Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is being shaken down again by people in and members of the European Union. Just when the company seemed to have been battered a bruised with a fine from the EU for web browsing antitrust violations, apparently another group in Spain is looking to gets its own piece of the pie.
After being slapped with a nine-figure fine by the EU over not supplying web-browsing choices on its Windows platform (besides its proprietary Internet Explorer), now Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) may be asked to answer for charges by a group of Linux operators and developers in Spain, which sent a letter to EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia this week charging that Microsoft blocks computer users from removing the Windows OS in exchange for another OS like Linux.
Hispalinux, an 8,000-member group of Linux users and developers in Spain, wrote the letter urging the Competition Commissioner to investigate Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) for what it calls an “anti-competitive” approach to its Windows operating system – not allowing other OSs to be installed on a Windows-based desktop or laptop. The group, headed by Jose Maria Lancho, say that Microsoft’s use of UEFI Secure Boot technology prevents the de-installation of Windows 8 from computers, making it difficult for users to install the OS of their choice. Microsoft says that UEFI is an industry standard that is designed to protect computer and make them more safe and secure for users.
This is absolutely anti-competitive,” Lancho said in an interview with Reuters. “It’s really bad for the user and for the European software industry.” In counter, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) spokesman Robin Koch said in a statement, “We are happy to answer any additional questions but we are confident our approach complies with the law and helps keep customers safe.”
What are your thoughts? Is Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) right to prevent its Windows OS from being removed from computers that have it pre-installed, or should consumers have the ultimate right to, in effect, build their own computer from the OS out? Does Microsoft (or Apple, for that matter) have an “unfair” competitive advantage? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below.
DISCLOSURE: I own no positions in any stock mentioned.
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