December 16th, 2009, 17:23 PM
EU accepts Microsoft deal on browser choice
Microsoft's promise to allow Windows users to choose which Internet browser they use has been accepted by the European Commission, ending its antitrust investigation of the company's position in the browser market.
The company will offer users of Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 a choice screen through which they can pick the browsers they want to install on their PC. The screen will be offered to users in the European Union and some neighboring countries for the next five years via the Windows Update mechanism. In addition, PC manufacturers will be allowed to ship computers with competing Web browsers, as well as or instead of Internet Explorer.
To eliminate bias, the choice screen is presented as a neutral window, not a full Internet Explorer window as Microsoft initially proposed, and the browsers are presented in random, rather than alphabetical, order. The five most popular browsers -- initially Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Opera -- will be displayed first, while users will be able to scroll the list to pick from seven others, initially AOL, Maxthon, K-Meleon, Flock, Avant Browser, Sleipnir and Slim Browser. The list will be reviewed every six months.
Full story: Computerworld