Over the last 10 years, Microsoft has racked up fines totaling 1.68 billion euros from the EU over allegations of unfair competition concerning Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser.
Today however, the dispute appears to have reached a conclusion with Microsoft agreeing to allow users in Europe to choose rival Internet browsers, and EU satisfied with the offer on the table.
Essentially this means Microsoft will randomize the order of the browser choices to provide an even playing field. Windows users will be prevented with a “choice screen” that will give them a choice of rival browsers, and will blank out the “Windows Internet Explorer” text in the title bar to avoid bias towards Microsoft’s own platform.
“Millions of European consumers will benefit from this decision by having a free choice about which web browser they use,” Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a statement.
She said the company’s pledge was an incentive for web browser companies to innovate and offer better browsers in the future.