Microsoft offers EU compromise proposal

San Francisco (CA) – Microsoft has offered the European Union a compromise proposal in an effort to address competition law issues related to Internet Explorer (IE) and interoperability.

Under the new proposal, European consumers who buy a new Windows PC with IE set as their default browser would be shown a ‘ballot screen’ from which they could install competing browsers from the Web.

“If this proposal is ultimately accepted, Microsoft will ship Windows in Europe with the full functionality available in the rest of the world,” Microsoft explained in a statement. “We believe that if ultimately accepted, this proposal will fully address the European competition law issues relating to the inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows and interoperability with our high-volume products. This would mark a big step forward in addressing a decade of legal issues and would be good news for European consumers and our partners in the industry.”

The EU responded to Microsoft’s offer with cautious optimism.  

“The proposal recognizes the principle that consumers should be given a free and effective choice of Web browser,” stated the European Commission. “The commission welcomes this proposal and will now investigate its practical effectiveness in terms of ensuring genuine consumer choice.”

As TG Daily previously reported, the EU had accused Microsoft of attempting to stifle competition by packaging IE with its Windows PC operating system.

Microsoft responded to the EU’s concerns by threatening to sell European versions of Windows 7 without a browser.