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10/24/2012
02:14 PM
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Microsoft Apologizes For Lack Of Browser Choice

Microsoft insists a technical error is to blame for its failure to provide users with a browser choice screen in Windows, as instructed by the European Commission.

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Following a formal complaint from the European Commission about Microsoft's failure to live up to its promise to offer Window users a browser choice screen, Microsoft says it's sorry and attributes its 17-month period of non-compliance to a technical problem.

"We take this matter very seriously and moved quickly to address this problem as soon as we became aware of it," Microsoft said in a statement. "Although this was the result of a technical error, we take responsibility for what happened, and we have taken steps to strengthen our internal procedures to help ensure something like this cannot happen again. We sincerely apologize for this mistake and will continue to cooperate fully with the Commission."

Microsoft says it will alter the way the browser choice screen functions in Windows 8 and these changes will be incorporated when Windows 8 launches later this week.

Microsoft agreed to deploy a browser choice screen to address antitrust concerns related to its decision several years ago to tie Internet Explorer to its Windows operating system, still the dominant desktop operating system.

[ Read iPad Mini Tablet: Visual Tour. ]

The European Commission concluded that Microsoft's actions distorted competition, hindered innovation, and created artificial incentives for developers and content producers to design software and websites primarily for Internet Explorer. It filed a Statement of Objections with Microsoft on Jan. 15, 2009.

In July 2009, Microsoft proposed concessions to make its products more interoperable and to satisfy antitrust concerns, and in December 2009, it agreed to make a browser choice screen available for five years, until 2014.

The browser choice screen is supposed to present users with a menu that lists the 12 most popular browsers, with the top five appearing on the default screen and the remainder accessible via scrolling. It is intended to provide Windows users with the opportunity to choose which browser to install without bias.

The listed browsers include: Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, AOL, Maxthon, K-Meleon, Flock, Avant Browser, Sleipnir, and Slim Browser.

Microsoft launched the browser choice screen in EU versions of Windows in March 2010. The screen, however, was missing from the Windows 7 Service Pack 1 update in February 2011. So from early 2011 until July 2012, Windows users in the EU might not have had the opportunity to choose a browser other than Internet Explorer.

The Commission's formal complaint could lead to a fine of up to 10% of Microsoft's annual revenue, if the Commission decides Microsoft's defense of its actions is inadequate.

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Darkpr0fit
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Darkpr0fit,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 2:47:39 PM
re: Microsoft Apologizes For Lack Of Browser Choice
Doesn't matter what you can do to fix the issue. If a compnay makes an obligation to do something they should do it, peroid. The EU should hit MS with a major injuction preventing them from squeezing out of this a second time. Excuses are just excuses. This is another Ballmer screwup. It proves he should no longer be running MS!!!!!
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
10/27/2012 | 8:03:02 PM
re: Microsoft Apologizes For Lack Of Browser Choice
MacBooks do not have 89% market share in Europe as Windows does. That is the key difference!
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
10/27/2012 | 8:02:03 PM
re: Microsoft Apologizes For Lack Of Browser Choice
Command line FTP....piece of cake!
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
10/27/2012 | 8:01:38 PM
re: Microsoft Apologizes For Lack Of Browser Choice
People do not install the OS when they go to an electronics store and buy a ready to go PC system. Many also do not know that there are other browsers or how to install them. I agree that there should be some minimum training mandatory before operating complex machinery, but that isn't the case for consumer grade PCs. That ballot screen isn't intended for the 20% of PC users with some degree of geekiness, but for the remaining 80% who are challenged by turning it on or installing Windows updates.
And with so much cash on the line there is no excuse for this supposed oops.Nobody checking product quality at Microsoft ever got the memo that the ballot screen is now a requirement?
metamurph
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metamurph,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/24/2012 | 9:59:12 PM
re: Microsoft Apologizes For Lack Of Browser Choice
Hmm, my Apple devices don't give me a choice at OS load either...oh, but maybe a Mac Book comes with no browser so I can choose...don't know that either is Evil, that's just life.
Inaris
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Inaris,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/24/2012 | 9:48:22 PM
re: Microsoft Apologizes For Lack Of Browser Choice
They should just configure all future copies of all MS OSs to ship to the EU with NO browser installed, and let those idiots figure out how to get a browser on to an OS where none exists.
phil8192
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phil8192,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/24/2012 | 9:17:22 PM
re: Microsoft Apologizes For Lack Of Browser Choice
Anyone who doesn't realize that they can install any browser of choice after Windows is installed is probably not qualified to perform system installations anyway.
johnitguru
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johnitguru,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/24/2012 | 8:55:00 PM
re: Microsoft Apologizes For Lack Of Browser Choice
Just another Mafiasoft crime, just one of thousands that they committed over the last
30 years.

Nothing new from the Devil in Redmond really.

Ho Hum
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