The move creates a bit of cognitive dissonance, since Microsoft was charged with anti-competitive violations by the Department of Justice specifically over their attempt to lock Windows customers into Internet Explorer by giving it away for free on every PC (for those of you who don’t remember, that’s what helped to kill Netscape, whose demise helped spur the advent of Mozilla’s Firefox).
Of course Microsoft controlled more than 90% of the PC market at the time, while Windows 7 has less than 2% of the smartphone market in the U.S., and they’ll have no serious presence in tablets until the launch of Windows RT later this year. Still, if Microsoft finds success as the market shifts away from PCs to mobile devices, they could potentially lock a lot of people into Internet Explorer, a feat they have not been able to accomplish the last few years as their once-commanding market position has been eroded by competing browsers.
Google and Mozilla have both called foul. They won't be the only ones complaining for long - it turns out that Microsoft won't be allowing competing media players on their tablets either. Perhaps one or several of the affected companies will file a grievance with the DoJ, but until such time as Windows 8 tablets start to win significant market share, we doubt we'll see much action from the government. Still, it’s an interesting about-face from Microsoft's PC days – it appears their tablets will live in even more of a walled garden than Apple’s iPad.
source: ZDNet via 9to5Google