When it comes to enhancements in Windows 8.1, Redmond has arguably reserved the best ones for Internet Explorer 11, the latest version of its web browser bundled with the operating system.

But also bundled with the operating system is a Browser Choice Screen.

Microsoft has started to aggressively promote IE 11, but at the same time it is aware of the fact that offering it as the default browser in the latest version of its universally popular operating system could potentially lead to legal problems in Europe.

Or should it be said, more legal problems in Europe?

The company, as you may recall, was fined heavily earlier this year by competition regulators in the Old Continent. The last Internet Explorer fiasco cost Redmond $731 million — extraordinary as it was, Microsoft surely does not want to go through the ordeal once again.

And in order to avoid any potential disputes with the European Commission over Windows 8.1, the software titan is putting into action a Browser Choice Screen that will give users an option to pick a different browser than Internet Explorer, if they want to, that is.

This has been confirmed in a short tweet, which reveals that this new option is available in Windows 8.1 and will be implemented in all copies of the operating system that will go live on October 18.

Internet Explorer 11, of course, is installed by default in Windows 8.1 and offers users two different ways to browse the web — either using the traditional desktop mode, or the Metro environment that is optimized for touch based usage.

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  1. I find it odd that they want Microsoft to give the option now to use IE as the default on ANY of it’s products, except maybe Windows Phone, and they would probably do the same there if they were as big as Android. I don’t see them making anyone else do this on their laptops and tablets. Just as many people who use Windows probably browse to Google, if not more. I don’t see anyone in Europe having a problem with their site prompting you to download Chrome or trying to bundle it and make it the default with half the downloadable content on the Internet these days.

    • Hear, hear. I don’t see the same level of hustle for browsers and software bundled by default with Android and iOS. I half suspect these antitrust regulators are still living in the early 90s.

      But good on Microsoft’s part if it has included a browser choice screen.

  2. An unnamed analyst says the EU is in Google’s pocket. I usually don’t put much fail in analysts but this one may be on to something.

    • What you did there, I see. 😛

      There were some murmurings about this earlier in the year, though, but Google is fighting its own battles with regulators currently. But it was said to be behind the tip off that led to the titanic fine, so who knows!

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