The Browser Choice Screen for Europe: What to Expect, When to Expect It

Posted by Dave Heiner 

Vice President and Deputy General Counsel


(If you would like more information about the browser choice screen on your computer, or if you have a technical issue with the update, the Windows team has prepared a page you may find useful entitled, What is the Browser Choice update? )



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. If you are an Internet Explorer user in Europe, here is what to expect.

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.

The browser choice screen software update will be offered as an automatic download through Windows Update for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. The software update will be installed automatically, or will prompt you to download or install it, depending on which operating system you are running and your settings for Windows Update. If you do not have automatic updating enabled, you can get the choice screen by going to Windows Update and clicking on “Check for Updates.”

If you are running Internet Explorer as your default browser, here is what you will see after the software update is installed. An introductory screen appears first. In the screen shot below we added a few comment bubbles to point out certain features. The introductory screen provides context for the next screen, which shows browser options.



Windows 7 users can “pin” frequently-used programs to the taskbar (shown along the bottom of the screen, above.) If Internet Explorer was “pinned” to your Windows 7 taskbar, the browser choice screen software update will automatically unpin it, as shown above. (Note that unpinning a program does not remove it from your computer.) Once you have selected your preferred browser, you can easily pin that browser to the taskbar just by right-clicking on the browser icon in the taskbar anytime it is running and selecting “pin this program to taskbar.”

If you have any trouble finding Internet Explorer after it is unpinned, just click on the Start icon at the lower-left corner of your desktop and type “Internet Explorer” in the search box above the Start flag. (You can find any program in this way.)

The browser choice screen, shown below, will present you with a list of leading browsers. In keeping with our agreement with the European Commission, this list is presented in random order. You can also scroll to the right to see additional browsers, which are also presented in random order. The browsers that are listed and the content relating to them will be updated from time to time. The screen provides three options: Click on “Install” to install one of the listed browsers. Click on “Tell me more” to get more information about any of the browsers. These links (and the browser logos and associated text) are provided by each browser vendor. Click on “Select Later” to review the choice screen the next time you log onto your computer. This software update will also add a shortcut to your desktop, from which you can launch the choice screen at any time.


Finally, for those who prefer Internet Explorer: if you are running an older version (IE 6 or IE 7), Microsoft recommends that you upgrade to the latest version, Internet Explorer 8. IE 8 offers a number of significant safety and security improvements over earlier versions of IE.


Comments (209)

  1. Rob in Belfast says:

    This is all fine and dandy if it works.. I get a message that the installation of the browser choice fails – every time!

  2. Lugaid says:

    This is a pain in the a**. The daft idiots who thought this up need to be made redundant. This should be a one time thing that goes away once selected! There are real issues for Europe to be working on for God's sake!

  3. sophia says:

    yeah so how do I get rid of this??? It doesn't seem to be working

  4. Magnamundian says:

    But I already have all the browsers I want installed, why is this insisting on me installing another???

  5. F**c EU says:

    This one of the most stupid ideas ever. Doesn't EU has something more important to do than force browserchoice to users.

    …and we were paing taxes for what???

  6. Zygor guide says:

    The browser choice screen for Europe is a good idea and it will provide freedom to Windows users about deciding which Internet Browser best suits their needs. This change will definitely hurt the overall usability of IE, lets see how Microsoft will respond to its outcomes.


  7. Linux user says:

    @F**c EU I dont believe you are European my friend.

  8. hot collection says:

    I think it will simply affect the popularity of IE in European countries, I don't know how Microsoft went for this agreement as it will hurt its own product. Thanks

  9. Fullmetal99012 says:

    I'm not from the EU, but this is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. besides the windows N versions without media player. If a user wants a different browser, they install it. I use Firefox, some use chrome, opera,safari, etc. Windows always came with IE. Forcing users to choose is stupid.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I stumbled on this.   This seems to be  major thing.  You spend fortunes pushing windows 7 in advertising. Yet this major issue you hide away.  I've seen the Google Chrome advertising which is why I'm investigating.  I think The EU and Microsoft have a moral obilgation to spend money on ads or PR telling people properly about this vs hiding it.  I suspect that you do that for a reason and it reflects Microsoft's attitude to abusing its position and lack of openess.  I fully expect this post to similarly be removed from the comments from this page. That's what a big brother would do.    This eems so important and your hiding it. Why?

