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March 4, 2009 5:04 PM
IE8 can be shut off in Windows 7, possibly squashing latest antitrust complaint as EC dials back monitoring of 2004 decision
Posted by Benjamin J. Romano
A couple of developments on the European regulatory front today. One new, one old.
In a development that could have an impact on the current European Commission antitrust action against Microsoft, a build of Windows 7 has a feature allowing users to "turn off" Internet Explorer 8. The blogger who spotted the capability gets right to the point: "I believe this fully squashes the case that the EU has against Microsoft?" The case in question responds to a complaint from browser-maker Opera, and since supported by Google and Firefox maker Mozilla. In January, the EC issued a "preliminary view that the inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows since 1996 has violated European competition law."
Meanwhile, the EC, citing changes in Microsoft's behavior among other factors, no longer needs a full-time trustee to monitor the company's adherence to a 2004 decision finding that Microsoft had illegally withheld interoperability information and tied Windows Media Player to Windows. The EC announced today it would monitor the company's compliance through technical consultants on an ad hoc basis.
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