Re: choice . . .
I never quite understood the issue.
I've never thought the EU quite understood it, either.
If IE were "just" another bit of bundled software that came free with Windows (like notepad, as others have said), and one could remove it and install something else in its place and the rest of Windows would still chug happily along there would be no problem. The trouble with IE is that it has its hooks deeply embedded into various Windows system functions -- Windows Update, for example, requires IE to be present and uses IE's code (even if you install another browser).
What the EU legislated for was a tool to help users install another browser in addition to IE, but what I think they wanted MS to provide was a way to install an alternative browser instead of IE.
That, of course, would have forced Microsoft to re-engineer most of Windows's handling of internet connectivity, which I can't see them being happy to do. It might have led to a better-engineered and more modular Windows, though.