The EC demanded Microsoft offer a
ballot selection screen to allow users to pick their browser of
choice with Windows 7. Microsoft at first refused, saying it
include IE 8 in European copies of Windows 7. In the end,
though, Microsoft came
around and agreed
to a ballot screen.
The EC had some minor complaints about
Microsoft's first proposal -- mainly its lack of information to users
about what the browsers were to help them make their selection.
Under the new proposal, which the EC calls much "improved"
users could find out information on what a browser is from the ballot
screen. They would also have access to additional information
about each browser they could install, to help them make their
Under the new proposal, the balloting system
would work for five years after purchase on any new install.
Windows 7 and all future versions of Windows would implement this
EC showed Microsoft some love, with a regulator
stating, "The commission's concern has been that PC users should
have an effective and unbiased choice between Internet Explorer and
competing Web browsers to ensure competition on the merits and to
allow consumers to benefit from technical development and innovation
both on the Web-browser market and on related markets, such as
Brad Smith, general counsel of
Microsoft stated that his company was "pleased by today's
Microsoft and Europe have had a rocky
relationship, with Microsoft fined
899 million euros ($1.35 billion) in 2008 for antitrust
violations. Brad Smith says that situation has greatly turned
around, though. He gave Europe some love back, stating, "It's
heartening to see the much better relationship that exists today."