Microsoft Gives Europeans Choice of Browser Instead of None by Default

Microsoft's newest attempt to appease the EU is to create a system in which end users can choose their browsers. (Imagine that! Choice!) This is a change from Microsoft's previous offer to remove Internet Explorer completely from Windows 7.

It was decided that Microsoft's "Hey! We'll just leave all browsers out completely!" would result in headaches for some consumers who would struggle to download any browser without being able to use Internet Explorer to do so. The new approach is to sell Windows PCs with Internet Explorer as the default browser, but to present users with a "ballot screen" which allows them to select and "easily install competing browsers from the Web." That's not all though:

In addition, (computer makers) would be able to install competing Web browsers, set those as default and disable Internet Explorer should they so wish. The Commission welcomes this proposal, and will now investigate its practical effectiveness in terms of ensuring genuine consumer choice.

There's a catch of sorts in that there aren't any specifics on how competing browsers will be selected for the "ballot", so the jury's still out on just how accommodating Microsoft is really being. [CNET]