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Europeans to Choose Win XP, Vista Browsers Too

Earlier this week we found out about Microsoft's proposal to the EU to provide a "ballot screen" for those installing Windows 7 to choose which browser, if any, will be installed on the system. This was presented as a possible solution for the EU's antitrust investigation into Microsoft's practices surrounding the bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows.

According to information dug up by Ars Technica, Microsoft will soon offer current users of Windows XP and Vista the same type of choice to install browsers other than Internet Explorer 8.

The browser ballot program is proposed as "Important" or "High Priority" update for Windows XP and Vista that will run for users who have IE installed and set as the default browser. From there, users will get the option of installing other browsers from a Microsoft-maintained website.

Besides the obvious players of Firefox, Safari, Chrome and Opera, the ballot screen will reportedly also include other Windows browsers with a usage share of at least 0.5 percent in the European Economic Area (for a total of up to ten different browsers).

This is still in the proposal stage as the European Union has yet to decide whether or not this is satisfactory, but we'll keep you posted.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • verenos
    This version of Opera is no longer available please enjoy this BSOD instead.
    Reply
  • FlayerSlayer
    Anyone else think it's odd that this is such a big deal for FREE software?
    Reply
  • amd_guru
    Its all a big pile of crap IMO. Who cares! Its not like u can just go to google and download another one if u want..
    Reply
  • scook9
    So will these "updates" be for worldwide users? or just EU?

    And yes this is retarded to begin with - it is FREE software
    Reply
  • cadder
    Let's let the EU go out and BUY their own C++ compiler and WRITE their own browser! Or maybe they should write their own C++ compiler too.
    Reply
  • Agree, I love to rag MS as much as the next person but the browsers are all freeware... so why the big deal? Sue Apple for shipping their OS with Safari, this whole thing is a joke the EU commission's just making an example.
    Reply
  • PepiX
    Guys.. don't you notice that the main target user group for those changes are those who are not tech savvy.. note that the majority of users use what they have.. not what will do the best job for them..

    It is necessary to have such an option so that there's more chance that you all use good piece of software to browse the net.. (don't you think that the better browser should get the most users.. not the one which is bundled with your OS..)
    Reply
  • IzzyCraft
    What about language discrepancies? If they have to dl it off the internet while doing the install what if say FF has yet to support the language you are installing in? Or will it just always DL the English version. If I was Microsoft i would always make it dl the English version just to spite the EU.
    Reply
  • ohim
    even thow i live in EU ... fuk EU.
    Reply
  • Camikazi
    PepiXGuys.. don't you notice that the main target user group for those changes are those who are not tech savvy.. note that the majority of users use what they have.. not what will do the best job for them.. It is necessary to have such an option so that there's more chance that you all use good piece of software to browse the net.. (don't you think that the better browser should get the most users.. not the one which is bundled with your OS..)
    Non-tech savvy people won't know which is better and will be confused or just pick the one they know, IE. You have non-tech savvy people using IE for years then give them a choice like this they will stick with IE just cause they know it and don't know the rest.
    Reply