  11. Anonymous says:

    @Siobhan Palmer – How are they hiding "this major issue"?  The EU has only just approved the plans and it will kick in via a Windows Update.  Then it will be there – no getting away from it.    Frankly, as a UK taxpayer (and hence an EU taxpayer), I'm ann

  12. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft are doing the right thing and complying – surely this blog post is fairly indicitive of the fact that they're *not* hiding it?    Do you see Apple doing the same for their operating system? Even though they bundle a browser, exactly as Microsoft did?    It seems you just want to pick a fight, Ms Palmer…   So why not try Google, who are seriously undermining its user's privacy?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Siobahn,    Clearly you have absolutely no understanding of what this ballot is about or why it has come to pass.    Your comments are designed to be inflammatory but ultimately only make you sound ignorant.    Go look for food elsewhere troll!

  14. Anonymous says:

    I think it's wrong that Microsoft have this kind abuse thrown at them daily, and yet the other large software companies get away scot-free. I suppose as soon as Apple is large enough, the EU will try and gain some tax from them this way too.    I'd be happy if the world can just go ahead and nuke IE6 & 7 which, as a web developer, are absolutely horrible to code for. IE8 is much better, though it's still lacking some features – specifically experimental HTML5 and CSS3. Sure, it may not be ratified yet, but every other browser has started implementing it.    As a personal preference, I always use Google Chrome as my main browser now, because it's the fastest there is. I use Mozilla Firefox for my web development, simply because of the vast array of very helpful plugins.    I don't think I'd ever return to IE, unless they can pull off a miracle with HTML5, CSS3 and get it to pass the ACID 3 test 100% which currently only Chrome and Apple Safari 4 can manage. (

  15. Anonymous says:

    I think you will find that it is NOT A MAJOR issue, but more to do with the fact that Microsoft is complying with EU regulations…    Consumers now have a choice about which browser they want to use!     Ms Palmer – I think you should get your facts straight before coming up with comments like you have done. Are you an Apple or Google employee by any chance?

  16. Anonymous says:

    So, when is Apple going to have to do the same on OSX, or when you plug in their ubiquitous iPod devices? Or how about you get some service from Google?    The whole saga has been a total and utter waste of time and money for Microsoft, it's shareholders and the EU taxpayer.     I can see it now: my parents are just going to click the first thing she will see herself as no better off – just a little confused.    

  17. Anonymous says:

    just to get the facts straight, little brother:    apple doesn't have to offer different browsers, because they don't own 90% of the operating system market share.    almost every pc comes with windows. and every windows installation comes with internet explorer. (so ms uses its dominant position in one market field to create a dominant position in another field -> the reason for this eu-resolution).    thats why apple with 5-10% market share (in the os-market) can bundle osx with whatever programs they want.    

  18. Anonymous says:

    Does this mean that Microsoft will allow Windows users to remove Internet Explorer from the machine completely?  Will all the Microsoft delivered web content work with all of the competing browsers now or do you still need to use IE to access a large portion of their technical content such as windows update?

  19. Anonymous says:

    I do hope there's a check box to hide this "update"; I don't want it.

  20. Anonymous says:

    @Siobhan Palmer: You've clearly not read the article you've commented on and have now made a fool of yourself. The article is showing that Microsoft is doing the exact opposite of what you're saying. They're clearly not hiding anything apart from the IE i

  21. Anonymous says:

    What about users like me, that already have multiple different browsers installed?      This popup will just be wasting my time and causing me to have to repin IE8 to my taskbar!  Rubbish!    I moved to using Firefox a long time ago when it became apparent IE6 was less secure, contained too many bugs & was too slow    Then came Google Chrome which I dallied with for a while as it is fast.  I even flirted with Opera for a short while, which Chrome pinched half it's features from    But in the end, i've gone full circle and kind of like IE8 – got sick of some websites just not working with other browsers, plus I now have a 64-bit version of it    My point is – it's horses for courses, sometimes I use Firefox, sometimes Chrome, sometimes IE8.      Shouldn't this update detect that i've got all three automatically and not pester me with the EU's heavy handed ultimatum to make a single choice?!    I agree with other users' points about the EU applying this to other vendors – whilst I agree that MS perhaps shouldn't auto-bundle IE with Windows (optional install when installing O/S instead?), it should be one rule for all and all O/S vendors should face the same issue, not just Microsoft

  22. Anonymous says:

    *yawn* what? more pointless arguing about something that just isn't important at all.

