EU: Microsoft Must Offer Competitors€™ Browsers


The EU-Microsoft tussle seems to be moving much faster than I expected:

The European Commission will require Microsoft to give users of its ubiquitous Windows operating system the opportunity to choose between different Internet browsers to avoid breaching EU competition rules, the bloc's antitrust spokesman told EurActiv.

The question, of course, is how that might be done. Here's one suggestion from Brussels:

To this end, Microsoft will be obliged to design Windows in a way that allows users "to choose which competing web browser(s) instead of, or in addition to, Internet Explorer they want to install and which one they want to have as default," Todd explained.

A possible solution could be to present Windows users with a so-called "ballot screen" from which they would choose their browser.

Assuming all this happens, the interesting question is: how can open source best exploit this? Clearly, having the option to install Firefox, say, is useless unless people know what it is.

The implication is that we need another massive campaign – perhaps spearheaded by SpreadFirefox – to ensure that people understand the choices they will have.

What do you think?

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