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It seems like Windows will soon be shipped with Microsoft's own AI assistant Windows Copilot. This seems awfully similar to the famous case they lost in EU because they used to ship Windows with Internet Explorer, thereby creating an unfair advantage against competing software.

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    In the US, it was never proven that Microsoft was breaking the law. A lower court initially found Microsoft's practices were illegal, portions were overturned on appeal, and further proceedings were in progress when the case was settled with a consent decree, which does not involve an admission of guilt.
    – user71659
    Oct 2, 2023 at 17:59
  • @user71659 I still think the question is valid if they provide the feature in the EU as well. IIRC they lost quite a bunch of $$$ in that case.
    – PMF
    Oct 2, 2023 at 19:40
  • By contrast, Microsoft has always shipped Notepad with Windows, and I don't think anyone ever seriously asserted that this created an unfair advantage against competing text editors. So it can't be the bundling alone that creates the issue; it must be something about what the software is and its place in the market. Thus it's not clear that there is a direct comparison between Internet Explorer and Windows Copilot. Oct 3, 2023 at 16:26

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No

Tying and bundling are only unlawful if they abuse market power.

The Microsoft Explorer case may have been such an abuse (it was never litigated in Australia) because Explorer was free if you bought Windows, but there was a charge otherwise, and Microsoft was in a dominant market position. Neither appears to be true of Copilot.

First, it doesn't appear that there is a charge for Copilot. Second, Microsoft Windows is no longer the dominant OS for digital devices; Android is. Even if you limit the market to only desktop OS, its market share is only 69%; this is generally not considered a dominant position.

However, it doesn't appear that there is any tying or bundling going on here. Copilot does not appear to be a separate product independent of Windows - it just appears to be an optional product feature of Windows. Unless this is something that Microsoft is selling that can be used on other OS, the issue simply doesn't arise.

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