European versions of Windows to include multiple web browsers?

Posted on February 25, 2009. Filed under: Software World, Tech News, Windows | Tags: , , , , , , |

By Brad Linder

browsers

The European Commission appears to be a few steps closer to forcing Microsoft to provide customers with a choice of web browsers as part of an antitrust measure. European regulators took similar measures a while back by requiring Microsoft to offer a version of Windows sans Windows Media Player. But simply unbundling Internet Explorer is a bit more complicated, since, as many readers pointed out when we first mentioned the possibility – it’s a lot easier to download an alternative browser if you have a browser to start with.

But a spokesperson for the European Commission says that it’s likely regulators will require Microsoft to offer customers a choice of competing web browsers in addition to Internet Explorer. So basically, when you run Windows for the first time, you may be asked if you want to install Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Google Chrome, or another browser as part of the setup process. Presumably the browsers you don’t install would be erased from your storage or wouldn’t be downloaded in the first place, which is a much better solution than installing each 5 browsers when most users will only need one.

It’s also possible that the decision could be left to computer makers. For example, Dell could decide to install Firefox, while Lenovo goes with Internet Explorer.

There’s still another round or two of negotiations to go, but it sounds like the European Commission is already pretty close to requiring Microsoft to do something to make it easier for customers to use competing web browsers.

Source: downloadsquad

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