Another of Microsoft’s antitrust battles is behind the company.
Microsoft put nearly two decades of major antitrust scrutiny to bed in 2009 with a deal with European regulators. The European Union had found that Microsoft used Windows’ dominance of PCs to gain users for the Internet Explorer Web browser. Microsoft was required to offer Windows users a choice of browsers to demonstrate the variety of other options available.
The agreement didn’t go entirely smoothly, with what Microsoft called a technical error that kept the browser selection option off some editions of Windows 7, resulting in a $733 million fine levied in 2013.
Now, with the five-year timeline of the deal lapsed, the Web portion of that choice portal, browserchoice.eu, went dark.
Internet Explorer, which once commanded more than 90 percent of the browser market, now accounts for less than 20% of browser use in Europe, according to StatCounter. Google’s Chrome accounts for just less than half of Web browsing, and about a quarter of users opt for Mozilla’s Firefox.
Still, it may be premature to call Microsoft’s antitrust days entirely in the rear-view mirror. China has come knocking.