, and then installed Linux). This is the well-known "Microsoft tax." Why can't consumers who don't want Windows have to pay for it?

Of course, there is the whole issue of abusing patents. The way Microsoft extracts royalties for unnamed patents that are supposed to be in Android is simply outrageous. Why aren't the antitrust enforcers concerned about that?

Edited 2012-07-19 00:50 UTC

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