Blog Post

Looking To Settle, Microsoft Makes Another Offer To EC In Browser Case

Microsoft’s latest offer to the European Commission, which is threatening the company with a big fine for bundling Internet Explorer and Windows together: It’s willing to include a ‘ballot screen’ on all new PCs with Internet Explorer pre-installed so that users can easily choose to install competing browsers on their computers if they wish. In June, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) said it would offer a version of its forthcoming Windows 7 operating system without Internet Explorer in Europe, but that move did little to placate Commission officials, who said that “Rather than more choice, Microsoft seems to have chosen to provide less.”

This time around, the EC is putting a much more positive spin on Microsoft’s offer, saying in a statement that it “welcomes this proposal, and will now investigate its practical effectiveness in terms of ensuring genuine consumer choice.” The reaction makes sense, considering that the EC was insisting that Microsoft let users choose a specific browser when they buy a new PC — and Microsoft’s proposal would allow that. In a statement provided to paidContent, Microsoft says it believes its offer “will fully address the European competition law issues relating to the inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows.”