According to the Wall Street Journal, the European Union, as part of its ongoing antitrust investigations and prosecutions, is now considering forcing Microsoft to provide users of Windows easy access to a range of web browsers from which to select. If the scheme works as intended, consumers who purchase new Windows machines in Europe will have to make a choice of which web browsers to have installed on their machine and which one to make their default.
In a bid (supported by Opera, Mozilla, and Google, among others) to undo Microsofts Internet Explorer "monopolistic" dominance, the EU plan serves as a mechanism to educate consumers, most of whom would simply go with whichever web browser is pre-installed as the default on their machine, about the options that exist and about their ability to set one browser as the default. Although many Neowin readers may consider such knowledge that there are other browsers out there and that you can set one as default to be very basic indeed, the EU is targetting the majority of computer users who simply do not how such things work.
According to Ars Technica, "An EU spokesperson said that if the regulator rules against Microsoft, any remedy "would be based on the fundamental principle of unbiased choice" while a Microsoft spokesman says the company is "committed" to "full compliance" with EU law."
The EU will likely announce its final decision on this matter in the coming weeks.