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Microsoft Browser Choice Screen For Europe Starts To Roll Out
engine




msg:4083524
 4:04 pm on Feb 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

Microsoft Browser Choice Screen For Europe Starts To Roll Out [microsoftontheissues.com]
Over the next few weeks, Microsoft will begin offering a “Web browser choice screen” to Internet Explorer users in Europe, as required by the European Commission. Internal testing of the choice screen is underway now. We’ll begin a limited roll-out externally next week, and expect that a full scale roll-out will begin around March 1, a couple of weeks ahead of schedule.First, a little background. In December, the European Commission and Microsoft arrived at a resolution of a number of long-standing competition law issues. Microsoft made a legally binding commitment that PC manufacturers and users will continue to be able to install any browser on Windows, to make any browser the default browser, and to turn access to Internet Explorer on or off. In addition, Microsoft agreed to use Windows Update to provide a browser choice screen to Windows users in Europe who are running Internet Explorer as their default browser. This browser choice screen will present a list of browsers, with links to learn more about them and install them. The design and operation of this choice screen was worked out in the course of extensive discussions with the Commission and is reflected in the commitment that Microsoft made. Users who get the choice screen will be free to choose any browser or stick with the browser they have, as they prefer.

External testing of the choice screen will begin next week in three countries: the United Kingdom, Belgium and France. Anyone in those countries who wishes to test it can download the browser choice screen software update from Windows Update. We plan to begin a phased roll-out of the update across Europe the week of March 1.


 

mack




msg:4083639
 8:12 pm on Feb 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

The biggest point I picked from that article was

Microsoft agreed to use Windows Update to provide a browser choice screen to Windows users in Europe who are running Internet Explorer as their default browser


Why just IE users, why not give the choice to everyone. I'm sure there are FF users who would like to switch to Chrome or Opera. and vice versa.

Mack.

japonicus




msg:4083657
 9:06 pm on Feb 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

This should be a call to action for webmasters, as it's a way to finally get shot of IE6 and 7.

Lots of users will be confused by the screen and will just close it rather than picking a new browser. I should think Microsoft will keep quiet about the whole thing, so before the update gets rolled out we need to tell people about the change and encourage them to make a good choice.

It makes more sense of the billboard advert I saw last week for Google Chrome - which at the time seemed quite strange...

J_RaD




msg:4083662
 9:25 pm on Feb 19, 2010 (gmt 0)


Why just IE users, why not give the choice to everyone. I'm sure there are FF users who would like to switch to Chrome or Opera. and vice versa.


arizonadude said it best in another thread

How much hand holding should be provided for people? What, is there a law against thinking anymore?


what they downloaded and installed FF and they can't go find a new browser on their own?

mack




msg:4083682
 10:09 pm on Feb 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

what they downloaded and installed FF and they can't go find a new browser on their own?


Not if they couldent find Firefox on their own :) Thats my point. The only users who will be hit are IE users. Keep it level and just show it to all users.

Mack.

KenB




msg:4083707
 11:06 pm on Feb 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

Not if they couldent find Firefox on their own :) Thats my point. The only users who will be hit are IE users. Keep it level and just show it to all users.


Anyone who is using a browser other than IE on Windows has already expressed a choice in what browser to use so providing them with the option screen isn't necessary. This is really intended to provide an option to those who do not realize there is an option, which is a lot of the general consumer market (who in many cases don't even know what "web browser" means).

Vamm




msg:4083708
 11:09 pm on Feb 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

This is good unless there is OEM who installs FireFox as the part of the factory setup. I know of one but it is not in Europe.

daveVk




msg:4083806
 5:32 am on Feb 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

So what next ?
- Media player Choice screen
- Firewall Choice screen
...

Is it not discrimination to do it for just one application ?

Is it not discrimination to do it only in Europe ?

badbadmonkey




msg:4083814
 6:38 am on Feb 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

This topic always goes around and around in the same circles. Dave et al, listen carefully. This has happened because the powers that be have decided that MS have acted in an anti-competitive fashion / abused a monopoly. That is not the situation for the myriad other examples that are always raised.

Back on topic, I am curious to see how this affects browser stats. Nobody seems to be talking about what seems to me an obvious result: Google Chrome will drastically increase in popularity, taking away from MSIE. Why? Because the uninformed will either go for the familiar "e" logo or the familiar "Google" logo. Firefox will remain mostly unchanged, as will Opera (oh the irony), etc.

mack




msg:4083819
 6:51 am on Feb 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

One thing that crosses my mind. When one of these non Microsoft browsers causes a Windows exploit, who will the user blame? Yep Microsoft.

