Microsoft May Have to Let Users Choose Browser

Microsoft and the European Union are still fighting tooth and nail over the fact that the Redmond company is bundling Internet Explorer with Windows, and in doing so grabbing itself a pretty huge percentage of the market.

Bloomberg reports that, way back in January, when this whole thing started, one of the proposed solutions by the EU was to offer users of newly purchased PCs a kind of “ballot screen” and let the customer choose which browser they wanted to use.

Citing people familiar with the case, Bloomberg says EU regulators have now sent out questionnaire to computer makers, inquiring if Microsoft pressured them to oppose the idea or more specifically, asking if Microsoft had asked them to make any specific statements to regulators. Representation for Microsoft has said the company has not seen the aforementioned questionnaire, nor has it pressured any PC makers to oppose the ballot-screen idea.

Many of you have suggested that Microsoft offers users the choice when they first try to connect to the web from their new machine and it really does seem like the best solution. That said, if they’re going to make Microsoft offer users the chance to choose, they’d have to insist Apple do the same. If you were offered a choice, would you opt for a browser other than the proprietary browser that came with your OS? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • tipoo
    "one of the proposed solutions by the EU was to offer users of newly purchased PCs a kind of “ballot screen” and let the customer choose which browser they wanted to use."


    Thats silly, if people arent savvy enough to switch to another browser, what difference would a ballot make?
  • Onus
    That's like buying a Ford, but insisting on a Chevy radio in it, or a Pontiac grill. Microsoft, the vendor, offers "The Product" for sale. You either buy "The Product," or you do not. The choice is entirely up to you. If you don't like some portion of "The Product," the onus is on you to investigate alternatives, or possibly pay a third party to do something about it for you.
  • JMcEntegart
    A lot of people don't realise there are other options out there. For ages my friend's mother was using IE ("the internet" as she called it). When I downloaded firefox for her she said she was "using a different internet now and it works better." Some of the not so tech-savvy really have no idea what's available to them.
  • Other Comments
  • tipoo
    "one of the proposed solutions by the EU was to offer users of newly purchased PCs a kind of “ballot screen” and let the customer choose which browser they wanted to use."


    Thats silly, if people arent savvy enough to switch to another browser, what difference would a ballot make?
  • tayb
    Here. Please tell the EU that if they decide to make Microsoft deliver software for a rival company in Safari, Firefox, or Chrome then Microsoft will decide to stop selling and supporting software in Europe. Good luck businesses and governments that rely on Windows.
  • daggs
    taybHere. Please tell the EU that if they decide to make Microsoft deliver software for a rival company in Safari, Firefox, or Chrome then Microsoft will decide to stop selling and supporting software in Europe. Good luck businesses and governments that rely on Windows.

    notice that more and more government agencies in europe are ditching windows in favor of linux so the "punishment" is not heavy...