Skip to main content

EU Says Microsoft's Browser Ballot Is Good To Go

In what seems as major respite to Microsoft, the European Commission has stated that it is satisfied with Microsoft’s plans to facilitate competition in the browser market through a browser ballot system.

In order to address concerns raised by the European Commission related to web browser choice in Europe, Microsoft had come up with the idea of a ballot screen, wherein a user who has Internet Explorer installed in their system by default will be show options to install alternate browsers.

Expressing her satisfaction at the developments, Neelie Kroes, the European Commissioner for Competition Policy said that "Microsoft's proposal in particular recognises the principle that consumers should be given a free and effective choice of web browser. It would empower all current and future users of Windows in Europe to choose which browser they wished to use."

She went on to add the browser ballot has already gone through some informal testing and the Commission had asked Microsoft to make some changes which the company has duly made.

The arrangement with the European Commission comes at a good time for Microsoft as it will now be able to ship its new Windows 7 operating system with Internet Explorer installed (ed: that's coming in two weeks' time); moreover the arrangement also allows OEM vendors the choice to install whichever browser they want.

Our Comments

Good timing for Microsoft and this finally clears the last hurdle for the software giant as the deadline for the release of Windows 7 nears. The ballot is by far the simplest solution to allow other users to try alternative browsers. Forcing Microsoft to remove Internet Explorer from Windows would have been counterproductive and complex.

Related Links

Europe clears Windows 7 for takeoff

(Channel Register)

EU approves Microsoft's browser ballot plan

(IT Pro)

Microsoft's browser ballot bodge gets the nod

(The Register)

Brussels to market test Microsoft concessions

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.