The only looser here in terms of market share will be IE, because for some reason the choice will only be offered to MSIE users. Must be great to get such good marketing without needing to pay for it.

Mack.

graeme_p




msg:4083821
 7:10 am on Feb 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

I wonder how many people will choose Chrome because they think a browser is a search engine?

blend27




msg:4083902
 1:25 pm on Feb 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Not many if the Google Privacy Stories keep popping up.

On the other hand, lots of people are used to "Big Blue E Icon". It just might be that overage Sheema, Nikola`, James and Agneshka still think that Enternet is the way to go for it....

kaled




msg:4083910
 1:51 pm on Feb 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

When one of these non Microsoft browsers causes a Windows exploit, who will the user blame?

That will depend entirely where the fault lies. If faulty jpeg rendering is to blame and the browser is using MS library code for this, then MS should rightly get the blame.

Some months ago, I was discussing the security of Internet Explorer with a fan of Microsoft. Ultimately, I won the argument by asking this question - Have you ever heard of anyone actually getting a virus/trojan via a browser other than Internet Explorer?

Kaled.

Bones




msg:4083912
 2:03 pm on Feb 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

"Why just IE users, why not give the choice to everyone. I'm sure there are FF users who would like to switch to Chrome or Opera. and vice versa."

"Thats my point. The only users who will be hit are IE users. Keep it level and just show it to all users. "

"The only looser here in terms of market share will be IE, because for some reason the choice will only be offered to MSIE users."

Mack, you're *totally* not understanding why this is happening in the first place.

Microsoft abused their dominant OS position to get an stranglehold on the browser market - by bundling IE with every copy of Windows. They've been found guilty of having gained their browser market share unfairly by being the only option by default.

Other browsers have already (generally speaking) been installed by the user as a matter of choice, so there's no need to force them to do anything.

mack




msg:4083914
 2:18 pm on Feb 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Well the same must be true of every piece of software bundled with Windows paint, windows mail. In fact maybe we should just go the while hog and strip out the entire UI?

Ok going a bit to far there, but you get my idea.

My point is this. Microsoft build an OS. They install their browser with their OS. What did FF, Chrome or Opera do to deserve free exposure. When I say free what I really mean is at the expense if the EU tax payer.

Mack.

Bones




msg:4083917
 2:32 pm on Feb 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

It's a long running saga, and browsers haven't been the only focus.
[en.wikipedia.org...]

Not really at the expense of the EU taxpayer at all though. Microsoft have had to pay hundreds of millions of Euros in fines, so I think we've probably actually done alright out of it (no idea where that money actually went mind you...)

Alcoholico




msg:4083962
 4:40 pm on Feb 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

it's a way to finally get shot of IE6 and 7


I doubt it, the choice screen will be pushed through Windows Update, IE6 users could have updated to IE8 ages ago, but most of those who have not updated don't seem to be using windows update at all. I wish everybody chose Opera, no chrome spyware and no slow and memory hungry foxy, but realistically that's not going to happen.

carguy84




msg:4084151
 3:03 am on Feb 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

Does OSX need to implement the same screen for Safari users? I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere.

tangor




msg:4084169
 4:19 am on Feb 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've slept since then, but didn't the announcement also state that in the browser update and all new installs IE is unpinned from the task bar, forcing a choice to be made? Seems like MS did it right in that regard.

swa66




msg:4084469
 10:51 pm on Feb 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

OSX need to implement...

Apple does to have a monopoly to abuse in OSes. Microsoft OTOH has been convicted to pay record breaking fines for their behavior of abusing their market position in OSes in order to create unfair advantages in other areas such as media players and internet browsers at the expense of not just the other vendors, but the consumers as well.

There are no comparisons possible to what Microsoft did and the series of measures against Microsoft in the IT world cause nobody has the monopoly they have to start with. If you need other examples: look at what the EU did with those manufacturing glass for the car industry. But even they didn't have the guts Microsoft showed in their total disregard for market rules and their ridiculous reactions to "comply" with the rules in the past.
They might now finally (although I'll only believe it when I see it) be ready to actually comply with the rules.
But one can only hope the EU will judge them not on their implementation, but on the results: how many users do actually switch away from IE in the EU (compared to other areas where they did not roll out this choice, that had an otherwise comparable situation).

swa66




msg:4084474
 11:03 pm on Feb 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

In the US the existence of this choice should be considered an important fact in following up to the so-called integration of the browser in the OS Microsoft used as a way to stop the existing row with the US government.

