Microsoft Rolls Out Ballot Browser Box For Windows OS

As from today, Microsoft will be offering Windows users in the European Union the possibility to choose which browser they want to use on their operating system, a process which was imposed by the Redmond software maker, by the European Union.

Microsoft was found guilty by the European Competition Commission of breaching European competition laws by pre-installing its Internet Explorer browser by default on all operating systems that it shipped.

Both parties subsequently agreed to offer a "ballot screen" solution that will randomly rearrange a list of 12 different browsers including the likes of Flock or Maxthon (ed : Maxthon is more a skin for Internet Explorer though) and Sleipnir, another skin that goes atop Internet Explorer or Firefox.

Some have questioned the fact that the top five browsers will be available complete with their logos and description while the minor browsers will be initially hidden from the first screen.

According to a FAQ page put together by Microsoft, the "browser choice" update will require the user to download a file and restart their computer after which they will be shown the Browser Choice screen from which thay can select and install their browsers of choice.

Users of the alternative web browsers won't be offered the ballot screen anyway and Internet Explorer will not be actually removed by the solution, merely hidden. An example of the ballot screen can be found here.

Our Comments

Because of the negligible amount of publicity this process will have had, a significant amount of users might actually find themselves at a lost and might actually believe that they have been infected by a piece of malware.

Related Links

Microsoft offers computer users choice of browsers

(Cnet)

Microsoft starts advertising alternative web browsers

(Theinquirer)

Microsoft spits out 'browser choice' update to appease EC antitrust probe

(Techradar)

Microsoft EU browser ballot rolling out today: Mix it up

(Guardian)

Microsoft To Offer Windows Browser Choice

(ISPReview)