Microsoft’s decision to push its browser, Internet Explorer, through Windows operating system has been criticized frequently in the past. The company had struck a deal with the European authorities to introduce a ‘browser ballot’ in Windows which the company hasn’t enacted so far. This may lead it to face adverse consequences.
Windows, by default, is shipped with Internet Explorer. Naturally, other browser vendors complain that this gives IE an unfair advantage over their browsers. So the EU had decided in the past for Microsoft to introduce a ‘browser ballot.’
Browser ballot would be a screen option for Windows users to choose any other browser, along with Internet Explorer, to be a part of the Windows. To ensure fair competition, EU struck a deal with Microsoft which required such an option to be implemented.
However, come 2012 and Microsoft still doesn’t seem to have enacted the option. Even in Windows 8, other browser vendors are complaining that Microsoft isn’t giving them a fair space. For instance, IE can run on both classic and Metro modes of the operating system whereas providing such dual support has become terribly hard for other browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Opera etc.
Now, the European Commission has stated that it has received complaints about Microsoft’s conduct and it has started investigations into it. According to the EU Competition Commissioner, Joaquin Almunia, “In my personal talks with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer he has given me assurances that they will comply immediately regardless of the conclusion of the anti trust probe.”
Almunia has further said that shall these allegations against Microsoft prove true, this may result in sanctions against the company. Moreover, the company may have to cough up billions of euros as fine for violating the terms of the settlement.