When Push Comes To Shove: Microsoft's EU Proposals

Jul 27, 2009

Microsoft has promised the European Commission a "significant change" in attitude and publishes its proposal for the marketing of Internet Explorer in Windows 7. Additionally there's news regarding the GPL publishings.

Microsoft's idea: European versions of Windows 7 PCs are to be completely furnished with Internet Explorer but will, via a "ballot screen", contain the option of installing an alternative browser. The proposal has been announced by Microsoft lawyer and Senior Vice President Brad Smith on the company website, along with a detailed explanation of how Microsoft will meet the demands of the European Competitions Commission regarding IE and interoperability. With Windows 7 due in shops across the continent in October, Microsoft has been shipping Explorer-free versions of the new software since June.

While the EU wasn''t completely convinced with this first attempt, Smith says this might soon change, "We believe that if ultimately accepted, this proposal will fully address the European competition law issues relating to the inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows." With reference to interoperability of Microsoft with third-party software, the lawyer draws attention to a public announcement last year, explaining who's to be thanked for the change in strategy; "Like the Internet Explorer proposal, the interoperability measures we are offering involve significant change by Microsoft. They build on the Interoperability Principles announced by Microsoft in February 2008, which were also based on extensive discussions with the Commission."

Meanwhile, Sam Ramji, responsible for interoperability at MS, denies that outside influence had anything to do with the recent release of code. After Microsoft placed the virtualization code Hyper-V under GPL, various sources reported infringements of GPL rules, which Ramji in his blog contradicts, saying, "Microsoft chose the GPLv2 license for the mutual benefit of our customers, partners, the community, and Microsoft."

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