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EU to require Microsoft offer non-IE browsers

updated 10:35 am EST, Tue February 24, 2009

EU Requiring Non-IE Web

The European Commission late Monday said it plans to require that Microsoft offer web browsers other than Internet Explorer in Windows. The EU body's spokesman Jonathan Todd says a final decision in the matter would mandate a choice of which browsers to download and install in addition to the existing ability to specify a default app. The feature would potentially involve a portal that lets users choose the browser early on.

The Commission justifies the approach as the only viable way to give users an immediate, equal choice that can be considered effective. An official notes that its previous approach of requiring a separate Windows version, as it did when it asked that Microsoft offer a version of Windows XP without Windows Media Player, has largely had no impact. Buyers simply end up buying the regular version as it provides the software without an extra fee, the organization says.

Simply asking users to install a browser themselves also isn't an option as one would be necessary without a custom downloader, though the Commission is considering letting PC makers choose their own browsers and to load these by default.

The objective has already raised concerns, including regarding which browsers will be selected. While key browsers like Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera's self-titled browser are more probable candidates, concerns exist that smaller competitors may be excluded and have a harder time reaching acceptance. Todd mitigates the concerns by arguing that there are "not many" alternatives to Internet Explorer.

Recent controversy has surfaced with word that Mozilla has become involved in the EU case and may be too greatly interested in having its own browser made an alternative to Internet Explorer.

Microsoft has long insisted Internet Explorer is an essential component of Windows but has previously said it would comply with European law if a decision forces changes to its software.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    0

    EU on IE

    If Microsoft doesn't include a browser ... how will the user download a browser if they haven't got a browser to connect to the internet? Will this also apply Apple? Will they have to remove Safari? ..... Linux?

  1. vasic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005

    -1

    Use FTP

    You can always open up a command prompt (Start: Run: type 'command'), then open an FTP connection (ftp ftp.mozilla.org), using anonymous as user ID and an e-mail address as password, then navigate to the appropriate version of Firefox for Windows (/pub/firefox/releases/3.0.6/win32/en-US) using ls -l and cd commands, then switch to binary mode, then get the executable file. It's actually quite simple...

  1. ViktorCode

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    -1

    Poor consumers...

    EU bureaucracy at its best.

    The problem is the biggest share of IE users are 'default settings' users, who don't know or don't care about other browsers. And these people will be confused with the dialog box at startup asking them which of the listed browsers they would like to have as the default. Most likely the selection will be made based on the attractiveness of the application icon (no luck for Opera). And the actual browser installer have to be right here, because downloading it through dedicated downloader isn't any better than simply firing IE to download the same.

    The second problem is how exactly EU will force-include 3rd party component into MS software product?

    And the last one: who will select the browsers for this lucky list? They can't have this list open to anyone since it will easily hit double digits size.

    And if it is only to choose the default browser - the setting that any user can easily switch by launching competing product - what's the point of this EU tax payers' money wasting?

  1. ViktorCode

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    0

    Poor consumers...

    sorry for double-post

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    -3

    hahahaha

    the rise and fall of microsoft, read the future now :)

  1. nat

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 2002

    0

    it's a start

    it's a start. now im, video...

    ms messenger is the most used im in the world outside the us. and it was the last major one introduced. how did they do that? same way as with the browser. bundled.

    outside of the us over 500 million people log onto the internet every single day from internet cafe's. guess what is installed by default?

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    +2

    and the user will get to

    choose between... IE (default choice), lynx, mosaic, and Netscape Navigator...

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