GOOGLE HAS ANNOUNCED that it will allow users of its Android operating system to choose their web browser and search engine at set up.
The move comes as the company attempts to placate the European Union, which is still sniffing around the company's activities, on the prowl for any anti-competitive behaviour it can find.
Regular users will know that this is just a matter of downloading a browser and changing a setting already, but for most, it's not something they bother with. However, from now on, Google will actually confront them with a splash screen and a list of the possibilities.
It's not like the EU hasn't shown its teeth in this matter before. For years, Microsoft was forced to ask users a similar question when they first installed or ran Windows, after the EU ruled that Microsoft's own Internet Explorer had too much of a stranglehold on the market at the expense of rivals like Firefox and Chrome.
By proactively announcing this initiative now, Google is hoping that it can avoid being backed into a corner to do it, and moreover, it might deflect away from the unwanted attention it is already receiving from the EU.
Google is already €4.34bn poorer thanks to a fine brought down on it by the European Commission over the dominant position of the Android OS. And that was just over Android - there was another multi-billion dollar fine in a separate case over Google's shopping results.
Google will tackle the "locked in" criticisms by unbundling its apps and services from the open source operating system, instead offering its services as a paid add-on for OEMs, leaving them to choose another suite of services from a competitor as the defaults for Android phones.
For Microsoft, whose chestburster Android apps have become the centrepiece of its mobile offerings, they'll be laughing all the way to the bank. OK, moreso then., μ
So that's why she's smiling…
How many Zuckbucks to the pound?
Alexa, is this exploitation?