  23. Anonymous says:

    The United Kingdom is not a country. It is a group of countries.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I like Internet Explorer, I just wish it was Google Chrome.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Will all the browsers offered be configured to do automatic updates? If not will the browsers be automatically updated via Windows Update?    And what are the other 5 browsers that aren't shown in the screenshot?

  26. Anonymous says:

    @Nick Gilbert it *did* take a while to find this blog though. Seriously, after reading a BBC article about this blog I had to spend a good ten minutes looking for the source.    Seriously though, it's a shame that this is not going to help much. It's now

  27. Anonymous says:

    @Siobhan Palmer: Do You know what a Faceplant is?

  28. Anonymous says:

    @Siobhan Palmer – If you had managed to get any of the facts right you might not sound so stupid.    The UK is clearly a country, what basis is there for saying that it is not?

  29. Anonymous says:

    I'd very interested to see stats of the downloads and if people usually choose the left most browser, the central one etc.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I'm recommendeding people I know choose Opera, as by the time this arrives 10.50 should be out, which is faster than Chrome, more featured than all the others, more secure than other the others, more standards complaint than all the others.    The days of recommending Firefix with it's worse than IE track record of security problems, or Google Chrome with it's history tracking privaxy problems are long gone.

  31. Anonymous says:

    @James C.     England is a country, Scotland is a country, Wales is a country, Northern Ireland is a country… so how can the UK, which comprises all of those, also be a country?

  32. Anonymous says:

    I'd like to know what happens if your machine is locked down, as at many businesses.      Should these users not be given the choice too?    I'm not concerned about home use, where it is trivial to switch anyway, but of businesses who often still enforce IE6/IE7.    Microsoft should do more to address those users by giving the IT support teams incentives to upgrade.

  33. Anonymous says:

    @Richard Le Poidevin    The order of the first 5 (and then 6-12) will be randomly generated according to the screenshot in the article so any bias to left etc will be neutered.    

  34. Anonymous says:

    The United Kingdom is a unitary state consisting of four countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

  35. Anonymous says:

    @James C.    Was the irony deliberate??

  36. Anonymous says:

    God this is the last thing we need on the school network, WSUS will be booting this one otherwise the kids will be really confused

  37. Anonymous says:

    The UK is a Soveign State…/List_of_sovereign_states    As for Browser choice, will it actually Remove IE from my system?  Too many applications
    still Open IE, even though I have set my default handlers for files and protocols to be my preferred browser of choice (Opera).   I want these applications to break (sounds crazy), so I can beat the vendors of these applications into making their systems comfirm
    to web standards and open systems, not closed ActiveX and IE mechanisms.    

  38. Anonymous says:

    What options are there to control this in a corporate environment.  Is there a way to disable the browser ballot screen via -say- group policy?  In a corporate environment the choice will be a company decision, not an individual choice.  So, how does it work there?

  39. Anonymous says:

    Good news on the whole. Like others have said, most people didn't even know they had a choice before. Hopefully we can steer everyone away from IE and on to more compliant browsers.      @zietho "I like Internet Explorer, I just wish it was Google Chrome."    ???    @Lars    There is a link from the BBC news page..    

  40. Anonymous says:

    Before proceeding, please confirm that you are connected to the internet. is using unnecessary text (longer text means higher chance of hitting Cancel/Escape). Instead mention "you need to connect to the internet first" only when someone is not already connected. In case the connection is broken during using it give a proper error message (plus when the download has a progress-meter, people are unlikely to disconnect).    Maybe there's more room for making the whole process less verbose.

  41. Anonymous says:

    *yawn* what? my god you people are still at it.

