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Le Browser Menu: Microsoft and EU End Standoff

Wherever you go in Europe, but especially in France -- where, if we remember correctly, it's the law -- you see menus in front windows of restaurants. Some feature multilingual text; others play to either the locals or snobby travelers by sticking to the country's native language. But they're there -- food and drink options, prices and all.

Yes, Europeans love menus, and now they'll have another to use when they buy new computers. Microsoft and the European Union have finally settled the EU's antitrust lawsuit against Redmond, and, yes, the infamous "browser ballot" (we'd like to think of it as more of a menu) is part of the settlement.

We're coming around on this idea a little bit. RCPU opposed it initially in the name of wanting to keep government from being too intrusive in corporate matters (and we still have impulses in that direction), but our personal distaste for Internet Explorer (sorry, Microsoft) is such that we'll be glad to know that other folks will be able to easily find alternative browsers.

Of course, we figure that the browser -- which is free, after all -- will eventually be a commodity rather than some sort of strategic development tool or big revenue driver...if it isn't a commodity already. (We kind of think it is.) So, we might all end up looking back on this and laughing someday. In fact, we're sort of chucking as we type this. But all this talk about menus has us hungry, so we're just going to stop talking about browsers...now.

Have an opinion on the browser wars? Send it to lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on 12/17/2009 at 1:22 PM


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