The European Commission has accepted a commitment by Microsoft to unbundle Internet Explorer from sales of Windows, and as a result has dropped its anti-competition investigation.
In lieu of bundling its own products, Microsoft will offer European manufacturers and users a selection of browsers via a ‘choice screen’ when they first purchase a Windows PC.
“Millions of European consumers will benefit from this decision by having a free choice about which web browser they use,” said competition commissioner Neelie Kroes. “Such choice will not only serve to improve people's experience of the internet now but also act as an incentive for web browser companies to innovate and offer people better browsers in the future.”
The case was initiated after the commission felt that competition was distorted by Microsoft tying Internet Explorer to Windows, as it offered an unfair advantage to the software giant due to the prevalence of Windows-based PCs.