Choice implies it is still not all that "integrated" (Like all of us know: it's just very made hard to remove IE)

Would be a good moment to reopen the US investigation and finally tackle them on their own lies/cheats/dishonesty/...

Anyway a MSFT-free world would be a major improvement in my book.

mack




msg:4084488
 12:00 am on Feb 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Anyway a MSFT-free world would be a major improvement in my book.


Don't know if I could go that far. Microsoft have done a lot of bad, but they have also done a lot of good. Had Microsoft not been pushing the PC so hard, who knows if any other company would have been able to get the momentum going.

We might still be in the dark ages, with a computer being seen as a rare thing owned by a techie or a nerd.

There are 2 sides to a lot of arguments, and there really is no right or wrong. Would the world be a better place without Microsoft? I doubt it, lets be honest most of out users and customers are on machines running Microsoft OS's

Mack.

Brett_Tabke




msg:4084594
 6:14 am on Feb 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

When will the "browser" choice roll out for the iPhone? Microsoft has done far less than Apple ever has.

> choice

Is the worst possible thing the Europeans could have ever done. All this is going to do is give MS a larger market share by selling more operating systems and getting people to default to IE by choice.

jecasc




msg:4084624
 7:43 am on Feb 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

When will the "browser" choice roll out for the iPhone? Microsoft has done far less than Apple ever has.


The iPhone only has a market share on smartphones of about 13% = no monopoly.

Windows market share on Operating systems:
92% = monopoly.

Anti Trust regulations only apply if you have a monopoly in a market. So asking why Apple does not have to include other browser choices in OSX or in its iPhone makes as much sense as asking why Joe Gizmo who assembles custom phones in his backyard and has programmed his own browser does not need to include different browser choices.

graeme_p




msg:4084632
 8:27 am on Feb 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Don't know if I could go that far. Microsoft have done a lot of bad, but they have also done a lot of good. Had Microsoft not been pushing the PC so hard, who knows if any other company would have been able to get the momentum going.


The market was exploding before MS were a major player. IBM would have entered the market without MS (they would have bought an OS from someone else). What MS did was get a contract from IBM that put them in a perfect position to ride on the market growth. The wave would have come without the surfer.

We might still be in the dark ages, with a computer being seen as a rare thing owned by a techie or a nerd.


Lots of people had home computers before MS got into OSes: Commodorie, Apple, Atari, Sinclair, Acorn etc.) Businesses too - Apple II had the first popular (I think first ever) spreadsheet (Visicalc) available for it.

Is the worst possible thing the Europeans could have ever done. All this is going to do is give MS a larger market share by selling more operating systems and getting people to default to IE by choice.


How? People will only see this screen if they have already bought Windows so it is not going to increase Windows sales. As long as less then 100% choose IE, it will be less than the proportion who get IE pre-installed (if something else is preinstalled by an OEM it looks like this screen will not appear).

Bones




msg:4084753
 1:33 pm on Feb 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Is the worst possible thing the Europeans could have ever done. All this is going to do is give MS a larger market share by selling more operating systems and getting people to default to IE by choice.


I'm not sure I'm understanding how you're arriving at this conclusion either?

engine




msg:4087381
 9:14 pm on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have just taken the browser choice options and there are a lot of browsers listed.
They appear with a scroll bar, from left to right:
Safari, Chrome, FF, Opera, IE 8 all appearing on the first screen of my laptop. With my screen size, I need to scroll to see the rest, as follows:
K-Meleon, Avant, Flashpeak Slim Browser, Flock, Sleipinir, Greenbrowser, and Maxthon.

There is an option button under each for "Install" and "Tell Me More."

In addition, there is an option to choose later, and the browser choice will appear next time the machine is booted.

graeme_p




msg:4087604
 5:27 am on Feb 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

So there are a total of

6 that use Trident
3 That use Gecko
2 that use Webkit
1 (obviously) using Opera's rendering-engine-I-can-never-remember-the-name-of

Not counting extensions that allow you to switch rendering engine.

SO half the choices use MS's rendering engine.

Brett_Tabke




msg:4087638
 7:15 am on Feb 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

>The iPhone only has a market share on smartphones of about 13% = no monopoly.

Safari has a 100% market share on the iPhone and with Apple not allowing competitors, that = illegal monopoly.

mack




msg:4088107
 10:34 pm on Feb 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I just got hit with the choice screen, and there are errors on the screen. I saw a logo for a browser not offered, and Greenbrowser's description was bellow a logo for K-Mellon.

Mack.

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