Internet Explorer 'Browser Ballot' system in action

Internet Explorer 'Browser Ballot' system in action

Summary: Microsoft has begun testing of its Internet Explorer 'Browser Ballot' screen for European copies of Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. Currently testing is restricted to the United Kingdom, Belgium and France, with the download being offered via Windows Update.

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Microsoft has begun testing of its Internet Explorer 'Browser Ballot' screen for European copies of Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. Currently testing is restricted to the United Kingdom, Belgium and France, with the download being offered via Windows Update.

So, what can users expect?

Well, here's what users need to look out for in Windows Update:

What happens after installation and a reboot depends on whether Internet Explorer is set as the default browser.

If Internet Explorer isn't set as the default browser, then nothing happens and life carries on as normal.

However, if Internet Explorer is set as the default browser, then several things happen:

  1. An 'Information Regarding Web Browsers' pop-up appear, introducing the 'Browser Choice' program.
  2. If Internet Explorer is 'pinned' to the Windows 7 taskbar, it will be unpinned.
  3. A link 'Browser Choice' link is added to the desktop.

Here's the list of browsers on offer:

It's going to be really interesting to watch out for the following:

  • Any change in browser usage share over the coming months in Europe.
  • Whether 'baddies' try their had at their own 'Browser Choice' screen in order to push malware.

Topics: Browser, Microsoft, Windows

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149 comments
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  • Extending the notion that Consumer Choice is good

    [b]Re Consumer Choice in the U.S. Brick and Mortar Retail Setting[/b]

    Give the Consumer final say, right?

    Is not Consumer Choice good?

    But are they 'really' in today's world being given full unfettered access to making the best possible choice when selecting not only browsers but operating systems?

    I submit that the answer is 'No'.

    In today's world the Consumer need not buy a PC with Windows pre-installed. The perceived level of risk is justified and unacceptable.

    Ideally, a Consumer should have final say, in a brick and mortar setting, as to which O/S, if any, they want installed as part of the PC sale.

    Does that sound harsh? Is that too much to put on the Retailer?

    Not really.

    You see, nothing would change substantially.
    The retailer can sell 'whatever' they so choose.
    Only the Consumer makes their choice as to which O/S and the store IT technician simply runs and gets a preimaged drive and installs, or simply ghosts the image to the hard drive, OR, 'does nothing' and sells the machine with a blank drive and perhaps a copy of FreeDOS.

    The Customer leaves either with software that the retailer sees 'profit' in supporting or the Customer leaves with a PC sans O/S and gets 'no software support' from the Retailer, just a limited hardware warranty.

    The Consumer doesn't get support for what they don't buy and as for the Retailer it is no major changes, and commerce as usual.

    Give Consumers a choice to buy PCs with no O/S.

    What say you Adrian? Folks?
    D.T.Schmitz
    • (Sigh)

      nt
      Hallowed are the Ori
      • Now you see why he's unsuccessful in business

        He doesn't understand it in the least.

        His ideas have been repetedlly shot down and picked apart, all the issues and problems associated with his version of how things should be, exposed.

        Yet he sits there with his fingers in his ears screaming "la la la la la la" the entire time.

        Some people just aren't cut out for business.
        John Zern
        • What is your stand on Consumer Choice?

          nt
          D.T.Schmitz
          • My stand on consumer choice

            is that the consumer should have a choice of whatever a manufacturer makes available. I have a choice of any car that Chevy makes, and they make a lot of different configurations, and no one can stop me from buying [b]what they are offering[/b].

            The problem is that I can't order a Colorado with a Corvette engine, because they don't offer that, and I can't force them to.

            If I want to buy the stuff separatelly, then I can get it done. I can also prove that it can be done, but it doesn't mean they should offer that option if they feel it would lose them money.

            Neither will they sell me a car with no engine in it, as that's not a choice, either.

            Same with computers: If a manufacture says they don't want to be crippled with selling a system without an OS, that's their choice, not yours.

            If they find that they move computers with Windows as opposed to Linux, then that's their choice not to offer it with Linux. At that point you have the choice to shop somewhere that offers Linux on a machine.

