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- SafanTech Colleague
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Microsoft's practice of including a Web browser with its operating system has faced renewed scrutiny this year. Following complaints from Opera and Mozilla, the European Union has applied pressure to Microsoft and has compelled the company to present users with alternative browser options. Microsoft has proposed a browser ballot system that will give users the ability to choose which Web browser they use with Windows. Mozilla vice president and general counsel Harvey Anderson has responded to Microsoft's proposal and has expressed concern about several aspects.
Anderson's primary concern is that various mechanisms in the operating system that are controlled by Microsoft could create conditions that encourage users to unintentionally reset their default browser to Internet Explorer.
Microsoft's proposal specifically addresses some of these issues, but the language is somewhat vague and there is a lot of room for different interpretations. Anderson wants there to be no ambiguity or room for Microsoft to circumvent the intent behind the proposal. Despite these concerns, he thinks that the browser ballot proposal has the potential to be a reasonable and effective remedy if Microsoft conforms with it in good faith.
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