Several rival browser makers have made noise over Microsoft disallowing the full install of rival browsers on Windows RT, limiting those with only the Metro UI to using the Internet Explorer browser. Considering the European Commission investigated Microsoft for competition concerns due to its bundling of Internet Explorer with previous versions of Windows, the EU regulators might have been expected to repeat the same actions or consider that the previous settlement with Microsoft extends to newer versions of Windows.
However, Vice-President of the European Commission, Jaoquin Almunia, ruled out a new probe into Microsoft's browser policies for Windows on Tablet PCs.
"There are no grounds to pursue an investigation on this issue," he told a news briefing when asked.
The investigation that led to the 2009 agreement between Microsoft and the European Commission - which brought about the Browser Choice screen - was driven by the fact that Microsoft's Windows was the dominant operating system on PCs within the EEA. The Commission viewed Microsoft's bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows as an abuse of that position. With Windows for Tablet PCs, perhaps the commission does not see Microsoft in the same position, and does not feel that the 2009 agreement extends onto tablets from home PCs.
Coincidentally, the European Commission also sent a Statement of Objections on non-compliance with browser choice commitments to Microsoft, meaning that while it won't investigate Windows on Tablets, it has notified Microsoft that it does not feel it is complying with the settlement made in 2009 for older, PC-versions of Windows.
Written by: James Delahunty @ 24 Oct 2012 18:49