            It's no different with Apple: Let's start crying that they don't offer us the choice of OS X, Windows, and Linux: Just OS X.

            Where's my choice of an OS free PS3 or XBox?

            The problem is, you view the OS and machine as two totally differnt things, yet when the system is sold, it's sold as one thing: a working system, just as gaming consoles are.

            So I don't think you really understand the entire concept of what's happening here in business.

            You have the ame exact choice you have with everything in this world - buy what a company sells, or don't. If they don't want to sell an OS free system that's their choic.

            Maybe you should start your own company that sells OS free systems?

            Hey, that's a choice, too!
            John Zern
          • Error, error, error

            "Same with computers: If a manufacture says they don't want to be crippled with selling a system without an OS, that's their choice, not yours."

            It's their choice. Until they break the law. When that happen, they lose the right to choose.
            wuppez
          • What law states that everything that is sold

            must contain everything ever made?

            Is there a law that states that I can order any car with any radio in it? If GM offers AC Delco, Bose, and Sony, is there some law that says that they also have to offer it with Clarion, Panasonic, Alpine, Ford, Jensen, and Radio Shack?

            Why would you look at a computer any differently? If Dell Offers Word Perfect, Office, and Works, should they also have to offer it with Open Office, Star Office, Kingsoft, Softmake, ect?

            They offer it with 90 day Virus software: Where's the choice? Now they have to offer everything from Norton to Mcafee to Security essentials.

            No law that says what a computer manufacturer has to offer, they offer what they feel they can sell. If they're right or wrong, that's something the market should tell them, not a judge.
            John Zern
          • Re: What law states that everything that is sold

            @John Zern

            It would be nice if you could educate yourself about the law and the facts before commenting.

            No law states that.

            Competition Law states that it's illegal for a monopoly to engage in anti-competitive practices, which is what Microsoft did, and now they are suffering the consequences.
            wuppez
          • Lots of crap here

            Let's see...where do we begin...

            [i]is that the consumer should have a choice of whatever a manufacturer makes available. I have a choice of any car that Chevy makes, and they make a lot of different configurations, and no one can stop me from buying what they are offering.[/i]

            So who's stopping you from buying what you want. Is there anybody here that's saying Windoze shouldn't be sold? And that you can't buy from them if you want to? Is anybody stopping you from making [b]your[/b] choice?

            [i]If I want to buy the stuff separatelly, then I can get it done. I can also prove that it can be done, but it doesn't mean they should offer that option if they feel it would lose them money.[/i]

            Then they shouldn't offer any OS or browser options up front. Including Windoze and it's Internet Explorer.

            Sell machines with empty HDs (as one choice) and if somebody happens to want Windoze [b]without[/b] a browser, let them be able to choose that too. Wouldn't cost them anything if they erased the HD ahead of time, or sold it with a blank HD.

            [i]Neither will they sell me a car with no engine in it, as that's not a choice, either.[/i]

            But you still get a choice of engines, so your stupid analogy here belongs in the garbage.

            When you buy a new laptop, you don't get a choice of engines (OSes). You only get one, pre-installed by default. No other choice offered.

            [i]Same with computers: If a manufacture says they don't want to be crippled with selling a system without an OS, that's their choice, not yours.[/i]

            Not if there's a history of collusion (forced or otherwise) that keeps competitors out, there isn't.

            Just as I can pick options of what I want, I should also be able to pick when I don't want installed on what I buy. Opting out should be be just as much an option as opting in.

            [i]If they find that they move computers with Windows as opposed to Linux, then that's their choice not to offer it with Linux.[/i]

            But I want to be sold one with a blank HD and you don't think I should get that choice, now do you?

            It's only what the Redmond shills want to call as "choice" and not anybody else's

            [i]At that point you have the choice to shop somewhere that offers Linux on a machine.[/i]

            Of which, there are very few.

