There is a lot of press this week about Microsoft, with the launch of windows 8 just days away now there is little they want to do to hurt their image right now. Unfortunate then that the company has been charged with an antitrust violation for failing to live up to a prior agreement which would give users of Windows equal access to Internet browsers other than Internet Explorer.

Joaquín Almunia, the European Union antitrust commissioner, ruled against Microsoft on this one, but the ruling could be costly for Microsoft as the fine will be related to defying the terms of an agreement made in 2009.

“The case also represents the first time a company facing antitrust penalties from Europe’s top enforcer has been sent a so-called Statement of Objections for neglecting to comply with the terms of a settlement, which allows companies to avoid fines.” - The New York Times

Mr Almunia has quite literally laid down the law to Microsoft and stated that the must provide adequate access to other web browsers in the European version of Windows 8, warning Microsoft officials 'at the highest level possible' of his concerns over Windows 8, saying they need to avoid the same problems unless they want to risk further investigations.

Microsoft is taking the sweet approach here and claiming it was a technical problem they only learned of recently. But this is very similar to the scenario with Windows 7, where Microsoft had to place a browser choice screen on the OS.

“We take this matter very seriously and moved quickly to address this problem as soon as we became aware of it.” “Although this was the result of a technical error, we take responsibility for what happened, and we are strengthening our internal procedures to help ensure something like this cannot happen again.” - Taken from a Microsoft issued a statement.

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