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Microsoft alter settlement with EU

Microsoft alter settlement with EU

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Microsoft have adjusted their antitrust settlement with the European Union in response to complaints from other browser developers.

According to a report by Bloomberg the modifed agreement offers Windows consumers a ‘ballot screen’ that will now randomly list the top five web browsers and they are given the option to install and use whichever they wish – with an active internet connection.

Opera, Mozilla and Google raised concerns over the planned ballot concept when it was first announced due to the concept of having them listed in alphabetical order. This would mean that Apple’s Safari would have been listed first (why they opted for ‘Apple” before Safari I have no idea).

“More competition in the browser space will mean greater innovation on the Web and a better user experience for people everywhere,” Google spokesman Bill Echikson said.

The antitrust claim against Microsoft started from the belief that the inclusion of Internet Explorer was an ‘abuse of Microsofts stance in the market’. The European Union also claimed that the use of Internet Explorer as the ‘default’ browser for the mass market user meant that developers and programmers had to work with IE first in mind.

Interestingly, Net Applications recently reported a total market share drop for Microsoft’s browser – down to 63.62 percent with Firefox now on 24.72 percent. There may be a time in a few years when Firefox is actually the leading browser as more end users get a higher education on alternative options.

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Stuart Davidson

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