  42. Anonymous says:

    No the UK defintely isnt a country. The clue is in its full name "The United Kingdom", England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland on the other hand are countrys.

  43. Anonymous says:

    I've not used Windows 7, but in XP you can use the My Computer window as a web browser – IE is a part of the operating system so it can't be removed.      At work I need IE for some web tools and Firefox for other web tools. They dont' all work under one browser.  At home I use Firefox – extensions rule!    This is a fantasic oppertunity for the other browsers to increase their market share. Hopefully this will encourage web developers to ensure their products work well on all new browsers.    (Also, Scotland and Wales are indeed countries, just have to share Queen of England as head of state)

  44. Anonymous says:

    I suspect that most of the technically aware will probably have already changed browser if they wanted to. Most of the rest will probably get confused by being asked this question. However I suspect that there will be a few who will understand and consequently make a meaningful decision to change browser or not.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Of course this will get offered into businesses via WSUS, and any IT department will immediatly decline the update. Can you imagine the support calls on the attempt to install a different browser without the rights to install it, and if the do install it and set it to the default, when they find their corporate intranet applications start to fail.    Any IT department that wants to use FF/Opera etc as their default browser will have a fully managed way to deploy and update and suitable user base training.

  46. Anonymous says:

    The United Kingdom is a sovereign state, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are countries within that state.    @chris – Ireland is a separate independent republic.

  47. Anonymous says:

    @chris  Ireland is not in the UK. Northern Ireland (which has separate jurisdiction, laws, currency to Ireland) on the other hand, is. Way to confuse the matter further!

  48. Anonymous says:

    it seems to me that we can group people into 2 sets, regarding this update.    1. People who have already made the switch from IE to an alternative  and  2. People who haven't already made the switch.    If you haven't already made the switch then the chances are you're either not overly computer literate / confident, can't be bothered or are sitting in front of a corporate PC.  These are the people this update is aimed at.  But what are the chances these people are going to change after the update.    Microsoft have merely complied with the EU request and I can't see this action is going to change their position in the 'browser wars' significantly, if at all.    I'm neither a Microsoft or Apple fanboi but I find myself wondering how long, if at all, before Apple fall foul of this too?

  49. Anonymous says:

    I agree completely with Philip Turpin.     This move was forced by the EU, where surveys show Firefox is already used by a majority of users. Around the world, IE is much less popular than it is in the US.    But many users who have previously just accepted the IE default because they can't be bothered ,or don't know enough, to investigate the alternatives will probably still select IE because they think it must work better with Windows because it comes from the same stable.

  50. Anonymous says:

    @Lars "Seriously, after reading a BBC article about this blog I had to spend a good ten minutes looking for the source."  There's a link on the BBC page under related links  

  51. Anonymous says:

    Can I deactivate this screen or set the browser-choice via Group Policies?    Hmm…

  52. Anonymous says:

    I hope they provide an GPO to suppress this. We already have the browsers we need installed and the last thing I want is this update screwing with the network settings.    Until there's a GPO to do that this one is being firmly thrown to the bottom of my WSUS "Approve" list.    This whole thing has been one massive waste of money for everyone involved and it seem's rather pointless. People just want their computers to work, if they know enough to know that IE isn't suitable for them then they will know enough about how to find Chrome/Firefox/Safari/Opera et al and install it themselves.

  53. Anonymous says:

    official name:  the United Condom of Little Britain and occupied Ireland.. get your facts straight

  54. Anonymous says:

    I was happy to see the agreement when it was announced.  I'm not a fan of monopolies (ie a certain ticket outlet) and from that perspective this an excellent choice for less technical users to have.    That said, I'm sticking with Internet Explorer.  Oh yeah, I'm also a 10-year professional in the IT field – far from an in-experienced user.  Microsoft has a massive userbase worldwide and fixes by far the most issues on a regular basis.  There will ALWAYS be new threats regardless of what you're using and in most cases common sense prevails when a fix isn't available yet (such as don't give out your personal info).  As the old saying goes, if it can be coded it can be hacked.    If you think other browsers are bulletproof then you're just wrong – they all have exploitable flaws.  They simply aren't targeted and brought up in the media like IE.  People using other browsers tend to only speak praise about them and criticize IE.  Sort of like those Mac commercials – if they don't have viruses as they claim then why does OSX come with a built-in virus scanner?  Hmm…  At least Microsoft tells it to you straight when there's an exploitable bug found in their software.    I applaud the freedom of choice, however trivial it may be to some, and with my freedom I'm sticking with IE.  

