E.U. hits Microsoft with browser complaint #thecircuit

This story has been updated.

E.U. hits Microsoft with browser complaint: The European Union filed a formal complaint against Microsoft for not offering consumers more browser choice in Windows 7. According to the Associated Press, Microsoft said that a technical error kept it from complying with an antitrust settlement requirement that said the company had to include a “browser choice screen” in its operating system.

In a statement to the AP, Microsoft said, “We take this matter very seriously and moved quickly to address this problem as soon as we became aware of it. Although this was the result of a technical error, we take responsibility for what happened.”

Reuters had previously reported that the E.U. was in the final stages of formalizing its concerns late last month.

Microsoft has also been in talks with the E.U. over including a choice screen in its upcoming system, Windows 8.

In a statement to The Post, Microsoft said, “After discussions with the Commission, we are changing some aspects of the way the Browser Choice Screen works on Windows 8 and will have those changes implemented when Windows 8 launches later this week.”

Facebook reports earnings: Facebook reported better-than-expected earnings Tuesday, sending the stock soaring up over 20 percent for a share price of $23.61 Wednesday afternoon.

The company actually lost money, but far less than analysts were expecting — a net loss of $59 million on revenues of $1.26 billion.

“I want to dispel this myth that Facebook can’t make money on mobile,” said CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a conference call Tuesday. “This may have seemed true earlier this year because we hadn’t started trying yet.”

AT&T: In its earnings report Wednesday, AT&T said that subscriber growth has slowed and that it added a net total of 151,000 customers from July through September. The Associated Press reported that is the lowest number for that period since at least 2003.

AT&T said that the slowdown is in part due to supply problems with the iPhone 5, and that it will be more focused on expanding its services rather than adding more to its customer base going forward.

Apple introduces iPad mini: Apple introduced a slew of products Tuesday, but the star of the event was undoubtedly the company’s new tiny tablet, the iPad mini.

As in computers and laptops, Apple strove to maintain its position as a high-quality computer manufacturer whose products cost more than those of the competition. The basic version of the iPad mini is tagged at $329, well above Amazon’s $199 Kindle Fire.

Apple’s strategy didn’t seem to agree with Wall Street. As soon as the price was unveiled, a sell-off in the firm’s stock accelerated.

ESRB rolls out ratings for digitally distributed games: The Entertainment Software Rating Board announced Wednesday that it has introduced a system to make it easier for developers to assign content ratings to digitally distributed games.

This includes gaming apps as well as games distributed over platforms such as Xbox Live and PlayStation Live. Developers will be able to answer a quick questionnaire that will not only rate content but also disclose when games share personal information or location, or includes features that have gamera interact with players online.

“It’s a new day for ratings,” said ESRB President Patricia Vance in an interview with The Post. “We’re evolving as the industry evolves, addressing the needs of the digital marketplace.”

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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