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Approval expected as early as today

Microsoft has been facing legal problems for years that stem from the bundling of its Internet Explorer browser with the Windows operating system. The bundling of IE with the OS has long been called unfair by other browser makers.

Back in October, Microsoft presented the European Commission with a proposal that would have Windows 7 offer users a ballot box to choose the browser that they want to install from IE and competing offerings like Opera and others. The proposal received some complaints from other browser companies who believed that the ballot screen didn't offer enough information about the browsers available among other complaints.

Reuters reports that three people familiar with the situation have said that the European Commission is expected to approve a new proposal from Microsoft as early as today. The new proposal from Microsoft will use the same ballot screen, but rather than presenting the browsers in alphabetical order the browsers will be randomized.

If approved, the new proposal will let Microsoft escape another massive fine. The software giant has already been fined $1.35 billion for violation of EU antitrust rules in 2008. The Commission still reports that it is assessing the offer and comments made by Microsoft. Commission spokesman Jonathan Todd said, "The Commission will not accept any commitments unless consumers are ensured a real, viable choice."

Feedback on the Microsoft proposal had been sought by Microsoft rivals until November 7 reports Reuters. Opera was one of the companies with complaints against Microsoft that helped start the inquiry in 2007. Opera CTO Hakon Wium Lie told Reuters, "Those two changes, if indeed it appears to be the case, are an improvement on the previous proposal. They are significant and would be helpful to users."

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RE: .
By HotFoot on 12/8/2009 10:51:23 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah - normally I'm more hands-off about how other places run their markets, as in, I'm not in the ECM and they can do as they please.

Sometimes, though, it seems like they want to just see how far they can push a private entity. Of course, it's their back yard and they can do as they please, but it seems to me this is a lot of rigmarole over basically nothing.

In Canada, IE has come bundled with every version of Windows I've bought since I don't know when. This doesn't stop me from being aware of competing products, and in fact I use Firefox. I don't see the downside of this situation. Are folks fighting for the less informed? If someone doesn't care enough to desire a different browser or even consider that there are other choices, then they're probably not bothered by the existing, simple solution. /shrug. I guess I just don't see what the big deal is.

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