Microsoft folds, offers rival browsers with Windows 7

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It would seem that Microsoft has conceded to the requests of European regulators after facing antitrust accusations. On January 15, the European Commission charged the software giant with seeking to hinder rivals by coupling Internet Explorer with its Windows operating system. With Microsoft’s OS being used on a vast majority of the world’s PCs, the company was accused of harming innovation and limiting consumer choice.

Redmond considered stripping IE from the European version of their latest operating system, Windows 7, but has since scratched that plan. Instead, the company has proposed a consumer “ballot screen” on the system’s first boot up, permitting users to choose between several third party browsers. Windows 7 will still ship with IE, but users will have the option to disable it. PC makers will also be permitted to pre-load any desired browser onto their systems.

I’m not entirely sure how Microsoft can even be pinned for abusing their market dominance by excluding competitor’s software from their own operating system. In my mind, it’s equivalent to a local diner forcing McDonalds to carry the diner’s homemade fries. Where is the line drawn?

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