Microsoft moves to settle EU issues

July 25, 2009 at 12:22 PM

BRUSSELS, July 25 (UPI) -- U.S. software maker Microsoft has offered to settle its long-standing anti-competitiveness issues with the European Union, company officials say.

As part of a sweeping settlement proposal, Microsoft has offered to allow European users of its Windows operating system to choose Web browsers other than its own Internet Explorer, sparking optimism in Brussels a solution to the decade-long Microsoft legal fight might be near, The Financial Times reported.

"This would address an extremely wide swath of issues for us and the rest of the industry that have been there for the past decade," Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, told the newspaper. When asked if it would end the company's long fight with Brussels, he said: "You can never say never but if you look at the issues on the table, this would go very far."

Microsoft on Friday unveiled a proposal in which all PC users who have Windows XP, Windows Vista or the forthcoming Windows 7 would see a "ballot screen" offering them a choice of browsers, to be downloaded over the Internet, The Financial Times said.

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