The European Commission has classified Microsoft as one of the “gatekeepers” under the Digital Markets Act, along with five other major tech companies. The act aims to prevent these companies from abusing their dominant market position and imposing unfair conditions on customers. As a gatekeeper, Microsoft’s Windows operating system is subject to certain requirements outlined by the Commission.
In response to this designation, Microsoft has outlined a series of changes that it plans to make in Windows and its associated apps to comply with the Digital Markets Act. These changes primarily apply to Windows PCs in the European Economic Area (EEA). Some of the key changes include clearly identifying built-in operating system functionality, allowing users to uninstall certain bundled apps, and providing options for alternative providers for web search.
Microsoft has also announced that it is rolling out these updates to Windows 11 in the Release Preview Channel, with updates for Windows 10 expected to follow later. The company aims to complete these updates in the EEA to ensure compliance with the Digital Markets Act by March 6, 2024.