EU Antitrust Investigator Talks on Microsoft Saga, Confirms Investigation

EU competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia revealed more information on the case

Microsoft will most likely be called in front of the EU antitrust commission once again to discuss the company’s failure of offering users a browser choice screen across the Old Continent.

EU competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia talked at the Fordham University in New York City, confirming that Microsoft has failed to provide European users with a browser choice screen for about a year and a half.

Microsoft was requested back in 2009 to offer Windows users a so-called browser choice screen to allow them to pick a different browser than Internet Explorer.

While the Redmond-based software giant indeed updated its operating system and delivered this choice screen, some Windows workstations didn’t get it, especially those who weren’t connected to the Internet.

The company offered the patch via Windows Update, so it complies with EU’s requirements only partially.

“It has recently emerged that the company has not kept its commitments. Microsoft itself has confirmed that it failed to roll out the choice screen with the version of Windows released in February 2011. This means that for around one and a half years millions of users in the EU have not seen the choice screen,” Almunia said during his speech.

This means that Microsoft may have to discuss with EU’s antitrust investigators once again in the near future, as it is rumored that the European Commission is currently preparing a formal complaint against the American software developer.

“But the policy can work only if they translate their words into action. This is why I take compliance very seriously and I will make sure that we take the necessary decisions as a matter of priority,” Almunia concluded, suggesting that investigation may continue in Microsoft’s browser fiasco.

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