Print 30 comment(s) - last by PrezWeezy.. on Dec 9 at 2:17 PM

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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Should be in an OS
By CColtManM on 12/8/2009 1:04:06 PM , Rating: 2
An internet browser should be bundled with an Operating System. It is a vital component to the computer world and is needed by every user. If I buy Microsoft software, they should be free to bundle their software with their software.

It's not like anyone is making money on IE, or FF, or Opera.

RE: Should be in an OS
By nshoe on 12/8/2009 1:39:25 PM , Rating: 2
It's not like anyone is making money on IE, or FF, or Opera.

Actually, that is not entirely true. Microsoft does make money off of IE. With MSN usually being the default home page and BING the default search engine they make money from advertising. (and for the record Google does make money from FF and Opera default search engine settings)

RE: Should be in an OS
By CColtManM on 12/8/2009 3:01:50 PM , Rating: 2
I stand corrected.

But couldn't they advertise on any sites (that allow them to do so)? I mean, a lot of people have hotmail emails, so they would find MSN's site sooner or later, but I won't aruge, because I see the reasoning, it's search.

So, are these search wars more than they are browser wars? How does FF make money off of a Google homepage?

RE: Should be in an OS
By nshoe on 12/8/2009 3:07:41 PM , Rating: 2
The Mozilla Corporation gets money from Google for assigning the default search engine to Google and for click-throughs on the ensuing search pages.

RE: Should be in an OS
By bug77 on 12/9/2009 7:02:52 AM , Rating: 2
Fair enough.

However, it should not be a part of the OS. The user must be able to completely remove (you can only IE's UI in Win7) one browser and install another one as they see fit. The same goes for media players, text editors and anything that is not vital in any way.

I mean, look at how Linux does it: it's simple, you don't have to reinvent the wheel. Fwiw, it helps that there are multiple linux distros, otherwise, a single distro shipping with FF by default may raise the same concerns Windows does.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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