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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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No point?
By awer26 on 12/8/2009 11:42:25 AM , Rating: 5
I really don't see the point in this. MS creates a product that spans many different areas of the computer marketplace...so what? Why should they have to offer competitors products regarding IE? You don't see Apple being pressured into giving installers (if you could find any) the option of Safari. It's not like the other browsers are unadvertised. Whenever you use IE to visit Google.com for example, there's a big button in the top right corner that says "A faster way to browse the web...install Google Chrome".

Furthermore, why stop there. I mean, they could go ahead and do the same with the Games - offer the MS version of hearts and minesweeper, or some other package of Ebaumsworld-esque options instead?

Truthfully, if you don't know about Opera, Firefox, Safari, etc, you probably just don't care. You want to get on the internet and check your AOL email address that you got in 1994. More choices being randomized before using Windows for the first time won't make your experience any better either. Just sayin'.




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