Skip to main content

Windows RT browser exclusion draws attention from European, US regulators

Windows RT browser exclusion draws attention from European, US regulators

/

The European Commission this week announced that it will be keeping a close eye on Microsoft's Windows RT operating system, in response to Mozilla's complaint that the forthcoming platform excludes third-party browsers.

Share this story

European Union flags
European Union flags

The European Commission this week announced that it will be keeping a close eye on Microsoft's Windows RT operating system, in response to Mozilla's complaint that the forthcoming platform excludes third-party browsers. At issue is a 2009 antitrust decision that requires Microsoft to provide links to other browsers from within a Windows ballot display. According to Mozilla, though, only Internet Explorer can run in the Classic environment on RT, suggesting that Microsoft's ARM variant of Windows 8 may violate European regulations.

In an e-mail to reporters, EC spokesman for competition Antoine Colombani confirmed that "the Commission is aware" of Mozilla's claims, and that it "will remain vigilant" in overseeing Microsoft's compliance with current regulations. Colombani stressed, however, that the EC's 2009 decision applies only to PCs. This stipulation is of particular significance since Windows RT would primarily run on tablets, though it could run on ARM-based PCs, as well. This has led some to speculate that Microsoft may be taking advantage of a perceived loophole in current regulations, but the company has thus far declined to comment on the matter.

Regulators in the US, meanwhile, are taking a similarly exploratory approach to Windows RT. On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Sen. Herb Kohl told TechWorldNews that the Senate Judiciary Committee plans to look into allegations that the operating system infringes browser competition, as part of a fact-finding "preliminary inquiry." Antitrust, as in Europe, is at the center of Microsoft's stateside controversy, though it's worth noting that relevant US regulations apply specifically to "Intel-compatible PC operating systems," whereas those in Europe mention only PCs in the abstract.

The European Commission's ruling is set to expire in 2014, and if Microsoft is found to be in violation, it could be fined up to ten percent of its annual revenue.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Sep 24 Striking out

E
External Link
Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.


A
Youtube
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.


A
The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


A
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Looking for something to do this weekend?

Why not hang out on the couch playing video games and watching TV. It’s a good time for it, with intriguing recent releases like Return to Monkey Island, Session: Skate Sim, and the Star Wars spinoff Andor. Or you could check out some of the new anime on Netflix, including Thermae Romae Novae (pictured below), which is my personal favorite time-traveling story about bathing.


A screenshot from the Netflix anime Thermae Romae Novae.
Thermae Romae Novae.
Image: Netflix
J
Twitter
Jay PetersSep 23
Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.


T
Twitter
Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.


A
External Link
If you’re using crash detection on the iPhone 14, invest in a really good phone mount.

Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, and the last thing anyone needs is to think their loved one was in a horrible crash when they weren’t. This is obviously an edge case, but it makes me wonder what other sort of false positives we see as more phones adopt this technology.


A
External Link
Ford is running out of its own Blue Oval badges.

Running out of semiconductors is one thing, but running out of your own iconic nameplates is just downright brutal. The Wall Street Journal reports badge and nameplate shortages are impacting the automaker's popular F-series pickup lineup, delaying deliveries and causing general chaos.

Some executives are even proposing a 3D printing workaround, but they didn’t feel like the substitutes would clear the bar. All in all, it's been a dreadful summer of supply chain setbacks for Ford, leading the company to reorganize its org chart to bring some sort of relief.