In an effort to abide with European Competition Law, Microsoft has proposed an alternative to Widows 7 'E' version of operating system which is dubbed as Consumer ballot screen but the move is hard to swallow, Microsoft said.
The Consumer ballot screen will serve a as a gateway where a user can chose one or more browser such as Firefox, Safari and Opera.
The idea of Consumer ballot screen is to offer a variety of different Internet Browser to a user in European countries. The user will be given a chance to choose which browser they prefer to use.
It was not easy for Microsoft to accept the idea that we would essentially promote directly competing software from within our flagship product, Windows,” Dave Heiner, vice president and deputy general counsel at Microsoft, wrote in a blog post.
European Commission said in January that Microsoft is violated its European competition law in bundling Internet Explorer in Windows leaving other competing browser aside.
Since then, Microsoft made a proposal in June that it will going to offer its upcoming new operating system Windows 7 in European countries with an E, meaning without a browser.
After a month since its first proposal of Windows 7 E, the company reviewed the possible impact of its step in shipping Windows 7 E back by the continuous feedback from computer manufacturers and other business partners.
Several worried about the complexity of changing the version of Windows that we ship in Europe if our ballot screen proposal is ultimately accepted by the Commission and we stop selling Windows 7 E, Heiner added.
Computer manufacturers and our partners also warned that introducing Windows 7 E, only to later replace it with a version of Windows 7 that includes IE, could confuse consumers about what version of Windows to buy with their PCs.
The idea of “consumer ballot screen” will benefit consumers and software developers and will also streamline computer manufacturing and deployment by large enterprises.
We believe that this approach is better for all concerned, including computer manufacturers and browser vendors—and most of all consumers—than an approach focused on removing Internet Explorer from Windows,
If the European Commission will approve Microsoft's new proposal, it plans to fully implement all of its terms. However, if the proposal ends up failing, Microsoft will reintroduce its Windows 7 E plans.