            [i]It's no different with Apple: Let's start crying that they don't offer us the choice of OS X, Windows, and Linux: Just OS X.[/i]

            Apple owns both the hardware and the software. Does Micro$oft own Dell? HP? Lenovo? Etc...etc...etc?

            Last time I heard, they were [i]supposed[/i] to be independent corporations, but according to your flawed reasoning up above, that may not be the case.

            [i]Where's my choice of an OS free PS3 or XBox?[/i]

            Those are specialized gaming machines. Can't tell the difference? Does not Micro$oft build the Xbox hardware? Does not Sony build the PS3? Since when does Dell build Windoze?

            [i]The problem is, you view the OS and machine as two totally differnt things, yet when the system is sold, it's sold as one thing: a working system, just as gaming consoles are.[/i]

            They are two totally different things. Unless you believe the hardware built by OEMs can't be sold generically. The fact that Linux runs on them means that it is.

            [i]So I don't think you really understand the entire concept of what's happening here in business.[/i]

            I understand why there's a Windoze key baked on to 90% of the OEM PC keyboards that are out there. I understand what market collusion is.

            No, I don't think you have a clue here. Too many holes in your arguments. Like swiss cheese.

            [i]You have the ame exact choice you have with everything in this world - buy what a company sells, or don't. If they don't want to sell an OS free system that's their choic.[/i]

            And if I want to buy OEM hardware, I shouldn't be saddled having to buy an OS to go along with it that I don't want. No matter how cheap they make it.

            [i]Maybe you should start your own company that sells OS free systems?[/i]

            Sure. Send some venture capital my way. I have some bridges I can sell you or use for collateral.

            ;)
            Wintel_BSOD
      • Yes, do you agree, disagree, and why?

        nt
        D.T.Schmitz
        • I don't really care...

          I know where to get whatever I want to use.

          No, I'm just tired of your incessant Spamming of the Talkbacks.

          It's gone way, way past "annoying".

          In fact, I would be willing to wager that you've driven at least one person, and very likely more than one, AWAY from Linux with your nonstop Spamming.
          Hallowed are the Ori
          • Then be constructive and reply only to a thread you like

            It is not my problem that you are annoyed.
            D.T.Schmitz
          • Sure ya do

            [i]No, I'm just tired of your incessant Spamming of the Talkbacks.[/i]

            Then stop responding to him.

            Oh that's right. You're not really 'tired'.

            [i]In fact, I would be willing to wager that you've driven at least one person, and very likely more, than one, AWAY from Linux with your nonstop Spamming.[/i]

            Why would you care about that.

            Or is it the incessant beating M$ has to take on these blogs, week after week.

            That I hear you whiners cry about all the time.

            Oh well. Too bad. Tough.
            Wintel_BSOD
      • Deleted, duplicate--DTS

        nt
        D.T.Schmitz
    • So you are saying the consumer didn't have a choice previously?

      Somehow Windows prevented you from installing whatever browser you wanted previously?

      Unlike say, other OSes that give you this choice of what you want to run. Oh, wait, Windows wasn't any different to begin with...
      Qbt
      • This is brick and mortar, so, no

        If you subtract whitelist computer shops and pc's sold with processor types older than 2 years, there are no brick and mortar stores selling current[1] technology w/o an operating system.



        [1] Dual Core 64-bit or better
        D.T.Schmitz
        • What has that got to do with ANYTHING?

          Worst. Answer. Evar.
          Qbt
          • Why? Elaborate please.

            Customers buying boxes with recycled 2-year old technology?

            Consumers looking to buy a PC without an O/S are not interested in becoming second class citizens.

            What is your complaint?
            D.T.Schmitz
          • This has nothing to do with the question "Consumers didn't have choice?"

            Your original post implied consumers didn't have a choice of browser. I am asking you how exactly they didn't have a choice (compared to any other OS), and you ramble on about some unrelated topic.

            The question is: "Did users or did they not have a choice previously of which browser they wanted to use on Windows?". This has zero to do with the content from your last post.

            Simple
            Qbt
          • Reading comprehension: Go back and reread my thread.

            It is coherent, and to the point.
            D.T.Schmitz