I've said it before, the devil is in the details. Last week the European Commission, by way of its Commissioner for Competition Policy Neelie Kroes, decided to accept a test proposal from Microsoft regarding the browser selection on its Windows operating system. Incidentally, the Register has a more readable form of the same thing.

Now, Karsten Gerloff, president of the FSFE, has written a good overview of what is wrong with the proposal. Basically, all the details are wrong. You can also find some comments by Carlo Piana on the subject.

Let me summarize: the browsers are not all shipped in the same state -- there is one special pre-installed one -- and the mechanism for choosing browsers is not flexible enough. It's still not clear what the presentation order will be, which may skew the selection as well. I'll say one good thing, and that is that there's space for 12 browsers in the browser selection screen (umm .. no technical reason to limit it like that if the selector is a webpage, or anything else really). The big five plus space for specialized or less popular ones. It's not clear what the criteria are there. Still, one might imagine a whole family of WebKit-based browsers being included.