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Microsoft faces new EU antitrust probe as Linux group files complaint

Gregg Keizer | March 27, 2013
A Spanish association of Linux users today accused Microsoft of anti-competitive practices, charging that Windows 8's Secure Boot blocks users from installing rival operating systems on new PCs.

"The Commission is aware of the Microsoft Windows 8 security requirements," said Almunia of the operating system's UEFI requirement. "The Commission is currently not in possession of evidence suggesting that the Windows 8 security requirements would result in practices in violation of EU competition rules."

Almunia penned an almost identical response in March, but changed some of the language. "In particular, on the basis of the information currently available to the Commission, it appears that the OEMs are required to give end users the option to disable the UEFI secure boot," he said.

The original question was posed in Parliament by Amelia Andersdotter, a member of Sweden's Pirate Party, which advocates radical changes to copyright and patent laws. For several years, the Pirate Party hosted the website of the Pirate Bay file-sharing service.

Pirate Bay has announced it was granted "virtual asylum" by the North Korean government, and claimed that its servers were being hosted by the internationally-shunned country.

But the Commission could change its mind and put Microsoft back in its crosshairs. Earlier this month, Almunia fined Microsoft $732 million for failing to abide by a 2009 settlement that required it to offer Windows users a choice of alternate browsers.


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