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Mozilla: EU's Win 7 Browser Ballot is Favoritism

Mitchell Baker, the Chair of the Mozilla Foundation, said last week in a blog post that the proposed settlement between the European Commission and Microsoft regarding the bundling of Internet Explorer with the Windows OS could use some improvement. 

Baker argues 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.

Baker continues on to say that the ballot is about downloading software and while it may help the less tech savvy to download and make an alternative browser their default, many would get lost half way through the process.

The Mozilla Chairman's third point is that IE is still included in the Windows updates system. While Baker does concede that for security reasons, it is better to include IE than have an out of date and dead piece of software on your computer, he argues that there should be a few safeguards in place to ensure IE does not use the automatic update process to ask for permission to become the default browser. For example, if IE presents itself to the user as part of an automatically triggered update process, it should close immediately after the update process completes.

Obviously, interested parties still feel there is a long way to go before the browser issues in the EU are resolved. Do you think the ballot proposal is a good idea or do you agree with the Mozilla Foundation in that it still offers Microsoft an advantage? Let us know in the comments below!

Check out Mitchell Baker's full post here.

  • Give me a damn break. Boo f-ing hoo
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  • doc70
    if IE is the default way to get updates, then it should be on your PC. I can.t recall of any other OS having to do the ballot thing to install a browser; also, what would be the next thing, have Firefox integrated in Windows? I am a heavy FF user, but they do not have a point in this case; if you build a successful OS and a web browser also, you are entitled to put it in there and give it a privileged status.
    As far as the average user getting lost in the process of installing another browser... REALLY? If one is capable of getting lost during this process, then forgive me, but they shouldn't be choosy about browsers to begin with, as they hardly know what that means.
    And, if that is a concern, then Mozilla should come up with a solution for their potential customers, like very streamlined installation and readily available tech support because it's their software...
    MS made a huge mistake by giving in to the request from the start; it's their OS and they are entitled to do whatever they want with it. I doubt the EU would have gone the MacOS way because of this issue ..
    Again , I am using FF all the time and I have had no issues installing it, so MS did not do anything to prevent me from using it ...
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  • kezix_69
    I thought they decided they didn't need to make a special EU version? This is so stupid.
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  • valcron
    The ballot is a step in the right direction. The only real way to make this fair would be to have each browser available on the disc. Then the user can just choose which browser to install instead of having to follow directions to download it.

    Then have Windows update run on separate software unrelated to IE thus removing the need for IE to be on the system.
    Reply
  • tayb
    Wow Mozilla. Enough with the whining. Starting to sound like Opera.
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  • frozenlead
    Baker continues on to say that the ballot is about downloading software and while it may help the less tech savvy to download and make an alternative browser their default, many would get lost half way through the process.

    And this wouldn't happen during a normal install process with a common idiot at the helm?
    Reply
  • Personally I think the whole issue is ridiculous. Windows is a closed-source operating system, and I would only expect to find M$ applications included with it. If I want to use something other than what's included, I can then acquire and install it myself. To expect M$ to facilitate the process on any level is rather silly unless there is some kind of business partnership involved. As long as M$ doesn't try to prevent installation of 3rd-party replacements, then there shouldn't be a problem.
    Reply
  • sot010174
    Isn't Windows a Microsoft product? Isn't the ballot screen enough? I mean, they sell the operating system, GIVE YOU THE OPTION of selecting your browser of choice... What next? Why market a rival product?! They should go the google way, make FirefoxOs or something...
    Reply
  • doc70
    valcronThe ballot is a step in the right direction. The only real way to make this fair would be to have each browser available on the disc. Then the user can just choose which browser to install instead of having to follow directions to download it. Then have Windows update run on separate software unrelated to IE thus removing the need for IE to be on the system. then maybe re-write a whole good part of the OS too.../sarcasm
    Really, I would like to see MacOS bending backwards to accommodate FF or IE in their core OS , and remind you that we're talking about people that are actively censoring their clients' opinions/complaints on forums...
    Bottom line is, MS had to use an internet client to do the updates and, guess what, they already had one built by themselves...go figure that one out.
    Reply
  • valcron
    I love how people vote me down for pointing out that the Ballot is a step in the right direction. I never said i agreed with it just that it was a step closer to being fair. Which is what Microsoft is trying to do.

    Personally I don't think they should have to even mention those other browsers. IE should be a choice to install not a requirement but Microsoft should not have to advertise their competitors browsers.
    Reply