Feeds

EC drops Microsoft browser probe

Redmond agrees to offer more choice to customers

Boost IT visibility and business value

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.”

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Sin COS to tan Windows? Chinese operating system to debut in autumn – report
Development alliance working on desktop, mobe software
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
(Not so) Instagram now: Time-shifting Hyperlapse iPhone tool unleashed
Photos app now able to shoot fast-moving videos
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.