Feeds

EC drops Microsoft browser probe

Redmond agrees to offer more choice to customers

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Brussels has ditched some of its antitrust action against Microsoft, after the software giant agreed to offer Windows customers a choice of web browsers via its operating system.

Microsoft will avoid further fines from regulators at the competition arm of the European Commission, if it gives Windows users a pop-up screen that lets EU customers decide which browser - such as Firefox or Google’s Chrome - to use on their computer.

"Millions of European consumers will benefit from this decision by having a free choice about which web browser they use," said EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes.

"Such choice will not only serve to improve people's experience of the internet now but also act as an incentive for web browser companies to innovate and offer people better browsers in the future."

The vendor will be required to implement the option by mid-March, however the commitments it has made to the EC are “legally-binding” from today. The move means that computer makers will be able to ship Windows-based PCs without Internet Explorer to countries within the 27-state bloc.

Windows users will be provided with a "Choice Screen" containing the 12 most widely-used web browsers that run on the OS. There will also be an option for OEMs and customers to switch off IE and make a different browser the default option in Windows.

Norwegian browser maker Opera, which brought its complaint against Microsoft tying Internet Explorer to Windows to the EC in December 2007, welcomed today's announcement.

“This is a victory for the future of the web. This decision is also a celebration of open web standards, as these shared guidelines are the necessary ingredients for innovation on the web,” said Opera CEO Jon von Tetzchner

“Opera has long been at the forefront of web standards, which ensures that people have equal access to the Web anytime, anywhere and on any device. We see the outcome of the EU’s investigation as a testament to our mission.”

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.