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IE Rivals Oppose Ballot-Screen Solution for EU

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 68 comments

Internet Explorer rivals are opposing the company's proposal for a ballot screen that would allow users to choose which browser they want to use.

A recent report in the Wall Street Journal quotes the European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS), an industry organization whose members include Opera, Adobe Systems, IBM, Oracle, Red Hat, and Sun Microsystems, says Microsoft's proposed "ballot screen" isn’t a solution.

According to ComputerWorld, Thomas Vinje, an attorney and spokesperson for the ECIS told the WSJ that choosing another browser requires "the user to confirm and answer threatening and confusing warnings and questions."

"Microsoft has cunningly found a way to accept the commission's suggestion of a ballot screen, but to do so in a way that will be entirely ineffective," said Vinje.

The news comes just a few weeks after Mozilla Foundation chair Mitchell Baker criticized the ballot proposal. In a blog post, Baker argued that the agreement still offers "Internet Explorer a uniquely privileged position on Windows installations," in that even if a user does not choose IE as their default browser on the ballot screen, a shortcut is still placed on the user's desktop.

Check out the full story here.

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  • 28 Hide
    Anonymous , September 29, 2009 5:37 PM
    I demand that every time Opera, Adobe Systems, IBM, Oracle, Red Hat, and Sun Microsystems software is installed it gives me the chance to choose an alternate competing product!

    Are these companies frickin' serious?! I'm no MS fanboy, but it's already ridiculous that MS has to even allow the option...and these companies are crying all butthurt that it's not enough! Unbelievable!
  • 26 Hide
    sot010174 , September 29, 2009 5:40 PM
    Yeah. Do they realize its a MICROSOFT product?
  • 21 Hide
    zak_mckraken , September 29, 2009 5:55 PM
    I don't know for you, but I'd be damn pissed if someone would tell what and what not to do with MY product. It's not like they're forced to use Windows. Microsoft should stop this madness once and for all and stop selling Windows in the EU. "You don't want IE in Windows? How about no Windows at all? Have fun with Linux, EU!"
Other Comments
  • 28 Hide
    Anonymous , September 29, 2009 5:37 PM
    I demand that every time Opera, Adobe Systems, IBM, Oracle, Red Hat, and Sun Microsystems software is installed it gives me the chance to choose an alternate competing product!

    Are these companies frickin' serious?! I'm no MS fanboy, but it's already ridiculous that MS has to even allow the option...and these companies are crying all butthurt that it's not enough! Unbelievable!
  • 26 Hide
    sot010174 , September 29, 2009 5:40 PM
    Yeah. Do they realize its a MICROSOFT product?
  • 9 Hide
    cappster , September 29, 2009 5:41 PM
    A simple solution is for the user to select the default browser of choice, delete the shortcut, and the problem is solved. I would hope that just about anybody who is taking on the task of installing windows has at least a functional amount of working IT knowledge and can choose their own web browser.
  • 21 Hide
    zak_mckraken , September 29, 2009 5:55 PM
    I don't know for you, but I'd be damn pissed if someone would tell what and what not to do with MY product. It's not like they're forced to use Windows. Microsoft should stop this madness once and for all and stop selling Windows in the EU. "You don't want IE in Windows? How about no Windows at all? Have fun with Linux, EU!"
  • 8 Hide
    hixbot , September 29, 2009 5:55 PM
    I don't understand the difference, they are all free products. Does Mozilla lose money when someone picks IE?
  • 7 Hide
    maigo , September 29, 2009 5:58 PM
    As long as it doesn't come with them all installed
  • 19 Hide
    Anonymous , September 29, 2009 5:59 PM
    It's like telling Ford they can't bring out a new model anymore with their own custom tires, because many users prefer Michelin tires!
  • 19 Hide
    ryanegeiger , September 29, 2009 6:05 PM
    First of all, I don't recall SnowLeopard giving you the option to NOT install Safari on the system, and that's not even the update engine it uses for the OS.

    Anyway... this is probably the most worthless arguement in history. EVERY system comes pre-loaded with software. Norton/McAfee, WildTangent... etc. etc. Windows has been designed with an integrated browser for a very long time because it's considered part of having a software operating system. Can you imagine a Blackberry without the Blackberry browser, or an iPhone without Safari? Sure you can install others, but how would you get there?

