Firefox maker Mozilla has welcomed the European Commission's (EC) investigation into claims Microsoft failed to provide the browser ballot choice screen in Windows 7 after a botched service pack update.
Firefox is one of the keenest rivals to Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) browser and has benefited from the browser choice screen since its introduction in 2009, with its market share increasing steadily over time.
In light of the announcement from the EC, Mozilla general counsel Harvey Anderson, said the firm was pleased to see the EC working to ensure the commitments agreed to by Microsoft are adhered too.
"We support the EC's efforts to ensure compliance with the 2009 commitments adopted by Microsoft, and feel it is premature to form any conclusion until the EC has completed its inquiry and gathered all of the facts," he said.
"In 2009, Mozilla outlined a series of principles regarding user choice as a critical part of any remedy. While the ballot screen was one means to promote user choice, Microsoft's pledge in the settlement to adopt pro-choice behaviours was, and still is, equally important."
If found guilty of failing to comply with its requirement Microsoft could face a fine of as much of 10 per cent of its turnover.
Alan Davis, a senior competition partner at Pinsent Masons, predicted Microsoft could find itself feeling the full force of the EC's wrath.
"Given the resources available to Microsoft to monitor its compliance with the commitment, the Commission is unlikely to have much sympathy for their arguments that this was a mistake or a technical glitch," he said.
"Microsoft will have an uphill battle to persuade the Commission that fines shouldn't be imposed as the Commission will also want to send out a deterrence message to other companies about how seriously they take compliance with commitments."
On Tuesday Mozilla unveiled Firefox 14, which adds support for secure searches when using Google and a new API for mouse control of visual applications such as games.
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