By Emil Protalinski | Last updated May 29, 2009 4:09 PM CT
According to The Wall Street Journal, the EU is considering forcing Windows users to choose a browser to download and install before they can first browse the Internet.
The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) is reporting today that European Union antitrust regulators aren't done with Microsoft yet. The EU is looking into more sanctions against the software giant for including Internet Explorer with Windows, according to WSJ's sources, and will likely announce a final ruling in the next few weeks. 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.
Third-party browser makers like Opera, Mozilla and Google are pushing for tough sanctions against Microsoft. That may result in the software giant having to include rival browsers in Windows. Redmond's main argument is that users can always download a third-party browser, but the EU would rather have a "ballot screen" for users to choose which browsers to download and install as well as which one to set as default. The bundling requirement might end up becoming a responsibility for manufacturers.
With the release of the Windows 7 Release Candidate, Microsoft made it possible to remove IE8 (the beta did not allow this), along with many other Windows components, but this apparently was not enough for the EU.