Pick Your Browser: Microsoft Shows Off Ballot

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!

  • mianmian
    Do we care what browser Mac use in a Windows world?
  • flyinfinni
    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.
  • jacobdrj
    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?"
  • 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.
  • sot010174
    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.
  • 4ILY45
    Yes it's fair... Apple can kiss my a$$ for not having flash..

    & Jane will they release the results form the ballots. which is more popular the the other..
    BTW Firefox 3.6 FTW!!
  • i need a ballot screen for notepad app, calculator app, paint app, defrag app, ......
  • noodlegts
    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.
  • sheravi
    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.
  • zak_mckraken
    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?