Microsoft offers choice of browsers to satisfy EU

The company is seeking to address competition concerns raised by the European Commission in January

Microsoft has offered to provide a choice of Web browsers with its upcoming Windows 7 operating system to ease concerns of competition regulators in the European Union, the EU's competition authority confirmed Friday.

Microsoft proposed including a "ballot screen" that would make it easy for Windows 7 users to install a competing Web browser, set it as the default and disable Internet Explorer, the European Commission said in a statement. PC makers would also be able to install competing Web browsers and disable IE.

"The Commission welcomes this proposal, and will now investigate its practical effectiveness in terms of ensuring genuine consumer choice," it said.

The Commission raised concerns in January that Microsoft's practice of tying IE with Windows might be anticompetitive. Later, in June, it said that simply separating IE from Windows might not be sufficient to ensure competition.

Microsoft has also made proposals to the Commission about disclosing information to achieve better interoperability between Windows, Windows Server and third-party products, the Commission said Friday. It is also investigating these proposals, it said, declining to comment further.

The EU has already won an earlier competition case against Microsoft. In May 2004 it fined the company a record EUR497 million ($US794 million) and ordered it to sell a version of Windows in Europe that did not include Microsoft's Windows Media Player software, to restore competition in that market.

Few PC makers sold the version of Windows without WMP, however, and the remedy was widely seen as ineffective. The Commission is keen to extract more effective remedies from Microsoft for its latest objections.

Microsoft couldn't immediately be reached for comment. The Commission said Microsoft planned to post details of its proposals on its own Web site.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftInternet ExplorerWindows 7european commission

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?