Microsoft Foes Battle IE Ballot Screen Proposal

The European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS), an industry organization whose members include Opera, Adobe Systems, IBM, Oracle, Red Hat, and Sun Microsystems, says Microsoft's proposed "ballot screen" doesn't represent a solution to the issue of IE bundling, The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend.

The problem is that users that try to select a browser other than IE are presented with "threatening and confusing warnings and questions," Thomas Vinje of Clifford Chance LLP, the ECIC's lawyer, told The Wall Street Journal.

On Monday, Hakon Wium Lie, Opera's chief technology officer, told Reuters he's concerned that the EU may accept Microsoft's proposal without fully considering its implications.

"We are also eager to close the case but we want to make sure the settlement is effective. We think the current solution on the table will not be an effective settlement," Wium Lie told Reuters.

Sponsored post

Opera was also a vociferous opponent of Microsoft's first proposed solution in June, when it floated the idea of shipping a version of Windows 7 in Europe without IE.

The EU in January charged Microsoft with violating European competition law by bundling Internet Explorer with Windows, and Microsoft has proposed a compromise in which new Windows 7 PCs would present customers with a ballot screen that includes IE as well as competing browsers. OEMs would also be able to install competing browsers, set those as the default and disable IE.

In July, reports emerged that European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes had made it a goal to resolve the EU's legal issues with Microsoft, which include the IE bundling case and a separate investigation involving Microsoft Word and Excel, before leaving her post at the end of the year.