Microsoft Can Once Again Set IE as the Default Browser in Windows

Posted by at 3:41 pm on December 18, 2014

For the past five years, Microsoft has been forced to offer first-time Windows users in Europe a choice of web browser.

This was a result of an EU ruling in 2009, which found that Microsoft had been unfairly abusing its operating system monopoly to push Internet Explorer into the hands of millions of unwitting, unfortunate users.

Both the United States’ Department of Justice and the EU’s European Commission found some of Microsoft practices objectionable due to the power Windows had at the time — and eventually, after some fairly protracted court cases, Microsoft was found guilty of anticompetitive behavior. In the US, the original ruling was that Microsoft would be split up, but that never happened: Instead, the DOJ merely settled with Microsoft opening up its APIs to third parties.

The deal only required Microsoft to play fair for five years, though — and that period of imposed atonement has now concluded. Once again, Microsoft is free to make Internet Explorer the default web browser in Windows.

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