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Pick Your Browser: Microsoft Shows Off Ballot

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 127 comments

Which browser would you choose?

For the last year or so, Microsoft has been fighting claims from Europe that bundling Internet Explorer with Windows is anti-competitive. The EU argued that, because Windows has the most common operating system, it was unfair that Microsoft force all those users to use IE without first informing them of their options.

MS and the EU recently came to an agreement that said the software giant had to offer users a choice via a ballot screen with the top five browsers listed along with a brief description. Unfortunately, Opera and Firefox still found reason to complain. The two said that with Internet Explorer appearing first on the list, Microsoft still had an advantage.

Today, Microsoft is showing off the final revision of its browser ballot screen. Each European user will be presented with this screen when they try to connect to the Web for the first time:

Do you think it's fair that Microsoft should have to give Windows users a choice when it comes to browsers but Apple does not? Let us know in the comments below!

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Top Comments
  • 41 Hide
    flyinfinni , February 19, 2010 4:16 PM
    I think its Microsoft's software, why can't they bundle their software? If people want to get rid of IE, they should be able to, and they should be able to download and use a different browser. If you don't like how Microsoft does things, don't buy their software, or don't use it and download what you want. If you are going to force this kind of thing though, do it consistently and make Apple give a choice too since right now, they have everything bundled together.
  • 37 Hide
    noodlegts , February 19, 2010 4:21 PM
    I think it's total crap.

    Why should Microsoft have to offer you a competitor's product? Internet Explorer is a feature that Microsoft includes for free. If you don't like it, then don't use it. I don't see what the big deal is. I dare the EU to present ONE other instance where a company is forced to market their competitors' products.

    I'm all for competition, but this is going too far.
  • 30 Hide
    jacobdrj , February 19, 2010 4:16 PM
    Can Safari be removed from OSX?
    Isn't the question asked in a twisted way? 'Is it fair?' Apple's whole business model is about removing as much user choice and flexibility as possible to minimize user error and therefore improve the perception of stability and usability.
    Besides, MS only created the ballot because the EU twisted their arms.
    A more appropriate question would be:
    "Is it fair that these 5 major browsers get preferential treatment to any new developing ones?"
Other Comments
    Display all 127 comments.
  • 25 Hide
    mianmian , February 19, 2010 4:14 PM
    Do we care what browser Mac use in a Windows world?
  • 41 Hide
    flyinfinni , February 19, 2010 4:16 PM
    I think its Microsoft's software, why can't they bundle their software? If people want to get rid of IE, they should be able to, and they should be able to download and use a different browser. If you don't like how Microsoft does things, don't buy their software, or don't use it and download what you want. If you are going to force this kind of thing though, do it consistently and make Apple give a choice too since right now, they have everything bundled together.
  • 30 Hide
    jacobdrj , February 19, 2010 4:16 PM
    Can Safari be removed from OSX?
    Isn't the question asked in a twisted way? 'Is it fair?' Apple's whole business model is about removing as much user choice and flexibility as possible to minimize user error and therefore improve the perception of stability and usability.
    Besides, MS only created the ballot because the EU twisted their arms.
    A more appropriate question would be:
    "Is it fair that these 5 major browsers get preferential treatment to any new developing ones?"
  • 6 Hide
    njkid3 , February 19, 2010 4:17 PM
    i think what i am seeing here should get no complaints from any of the browser companies, it seems completely fair in how its implemented.
  • -8 Hide
    sot010174 , February 19, 2010 4:18 PM
    I still don't agree with MSFT marketing third party apps. As someone said before, maybe during the installation of the OS they should advertize Mac OS X and Ubuntu.
  • 29 Hide
    Anonymous , February 19, 2010 4:21 PM
    i need a ballot screen for notepad app, calculator app, paint app, defrag app, ......
  • 37 Hide
    noodlegts , February 19, 2010 4:21 PM
    I think it's total crap.

    Why should Microsoft have to offer you a competitor's product? Internet Explorer is a feature that Microsoft includes for free. If you don't like it, then don't use it. I don't see what the big deal is. I dare the EU to present ONE other instance where a company is forced to market their competitors' products.

    I'm all for competition, but this is going too far.
  • 24 Hide
    sheravi , February 19, 2010 4:21 PM
    I don't understand why this is such an issue. MS doesn't prevent anyone from installing another browser on the system. Also, all these browsers are free, yes? Then who gives a crap whether one is used over another. There's no fighting over money here, just claims that they have the most popular browser.
  • 5 Hide
    zak_mckraken , February 19, 2010 4:23 PM
    Tgis issue was stupid back then and it still is. But, yeah, since Apple have a monopoly with Mac OS on Apple computers, they should be forced to do the same thing with the browser. After all, isn't the purpose of this fight top give users the absolute choice?
  • 19 Hide
    Anonymous , February 19, 2010 4:23 PM
    Double standard, the iphone os should also be forced to offer a choice of browsers.
  • 18 Hide
    stige , February 19, 2010 4:23 PM
    What date is Apple being forced to roll this out for OSX?

    Oh, right. They're NOT.

    EU = money grabbing hypocrites.
  • 25 Hide
    felipetga , February 19, 2010 4:23 PM
    Eventually the EU should treat Apple the same way. I hope so.
  • 17 Hide
    marius-x , February 19, 2010 4:24 PM
    DEFINITELY NOT FAIR!
    Apple should also follow the same treatment!
  • 22 Hide
    noodlegts , February 19, 2010 4:24 PM
    FOR EXAMPLE:

    Is it fair that you can ONLY use iTunes to sync your music to your iPOD? I for one would love to use Windows Media Player for that, but it's not an option (that's why I bought a Zune). I'm pretty sure that by EU standards Apple has a monopoly on mp3 players.
  • 13 Hide
    marius-x , February 19, 2010 4:26 PM
    stige EU = money grabbing hypocrites.


    i'd say EU = Money SUCKING Suckers
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , February 19, 2010 4:26 PM
    Ugh. I think I'm gonna get rid of the internet.
  • 9 Hide
    xrarey , February 19, 2010 4:28 PM
    jacobdrjCan Safari be removed from OSX?Isn't the question asked in a twisted way? 'Is it fair?' Apple's whole business model is about removing as much user choice and flexibility as possible to minimize user error and therefore improve the perception of stability and usability.Besides, MS only created the ballot because the EU twisted their arms. A more appropriate question would be:"Is it fair that these 5 major browsers get preferential treatment to any new developing ones?"


    I completely agree.
  • 10 Hide
    invlem , February 19, 2010 4:35 PM
    Microsoft makes no attempt to prevent me from installing a different browser, I have the freedom to do so whenever I want... So again I don't see the point of any of this.

    Honestly, without sounding overly condescending, the people this 'option screen' is targeting probably don't know/care about the alternative browsers and quite frankly this will confuse them more so than just giving them the default they're used to. Anyone with some computer savvy skills will have picked their preferred browser by now and if not, they have the ability to do it if they so choose.
  • 3 Hide
    azgard , February 19, 2010 4:37 PM
    This is actually pretty stupid, most people when they purchase a computer do it through an OEM, leave it to the OEM to do this they are in a much more flexible position to do this. As for retail copies, I think most people that are ever going to be in a position to install a retail copy are going to find this ballot screen an extra useless step.
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