On January 15, Microsoft was charged with seeking to hinder rivals by coupling its browser, Internet Explorer, with its Windows operating system. It was accused of abusing its market dominance by harming innovation and limiting consumer choice. After six-plus months of rope pulling, Microsoft gave in to European regulators and proposed a "ballot screen" solution which would prompt users to choose between several third party browsers on the system's first boot-up.
It would seem that the software giant now plans to implement a similar feature for the coming version of its popular Office suite. There are few details, but it is reported that a similar screen will be used in Office 2010 to determine the default format files will be saved in. It too will prompt users the first time the program runs, and the preference will be saved unless it's manually changed later.
Microsoft hasn't disclosed what file types will be on the screen apart from its own DOC/DOCX format, and the open source ODF file type. In its statement, the company did say that it would make tools available to enterprises in the EU, so they can auto-specify which formats will be seen when their users run Office. Again, I ask you: Where is the damn line drawn?