Microsoft is poised to accommodate Windows 11 users in the European Economic Area (EEA) by enabling the option to disable Bing web search, remove the Edge browser, and incorporate third-party search tools. These alterations stem from the necessity for the tech giant to align its software platform with the Digital Markets Act, set to take effect in March 2024 in the EEA.
Compliance with Antitrust Laws
To comply with antitrust laws, Microsoft faces various requisites, including facilitating users in easily removing pre-installed applications or altering default settings within operating systems, virtual assistants, or web browsers. Notably, Windows 11 will allow users to distinguish system components and remove standard apps like Cortana, Camera, Photos, Edge, and Bing from the integrated web search.
Implementation and Testing
“Windows utilizes the region specified during device setup to identify EEA location,” Microsoft clarified. While these changes could be extended to all Windows users, current implementation is specific to the EU, which enforces stringent antitrust laws mandating these alterations. The EEA comprises EU countries along with Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.
Rollout and Enactment
Microsoft initiates the testing phase for these adjustments within a preview version of Windows 11 this week, notes NIX Solutions. The expected widespread rollout of these changes aligns closer to the Digital Markets Act’s enactment on March 6, 2024.