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Microsoft and the European Union finally seem to be on the verge of working out their differences, with a new Windows 7 balloting proposal.  (Source: MSDN/Microsoft)
The European Commission and Microsoft appear to finally be on the verge of resolving an antitrust dispute over Windows 7's browser

Microsoft has long packaged its Internet Explorer browser with Windows.  The bundling has given Microsoft's browser a dominant position in the marketplace, despite promising alternatives including Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Google Chrome.  That cozy position could soon change, though, thanks to action by Europe's antitrust watchdog and business regulatory body, the European Commission.

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 would not 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 decision. 

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 scheme.

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 Web-based applications."

Brad Smith, general counsel of Microsoft stated that his company was "pleased by today's decisions."

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."



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By afkrotch on 10/8/2009 6:41:51 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Web tablets will succeed where UMPCs/MIDs, Tablet PCs, and touchscreen PCs failed. They'll be as thin as PMPs with slick, intuitive UIs. They will be the biggest advancement in reading technology since the invention of the book.


They'll also be a total piece of crap. They will either be lower performance and high battery life, high performance and have low battery life, or heavy as a brick to have high performance and high battery life.

UMPCs failed, cause a smartphone does what everyone already wants. Easy access to google, myspace, and facebook. Running actual productive apps isn't a requirement.

For actual work, everyone turns to a laptop. A keyboard is a requirement. Tablets failed cause they were underpowered, had bad battery life, and cost more. Not to mention, software that turns your writing into typed text doesn't work well. Software that turns your speech into typed text also doesn't work well. It's expensive too.


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