European Union regulators have officially dropped the antitrust case against Microsoft, which was said to be in breach of European antitrust laws by not providing the users of its Windows operating system with an option to choose their web browser and bundling the Internet Explorer as the default browser.
The case turned in favor of Microsoft when it agreed to provide its users with a browser catalogue of around 12 different web browsers which include those of Google, Apple and Mozilla.
Interestingly, Opera, the Norwegian web applications maker had complained to EU commission that Microsoft was using its dominant market position in the operating systems market to stub-out competition for its internet browser by pre-installing it in Windows operating system so that it automatically becomes the default browser of Windows customers.
Microsoft, the largest software company in the world, has agreed to send ballot screens to the users of MS Windows across Europe that will present them with a random list of browsers from different companies.
The screen will present it self via automatic software update to the users who have Internet Explorer as their default browser.
Microsoft said in a statement that the company was ‘pleased’ with the EU’s decision to drop the charges and not to impose fine on the company. However, it also added that the company will not exceed the browser choice beyond the European Union.
Much ado about nothing? The European Union decision may serve as a test case as many of us await to see whether the solution actually helps alternative browsers grapple a few percentage points from the almighty Microsoft Internet Explorer. It would however be highly unlikely.