Microsoft Caves In To EU Demand, Offers Random Browser Options

Microsoft Corp. has revamped its ongoing legal negotiations with the EU antitrust regulators over the concerns surrounding web browser exclusivity, according to a report carried by Bloomberg.

Citing internal sources, Bloomberg wrote that the software giant has finally agreed to make the requested concessions by randomising the choice of browsers customers are offered while installing a Windows operating system.

Under the aforesaid modifications, Microsoft has altered its erstwhile ‘screen ballot proposal’ to randomly incorporate five top browsers in the list, with the user now given the option to download any one of them.

Such a modified system would place all the recommended browser options at par, and would prevent the software maker from being alleged of preferring its own signature browser while offering its customers with suitable choices.

The news outlet further claimed that the EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes was optimistic about reaching an acceptable solution by the end of this year.

Microsoft, which has been penalised with fines worth $2.53 billion in various EU antitrust cases, has drawn flaks over bundling its browser Internet Explorer with its widely popular Windows operating systems.

The issue encompassing browser exclusivity was raised by a few well-known tech companies having their own internet browsers, including Google, Mozilla, and Opera.

“We’ve concluded our discussions with Microsoft. We have addressed the issues raised in the market test and we think we now have the basis for quite a robust remedy”, the website quoted Philip Lowe, the Commission’s competition department director general, as saying.

Our Comments

Ramdonly displaying the browsers in the installation menu is possibly the best option currently available; something that will not pan Microsoft and offer a viable alternative to Windows OS users. It is sad though that Microsoft has had to wait so long before it reluctantly had to implement this.

Related Links

Microsoft, EU Are Said to Modify Deal in Browser Case (Update3)

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Microsoft alters settlement with EU over browser exclusivity

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Microsoft agrees to randomise browser choices

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Microsoft tweaks browser ballot as EU antitrust deal nears

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Microsoft agreeing to EU browser changes?

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