17 Dec 2009

Microsoft and EU settle case over browser choice

6:44 am on 17 December 2009

Microsoft has ended more than 10 years of antitrust disputes with the European Union by giving consumers a choice among Web browsers.

By March next year, Microsoft's Windows operating system will include a screen that gives users the option of using rival browsers.

The so- called choice screen will allow users to turn off Microsoft's Internet Explorer and install an alternative.

The BBC reports the accord ends 10 years of dispute. During that time, the EU imposed fines totalling 1.68 billion euros ($US2.44 billion).

The European Commission said the agreement is legally binding.

Internet Explorer is used by more than half of global internet users, with Mozilla's Firefox at about 32% and Norway's Opera with 2%.