Despite being a strong believer that Microsoft’s dominant position in the market is harmful and the lack of freedom of choice for the market is a total disaster for the industry, I think that forcing vendors to throw a choice to users is even worse.
What browsers are gonna be included in this OEM setups? IE+Firefox? IE+Opera? IE+Safari? Who’s going to make that decision? If Microsoft if forced to offer choice, i guess Apple should be forced too right? Not only in Macs but in iPhones too maybe? If we do this with browsers, why not with media players? And office suites? Is the EU going to force vendors to include Wine+IE or Opera in computers with Linux pre-installed?
I think it would be really hard to make such a proposal really fair and Microsoft-agnostic, and if a proposal becomes really hard to execute it probably means that it’s the wrong solution for the problem.I would rather take a closer look at how Microsoft is dealing with OEM vendors and public administrations to get their products mainstream, there is where Microsoft really harms the freedom of choice.
I think the EU is missing something here, it is the market that makes the choice of Operating Systems for users, as in the guy in the shop selling a computer, the geek neighbour helping when the computer crashes, the operating system supported by popular ISV products, the Universities enforcing the tools the students should use, the public administration asking for certain document formats if you want to communicate with them, the job offers asking certain expertise to new employees… these areas is where the EU should be focusing on encourage neutrality. Smashing a dialog asking “do you prefer this blue icon or this orange one to browse your internet?” is not going to solve anything rather than generate annoyances, more unfariness and confusion.