Microsoft Promises Choices to the EU Commission

Microsoft's offer of allowing Windows users to choose which Internet browser they use has been accepted by the European Commission, ending its antitrust investigation of the company's impressive position in the browser market.

The company promises it will offer users of Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 a choice screen through which they can pick the browsers they want to install on their PC. The screen will be offered to users in the European Union as well as some neighboring countries for the next five years via the Windows Update system. In addition, PC manufacturers will be allowed to ship computers with competing Web browsers.

The Commission informed Microsoft of its objections to the company's practice of tying Internet Explorer to its Windows operating systems on Jan. 15. The Commission stated that by exploiting its dominant position in the operating system market, Microsoft has been preventing other software browsers from competing on their merits. The new choice screen will enable such competition, the Commission said Wednesday.

Now that the Commission has accepted Microsoft's proposal, it becomes completely legally binding. If Microsoft fails to deliver on the choice screen, it will face a fine of up to 10 percent of its worldwide turnover, under E.U. antitrust law. Courtesy of

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