EU Seeks Comments on Microsoft’s Browser

The European Commission said today that it would seek comments from consumers, software makers and computer manufacturers on remedies offered by Microsoft to tackle competition concerns over the company’s browser.

Interested parties have until November 7 to comment on the proposed remedies offered by the U.S. software giant, the competition watchdog of the 27-country European Union said in a statement.

“The Commission’s preliminary view is that Microsoft’s commitments would indeed address our competition concerns,” EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes told a news conference.

“Hopefully we can take a decision before the end of the year,” she said.

The Microsoft proposal would allow all current and future users of Windows to choose a browser, and the company would not be allowed to force manufacturers to use its browser, the EU executive said.

It would have a direct and immediate impact in the market, Kroes said, adding that the proposed commitment would remain in place for five years.

Microsoft said in a statement that it welcomed the EU move.

“For Microsoft, today’s decision is a significant step toward closing a decade-long chapter of competition law concerns in Europe,” the firm said in a statement.

The EU executive said it also welcomed Microsoft’s improvements in the field of interoperability which the firm will publish on its Web site.

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