  55. Anonymous says:

    As someone who's primarily a Mac user, I can understand why people think that Apple should come under the same sort of scrutiny for bundling Safari with its operating system.  There are a couple of major differences, though:  –   IE6 was far more integrated into Windows, when it was released, than Safari ever was into the Mac OS.  (The same cannot be said for the iPhone, though…)  –   Safari is the most standards compliant browser out there, even more than Opera.  Internet Explorer, on the other hand, is only recently catching up.  Therefore, bundling Safari with your operating system actually *helps* promote standards and openness, whereas bundling IE6 (and to some extent, IE7) would actually *hurt* open standards.  (Apple at least had the decency to strong-arm the W3C into accepting its standards, unlike Microsoft, who just chose to go it alone…)  –   Even when multiple corporations engage in similar practices, it's often the biggest competitor who gets picked to react.  Apple still doesn't have, and will likely never have, the market share that Microsoft has.    All that said, I'd probably still choose Chrome.  I love Safari on the Mac, but it doesn't run nearly as well on Windows, in my opinion.  It's almost like they want to make Macs look favorable or something…

  56. Anonymous says:

    The majority of users will simply click the 'X' to close the window. Presenting too many choices just confuses non-technical users.     1. They will not have heard of the other browsers in the first place. Why choose something when you have no idea what it is?    2. They don't care and simply want things to just work.

  57. Anonymous says:

    This is a sad thing… I wonder if one day, the European commission will force Audi or BMW to offer a choice of transmissions or engines from different manufacturers… The browser is an integral part of the OS, especially in this era and this makes no sense… Users have always had the ability to install a browser of their choice so this is non-sense…

  58. Anonymous says:

    The UK is a unitary state, however, the same place that I'm assuming many of you got your information from (Wikipedia) refers to it as a country as well. As do numerous BBC articles and the like.

  59. Anonymous says:

    This is probably going to break my servers.    Who do I sue if it does? 😛

  60. Anonymous says:

    I'm sticking with my trusted Internet Explorer 6. I've been using it since 2001 and Microsoft often patch it. I don't need choices just a good all round reliable browser.    Thanks Microsoft!

  61. Anonymous says:

    BS, if the day comes that BMW or Audi is making 95% of the cars in the world, then you'll have a point. Until then…

  62. Anonymous says:

    To me, a sovereign state is a country but a country does not need to be a sovereign state. Hence, United Kingdom is a country. England is also a country but it is not a sovereign state. United Kingdom is a country comprises four countries. They are England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It's just like a man is a human being but a human being does not need to be a man. A human being could be a woman.

  63. Anonymous says:

    I'm guessing there won't be any comment about the potential backward step users will take if they install one of the 'lesser supported' browsers. For a start it'll be a legal nightmare for MS to make any comment alluding to this but since when did a legal enforcement like this ever _really_ work out in favour of the individual?    And people don't know there is another browser available? Really? Are these the guys that get conned by spam? Even my mother knows about Chrome and Firefox (she uses the latter) and she's 78!    

  64. Anonymous says:

    If anyone in the UK, including school children – over 10 – 12 years of age who use Personal computers regularly, get confused about new browser choices or have no idea of browsers other than Internet Explorer, then there is a serious problem about the simple mindedness of these citizens.    Furthermore, those complaining about other companies – hardware (sic) not forced into same action are completely ignorant about the facts and history behind such EU action. Microsoft's proven Anti-Trust behavior in UK/Europe and US showed detrimental effects on windows computer users.  No other entity have undertaken to subvert computer users to dis-allow competitive products (to Microsoft's) that in many cases were unquestionably superior. Therefore no forced "fair behavior" was/is required.    Fact: The extremely weak security and bad design in  Internet Explorer were reasons that Google, Adobe and approximately 30 entities in several countries were "hacked" – causing billions of dollars in damages to repair.    How's that for forcibly having to support only poor quality Microsoft's products in the past?    W. Anderson  

