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Microsoft Corp. and the European Commission agreed that the software maker will ship its next-generation Windows 7 operating system with Internet Explorer browser included, however, end-users will be given an option to use third-party browsers too that will also be featured in the OS. Earlier Microsoft said it could not install Internet Explorer in the European edition of Windows 7.

The European Commission said that Microsoft has proposed a consumer ballot screen as a solution to the pending antitrust case about the tying of Microsoft Internet Explorer web browser with Windows. This followed extensive discussions with the Commission which centered on a remedy outlined in the January 2009 Statement of Objections whereby consumers would be shown a "ballot screen" from which they could – if they wished - easily install third-party Web browsers, set one of those browsers as a default, and disable Internet Explorer. Under the proposal, Windows 7 would include Internet Explorer, but the proposal recognizes the principle that consumers should be given a free and effective choice of Web browser, and sets out a means – the ballot screen - by which Microsoft believes that can be achieved.

 In addition OEMs would be able to install competing web browsers, set those as default and disable Internet Explorer should they so wish. The Commission welcomes this proposal, and will now investigate its practical effectiveness in terms of ensuring genuine consumer choice.

As the Commission indicated in June, the Commission was concerned that, should Microsoft's conduct prove to have been abusive, Microsoft's intention to separate Internet Explorer from Windows, without measures such as a ballot screen, would not necessarily have achieved greater consumer choice in practice and would not have been an effective remedy.

Microsoft has also made proposals in relation to disclosures of interoperability information that would improve the interoperability between third party products and Windows and Windows Server. Microsoft's proposals will be published in full on its website.

Tags: Microsoft, Windows

Discussion

Comments currently: 4
Discussion started: 07/27/09 02:50:18 PM
Latest comment: 07/28/09 11:21:03 PM

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1. 
Better than no browser at all but I still don't know what the EU is trying to do here. How are consumers being benefited at all here? Fortunately consumers aren't hurt either.

Availability of products and low prices: that is what consumer choice is about. If the EU were concerned about consumer choice it would move to open up its market. Let's not have an EU version, let's have the US version at the US price for once.
0 0 [Posted by: CSMR  | Date: 07/27/09 02:50:18 PM]
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2. 
CSMR: I think you're right about consumer choice. Availablity of alternative browsers before this move: ubiquitous and trivial. Just type "firefox" and click three times, you're done. Price of same: free.

Wait, what was the problem again?
0 0 [Posted by: sanity  | Date: 07/27/09 07:12:54 PM]
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3. 
So my BIG question is: If there are no browser istalled by default, how can one download and install a new one?!?!?!?!?!
0 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 07/27/09 10:32:46 PM]
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4. 
A valid point re pricing..........why are we in AU being charged ~ $50AU more than what ppl pay in the US for what is exactly the same product
0 0 [Posted by: alpha0ne  | Date: 07/28/09 11:21:03 PM]
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