Bloomberg on Tuesday reported that EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes wants to resolve the EU's case against Microsoft for bundling Internet Explorer, and a separate investigation involving Microsoft Word and Excel, before leaving her post at the end of the year.
The European Union has levied more than $2.3 billion in fines against Microsoft to date, and in January, charged Microsoft with violating European competition law by bundling Internet Explorer with Windows since 1996.
Last month the EU said it was mulling the idea of requiring Microsoft to offer customers a choice of Web browsers with Windows 7, and Microsoft said it would ship a version of Windows 7 in Europe without Internet Explorer -- called Windows 7 "E" -- and leave OEMs and customers to choose and add their own browser.
But the tenacious EU still saw fit to scold Microsoft for restricting choice for the 5 percent of customers who'll buy standalone versions of Windows 7 through retail.
"Microsoft has apparently decided to supply retail consumers with a version of Windows without a Web browser at all. Rather than more choice, Microsoft seems to have chosen to provide less,'' the European Commission said last month in a statement.
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