Microsoft Proposes Including Competitor Browsers in EU Windows 7

Posted on July 29, 2009 7:45 AM by Rob Williams

Last month, we pointed to a story that explained how the European Union effectively “broke” Windows 7. That conclusion was brought forth, because Opera, and later others, pressured the EU into believing that Windows shipping with Internet Explorer, and only Interenet Explorer, was a problem. I won’t reiterate my thoughts here, but suffice to say, I found their reasoning to be purely asinine.

Opera’s argument was that because Microsoft chose to ship Windows with IE being the only bundled browser, consumers were not getting the choice they deserved. It wasn’t so much just the fact that it wasn’t bundled, but more the fact that consumers might not even realize other choices exist, and therefore, it was a problem. The remedy, of course, would be for Microsoft to bundle the other browsers, and as it looks today, something like that is exactly what’s going to happen.

According to DailyTech, who talked to Opera’s CTO, Windows 7 in Europe will likely offer a ballot screen of sorts, which will list no more than 10 browsers, each of which must have at least 0.5% marketshare. As a result, Apple’s Safari, Mozilla’s Firefox, Google’s Chrome, and Opera’s browser would be included alongside Internet Explorer. Whether or not the browsers would actually be included on the disc, or be downloaded after a choice has been made, is unknown.

Oh, and here’s a quote-of-the-day for you, “This decision to give third parties a chance is good news for Microsoft [emphasis mine], users, and the free market says Mr. Lie.“. No, I didn’t make his name up.

According to Mr. Lie the currently proposal from Microsoft is to present users a ballot screen during Windows 7 installation. Any browser maker with over 0.5 percent Windows browsing marketshare would be eligible to be on the screen, with a maximum of 10 allowed options. This would mean that Opera, Mozilla’s Firefox, Google’s Chrome, and Apple’s Safari would likely be the browsers presented.

Source: DailyTech

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