  65. Anonymous says:

    @BS – You're attacking a straw man. Microsoft has an effective monopoly of the operating system market (see Steve Ballmer's slide at…/Ballmer_Linux_Bigger_Competitor_than_Apple).    The largest automobile manufacturer in E

  66. Anonymous says:

    Oh dear, how boring! Just go over to Linux, probably Ubuntu 9.10, and you can forget all this rubbish. Use what ever you want, and not have it thrust down your throat. And you're unlikely ever to get a virus, either. Not impossible, but most unlikely.    But congratulations to the European Commission in trying to restrain an undesirable stranglehold.    By the way, Opera is the best browser. Easiest to use. Simple key-stroke short-cuts. I've been using it for years, even on Windows, before I discovered Linux.

  67. Anonymous says:

    And people don't know there is another browser available? Really?    Yes, totally. I work for an online ecommerce company. If you ask users "what browser do you use?", you'll get a range of answers back with things like "windows", "i don't know", "the E", "I don't use a browser" etc.     Don't assume other computer users know what you take for granted as being obvious. When my mother first used a computer she pressed the mouse against the monitor's screen and started sliding it across in her first effort to try to get the cursor to move. A little bit of pee came out I was laughing so much that day let me tell you.

  68. Anonymous says:

    finally (as a web developer) the IE band leaves mainstream. No serious web-user still uses IE. Only Firefox or Safari arround in the neigborhood.

  69. Anonymous says:

    Wales isn't a country; it's a principality – if you're English.  It's a country – if you're Welsh.

  70. Anonymous says:

    I think what Siobhan wants is for Microsoft to *advertise* that they're doing this, to inform the public, in order for people to fully understand what this is about, so they can make a good choice, rather than making an article that is hard to find even for experienced users.  Everybody knows that most people will just go with the default choice if they don't understand the choices. The first page of this "update" is typical: it supports IE and tells people how to keep it pinned, even before they see what choice of browsers is available. LOL.  She's right.

  71. Anonymous says:

    Why should people be forced into making a choice when many who dont give a damm, or dont know, or will be concerned to select a change..will now have to get confused, upset or even worried about making one. Why many will say …whats a browser….is this spyware…  I think its outragous and smakes of big brother EU..  Whats next?

  72. Anonymous says:

    one one hand, it's good to see Microsoft complying with the EU disposition and doing things that will increase competition and spur innovation in browsers, and I understand the need for this to be pushed out so everyone has the chance to choose. but as a user, I'm unhappy about an update that will unpin my IE icon and would prefer an option that lets me say 'no, it's all right, I already chose my default browser, thanks' 😉

  73. Anonymous says:

    I know someone mentioned this so i will comment. Why doesnt Apple have to do this?  Apple makes the hardware and the software that runs on it.   MS Makes the software only and makes the person use their browser by default. So if i buy the hardware i should be able to choose what software i put on it seeing how they are separate in MS case.  If MS made both the hardware and the software i would think they could do what they wanted.

  74. Anonymous says:

    Please fire the intern who made the screenshot

  75. Anonymous says:

    The fall out of Google gmail hack in China, has made all the concerned users has already shift to other browsers. The users who has not already shift fall in two categories:  1). Who are really happy with their IE choice.  2). Who do not care about their browser, choice. but still they are addicted to IE, would not be easy to take and away and then keep them away.    As the ordering of the choices made for the browser are going to be random. It will present a serious opportunity to Google's Chrome an opportunity cover some ground. Who ever takes more advantage, one thing is for sure that IE will be more closely chased by Firefox in the browser market share race.

  76. Anonymous says:

    Anon said "Consumers now have a choice about which browser they want to use!"    No.  They've always had a choice – it's just that most people haven't known about it, or known how to obtain the alternatives.    Since 1995 I have used Mozilla, Netscape, Opera, Chrome, Safari, Sea Monkey, Firefox and Flock.  My default browser has been Opera on my PC and my PDA for several years now.      When Opera first came out, it wasn't free.  I thought that it was so much better than IE and the few other browsers available at the time, that I willingly paid for it.    I have rarely used IE in all that time.  I leave it installed on my PC because so many idiot web designers create badly-written websites that work in IE but don't test them in other browsers.    Now, millions of people who didn't realise that there were alternatives will be shown the way by this announcement.    Well done Microsoft.  It looks like a good solution to the issue.  However, I suspect, as other people have mentioned, that certain Microsoft websites such as Windows Update will only work with IE, so you'll still need to keep IE installed on your PC.

