EU Commission to Keep Close Watch on Microsoft's Browser Commitments

However, it's unclear if a 2009 competition agreement with Microsoft extends to tablets
By Loek Essers
News May 16th 2012

Regulators in Europe said Tuesday they will watch closely to make sure Microsoft complies with its commitments to ensure competition in the browser market, after Mozilla complained its Firefox browser is being excluded from Windows RT.

However, the European Commission noted that an agreement it struck with Microsoft in 2009 to regulate its behavior applied only to "client PCs," and it wasn't immediately clear if that incudes tablets, one of the main targets for Windows RT.

Mozilla protested last week that Windows RT, the version of Windows 8 for devices that use ARM processors, restricts choice and might violate an agreement Microsoft struck with the Commission to resolve an antitrust probe of the company.

Windows RT grants full access only to Internet Explorer (IE) and effectively blocks other browsers from accessing important functions, according to Mozilla. Its complaint was backed by Google, which makes the Chrome browser.