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Microsoft on Bended Knee?

Microsoft last week announced a proposal it placed before the European Commission that will let new PC users install the browser of their choice through a so-called "ballot screen" in Windows.

Of course, EU users have always been able to use a different browser than IE. To date, IE use in Europe tracks somewhat closely with Firefox use (48.6 percent versus 37.6 percent, respectively, according to StatCounter). Earlier, Microsoft announced a Windows 7E (for Europe) edition that lacks IE. (IE is actually there in the Windows bits, but you have to check a dialog box to add the browser.)

A lot of this discussion about unfair "browser bundling" with Windows may seem like déjà vu here in the United States after many years of similar litigation. Now, it seems, karma has caught up with Microsoft in the EU. Opera Software, Mozilla and Google are all weighing against Microsoft in the case.

Has Microsoft changed in all those years or is it still the same old convicted monopolist, pushing its products through Windows, and needing the firm hand of government? Sound off to Doug at [email protected].

Posted by Kurt Mackie on July 27, 2009


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