    MS, my advice, remove IE from the system, don't include an internet browser, and include a "free trial" disc with IE loaded on it. If the customer wants to download a different browser... uhh... through... uhh... someone else's computer... and then... uh... load that on a flash drive... then bring it back to their PC, they can do that.

    Offer the OEM's an 'option' to include a "Free Preloaded" version of Internet Explorer at the cost of... say... $.01 (which is exactly what the retail value of say, a free trial disc of AOL is) and give them the option to not take it. Problem solved.
  • 2 Hide
    rcmaniac25 , September 29, 2009 6:06 PM
    They probably want their product to be installed instead of IE. What if the user doesn't want that web browser? They uninstall it and they are stuck with no web browser. Unlike the people on this site most people are completly clueless, you need to tell them the exact, for THEIR computer, how to install the web browser. These companies want to increase there marketshare regardless of if the user knows what they are doing or if they mess up anything the user tries to do.
  • -1 Hide
    IzzyCraft , September 29, 2009 6:25 PM
    dam edit killed my post.

    Anyways it's a MS product they already was forced to put your shitty crap all on their os why can't they just leave them alone already or ask that MS become Open source in the EU because obviously providing a product that isn't by nature harmful is no longer good enough to be left alone in the EU.

    Hell give me the option to install WindowsLive toolbar or yahoo toolbar, I don't want to always see install Google toolbar that company has a like 70% monopoly on the search industry and all these programs offer if i would like to install google toolbar i find it's unfair to the other companies.
  • -9 Hide
    groveborn , September 29, 2009 6:41 PM
    The only reason the EU is able to do this is because MS integrated the browser into the OS, rather than just included it. While OS X has Safari in the OS, it's not integrated, and can just be deleted. Same with Linux distros, Firefox is usually bundled, but it can be deleted.

    This doesn't in any way affect user choice, it's just how they decided to do it. The problem with it is that it IS intended to reduce competition. There simply is no other reason to integrate the browser.

    For those of you who don't understand why people are up in arms over a "free" product, it's because the browser makers get money when you use them to search. You may not be paying for it, but someone is.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 29, 2009 6:51 PM
    If I were living in EU country, I'll file a lawsuit to VW, M-Benz and BMW by not giving the option of using Ferrari or Porsche engine for performance and option of Honda or Toyota engine for fuel economy.
  • -1 Hide
    buwish , September 29, 2009 6:51 PM
    A simple solution would be to include all the software from the companies that are crying with Windows and then get rid of some bloatware to make up for it.
  • 1 Hide
    Regulas , September 29, 2009 7:03 PM
    @Groveborn: he is right when he says:
    "The only reason the EU is able to do this is because MS integrated the browser into the OS, rather than just included it. While OS X has Safari in the OS, it's not integrated, and can just be deleted. Same with Linux distros, Firefox is usually bundled, but it can be deleted."
    I agree, Safari can be dragged to the trash can and it is gone, unlike Windows.
  • 4 Hide
    cknobman , September 29, 2009 7:03 PM
    yet another reason to be glad you dont live in europe
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , September 29, 2009 7:15 PM
    Actually, you *can* uninstall IE in Windows 7, so that solution already exists.
  • 19 Hide
    Supertrek32 , September 29, 2009 7:15 PM
    Solution:

    MS: "Due to EU interference, we can't afford to continue business in these countries. As a result, we will be discontinuing both sale and support of all Microsoft products (including Windows and Office) as of Jan 1, 2010. If you would like us to resume business, then please contact your EU representative."

    75% of population: "WTF DID YOU DO?!?!"

    EU: "...I think we messed up."
  • 2 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , September 29, 2009 7:21 PM
    This whole issue is just plain ridiculous.
  • 6 Hide
    ravewulf , September 29, 2009 7:31 PM
    "the user to confirm and answer threatening and confusing warnings and questions."

    Really. Somehow I doubt that.

    Are these guys really not going to be satisfied unless all of the browsers are pre-installed in Windows? This whole affair is completely ridiculous.
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , September 29, 2009 7:33 PM
    They can't stop selling their product in the EU, too much money to be made it would be ridiculous. They can, however, pull out all Microsoft jobs - any development sites, packaging factories, offices, etc... Then the EU can put that in their pipes and smoke it. Their socialism is already coming home to roost, and unemployment is skyrocketing in most of the EU. What now, b*tch*s?
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