On October 24th, 2012, the Competition arm of the European Commission announced that they are holding Microsoft accountable for non-compliance with browser choice commitments. In layman’s terms this means that the European Commission is going after Microsoft.
In December 2009, the European Commission made Microsoft’s browser commitments legally binding. The press release regarding the European Commission’s acceptance of Microsoft’s commitments to give users browser choice is available here.
In the current investigation and enforcement action, the European Commission holds that Microsoft failed to “comply with its commitments to offer users a choice screen enabling them to easily choose their preferred web browser.” The first step in this process was the release of the European Commission’s Statement of Objections to Microsoft. The press release detailing the Statement of Objections is available here. Most notably, the press release emphasizes that Microsoft “failed to roll out the browser choice screen with its Windows 7 Service Pack 1, which was released in February 2011. From February 2011 until July 2012, millions of Windows users in the EU may not have seen the choice screen.” It will be interesting to see if this enforcement has an impact on Microsoft in the United States.