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Microsoft faces EU Probe ... again

The European Commission, which is on track to become Microsoft's sole nemesis, has opened two more investigations into "claims that the company has abused its dominant position to squeeze competitors out of the market", according to the New York Times (opens in new tab).

The first one follows a complaint by Opera, a Norwegian company which produces an eponymous browser, rival of Microsoft's own Internet Explorer; The EC will examine whether Microsoft's bundling of IE with Windows did harm Opera or not.

Opera has a non-negligible presence in the mobile market while its share of the desktop browser market is insignificant.

The Norwegian company filed a complaint (opens in new tab) on the 13th of December 2007 against Microsoft and it took only one month for the EC to react.

The second inquest will look at whether Microsoft is refusing access to data and codes that rival companies need in order to make their products compatible with Microsoft's Office suite - which includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint.

The two new investigations come four months after the Court of First Instance, Europe’s second highest Court of Justice, upheld the commission’s 2004 decision to impose fines on Microsoft.

The news come as a report by the Burton Group (opens in new tab) shed positive light on XML-based office document formats Microsoft's Office Open XML (OOXML) format and questions the relevance of ODF.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.