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17 May 2012, 10:50

European Commission to keep a close eye on Microsoft's browser policy

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The repercussions of Mozilla's criticism of Microsoft's browser policy appear to be widening. On Tuesday, a spokesman for the European Commission told Computerworld that the commission is keeping a close eye on the company's behaviour. The commission is reported to be aware of accusations by the makers of Firefox that Windows RT only grants full rights to Internet Explorer. Antitrust regulators intend to look into whether Microsoft is adhering to an EU agreementPDF on how it should deal with third party browsers. According to Computerworld, Microsoft has declined to comment on the issue.

The agreement, which was signed in 2009 and runs for five years, states that Microsoft must add a menu to its operating systems to allow users to choose their default browser. The European Commission spokesman would not comment on whether it considers the browser restrictions in Windows RT to be in breach of this agreement, though he did note that the agreement only covered PCs. Windows RT is a Windows 8 edition designed for the ARM processors used in the majority of mobile devices and tablets.

Mozilla made its criticism public last week, and Google expressed its concerns shortly thereafter. According to reports, the US Senate is also looking into whether Microsoft's browser restrictions are in breach of antitrust laws.


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