Redmond to offer choice of browsers
Last modified on Thursday, 17 December 2009 13:54
The European Commission has buried the hatchet with Microsoft
after Redmond agreed to offer European consumers the choice of
alternative browsers in Windows. In turn, the EC agreed to drop charges
filed against Microsoft back in January.
The EC alleged Microsoft's decision to ship Internet Explorer with
Windows gave Microsoft's half baked browser an unfair advantage over
the competition. Of course, users were always able to download and use
alternative browsers, but most simply didn't bother. In all fairness,
migrating to Firefox back in IE 7 times made quite a bit of sense, but
recently Microsoft has greatly improved its browser and many users were pleased with IE 8.
Under the terms of the agreement Windows versions shipped in the EU
will feature a pop-up screen that will ask users to choose one or more
browsers they would like to install on their PC, including IE, Chrome,
Firefox and Safari. Frankly this doesn't seem like a high price to pay
for getting those pesky, money grabbing European Commission bureaucrats off one's
However, there is a catch. If Microsoft doesn't abide by the agreement
for at least five years it could face an automatic fine of up to 10
percent of its yearly global turnover.
Currently Microsoft's IE holds a 64 percent global browser market
share, trailed by Firefox with 25 percent, while Cupertino's Safari and
Google's Chrome hover around 4 percent each.