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Microsoft: Eu Tech Companies File Formal Complaint Against Windows "One Drive" Bundling

Materials from the Nextcloud coalition
(Image credit: Nextcloud)

Several tech companies have lodged a formal complaint with EU and German authorities citing anti-competitive behavior from Microsoft. Once again, for Microsoft, the issue is bundling - namely, its One Drive cloud application being shipped and enabled as the default solution in Windows releases. The coalition is now looking to extend their complaints to the French authorities and others that might help them against Big Tech.

Led by German-based Nextcloud, the complainants include thirty companies operating to some capacity in the cloud-provider space. Microsoft has already been in hot water before for including Internet Explorer pre-installed with its Windows Operating System (OS). More recently, the company even admitted to anti-competitive behavior regarding its Chromium-based Edge browser.

Materials from the Nextcloud coalition

Nextcloud shared a banner identifying the companies that have entered its coalition for a level playing field. (Image credit: Nextcloud)

According to Nextcloud, the anticompetitive practices from tech giants including Microsoft, Google, and Amazon have allowed these "Big Tech" companies to capture 66% of the European market share over the years. The issue is that these local providers don't benefit from the customer-easing software bundles that Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Amazon can implement.

For example, not only is Microsoft's One Drive bundled with Windows, but the company also implemented pop-ups that onboard new users throughout the already-installed software suite, thus making it all the more comfortable for consumers to simply stick with the manufacturer-provided services - to the detriment of opting for solutions from Microsoft's competitors.

According to Nextcloud's press release on the matter, "Local, more specialized vendors are unable to compete "on the merits" as the key to success is not a good product but the ability to distort competition and block market access," noting that "This makes it nearly impossible to compete with their SaaS services."

The higher difficuly for local providers in onboarding new customers has reduced their market share to 16%, down from 26% a few years ago. To level the playing field with smaller, local providers, the coalition is calling for two particular changes: one, that gatekeeping and services bundling is considered illegal; and two, that Big Tech be forced to adhere to open standards and interoperability that would make an eventual service migration as easy as possible - and actually providing users with a free choice.

Francisco Pires
Freelance News Writer

Francisco Pires is a freelance news writer for Tom's Hardware with a soft side for quantum computing.

  • gggplaya
    Same stuff different day. I remember the Internet Explorer debacle.

    I'll be so glad when Onedrive isn't turned on by default.
    Reply
  • Sippincider
    Will this apply to iCloud, which is also smoothly bundled and doesn’t take “NO!” for an answer?
    Reply
  • JinxTheWorld
    I always uninstall that whenever i see it on a PC. It's almost OCD at this point lol. First thing i get rid of.
    Reply
  • gggplaya
    Sippincider said:
    Will this apply to iCloud, which is also smoothly bundled and doesn’t take “NO!” for an answer?

    If Microsoft loses, you might see a domino effect. Android also requires a google account.
    Reply
  • gggplaya
    JinxTheWorld said:
    I always uninstall that whenever i see it on a PC. It's almost OCD at this point lol. First thing i get rid of.


    The problem is, it's not a simple thing to turn off or remove. When you set it to disabled and log out. Sometimes it's magically logs back in or sometimes nags you to log back into Onedrive. Real pain in the arse for people that don't know how to properly remove it.
    Reply
  • JinxTheWorld
    gggplaya said:
    The problem is, it's not a simple thing to turn off or remove. When you set it to disabled and log out. Sometimes it's magically logs back in or sometimes nags you to log back into Onedrive. Real pain in the arse for people that don't know how to properly remove it.

    IObit Uninstaller does the trick. Removes the registry as well. One click and its gone forever.
    Reply
  • -Fran-
    It takes me more time to uninstall the bloatware from both the OEM and Microsoft than it takes me to install the things I really want, haha.

    Regards.
    Reply
  • TJ Hooker
    gggplaya said:
    I'll be so glad when Onedrive isn't turned on by default.
    IIRC it asks you whether or not you want to set up Onedrive the first time you boot after installation. It's still installed and probably still running regardless what you choose, but it's not actually doing anything.
    Reply
  • TJ Hooker
    gggplaya said:
    Android also requires a google account.
    It's certainly more convenient with a google account, but it's not actually required.
    Reply
  • gggplaya
    TJ Hooker said:
    IIRC it asks you whether or not you want to set up Onedrive the first time you boot after installation. It's still installed and probably still running regardless what you choose, but it's not actually doing anything.

    I press skip on that setup, and it nags you from time to time when you're doing things in office or whatever. I go ahead and remove it on all new builds.
    Reply