25 Jul 2009

New EU browser offer by Microsoft

10:13 am on 25 July 2009

Microsoft has made a new proposal to European competition regulators that it hopes will end a dispute over the company's Internet Explorer web browser.

It proposes that European buyers of its new Windows 7 operating system will be offered a list of potential browsers when they first install the software.

The BBC reports the move comes a month after Microsoft said European buyers of Windows 7 would have to download a web browser.

Brussels ruled in January that pre-bundling Explorer hurt competition.

Microsoft said its proposal meant that users would be able to "easily install competing web browsers.

Commission regulators said they welcomed the proposal, and will now "investigate its practical effectiveness in terms of ensuring genuine consumer choice."

They added that Microsoft was also proposing to disclose more information about Windows to external software providers.

Last year, Microsoft was fined 899m euros ($US1.4 billion) by the Commission for separate anti-competitive practices, after failing to comply with a 2004 ruling that it abused its market position.

Windows 7 is due to go on sale from 22 October.