  77. Anonymous says:

    Monopolies aren't a good thing.  On the other hand punishing success isn't either.      Competition does breed better products so let their be real competition.  Why don't they force all of the browsers to also create an OS?    Microsoft created it.  They made it successful.  They should be able to bundle what they want with it.    If they are being forced to do this, then so should any other similar company (Apple, Google, etc.).      Most non-IT people could care less about which browser they use.  They just want to get to the internet.  

  78. Anonymous says:

    Apple doesn't have to remove Safari from OSX because it doesn't have a monopoly on the OS. I don't agree Microsoft should be forced into this action either. People who care change their browser and others don't. What next, Microsoft have to remove media player? I find vendors who install other rubbish I don't want such as RealPlayer or Google toolbar on my PC more annoying than being railroaded into using IE. Is it reasonable to have a question where the default answer is 'please install more junk on my PC'?  This doesn't make any difference to most corporates who will continue to deploy IE and that is their choice. They need to be careful that they have prevented employees from running Windows Update though otherwise they can expect a support headache when corporate webapps don't work in Firefox etc.  As for all the ranting about IE6, this isn't really Microsoft's fault is it? They ditched it years ago. It is the fault of people that refused updates or companies that didn't reasonably maintain their systems.  

  79. Anonymous says:

    Ignore what Juan Tino has to say about IE6 being a perfect browser.  IE6 is only perfect if you're a malware writer looking for computers to exploit.  Either update to IE8 or go with an alternate browser.  IE6 needs to disappear yesterday.

  80. Anonymous says:

    England is a country, Scotland is a country, Wales is a country, Northern Ireland is a country… so how can the UK, which comprises all of those, also be a country?</i>    By declaring itself a sovereign country.  The United Kingdom has a sovereign, doesn't it?  That makes it a country.

  81. Anonymous says:

    Oh my god.. this means that thousands of IT nerds have to explain their parents what to choose  And again explain how it works..     (and not only their parents)  .. damn i got a life too.

  82. Anonymous says:

    NSS Labs is a gottam joke. Their results are as much flawed as they are skewed.

  83. Anonymous says:

    Who gives a hoot about IE8 security issues when it still needs to be standards compliant.  This is a fantastic move you've been forced to make, people being shoved into IE has slowed down internet progression as developers can't make the use of new standard features without it breaking on IE – so we have to result in sticking to old techniques and never make any sort of new development.

  84. Anonymous says:

    At least MikeC got the Wales being a principality bit. Northern Ireland's a province. I'm amazed at the rest of you with the four countries stuff, checking first isn't hard.    I wonder when Microsoft will put out a linux version of Internet Explorer?    The choice screen's good, I'm pleased it's finally happening. And it'll be there for anyone subsequently re-installing or starting up a new computer too. Maybe Microsoft could do the same thing for the file explorer as well and have a listed alternative with two panes.

  85. A says:

    Looking forward to have Opera file a complaint against Apple (for bundling Safari in OS X) and against every Linux distro (for bundling Firefox).  Opera and the EU bureaucracy just lost a point each in my book.

  86. A says:

    Microsoft hasn't been forced to this because they have a monopoly in operating systems. There is nothing illegal about that.     However, Microsoft has abused their monopoly position, has been convicted of the abuse and this action is part of the outcome.     You can be big, but not a bully.  

  87. A says:

    Any competent IT nerd has already made sure his or her parents are using Firefox or Opera (or, if they're slightly less nerdish, Safari or Chrome), so this will change nothing on that front.    Anything that saves me the trouble of removing that malware entry point called "MSIE" from new systems is a welcome change. Now if only we could get rid of WMP and Outlook…  

  88. A says:

    I think the EU is wrong in making Microsoft do this. I have just bought a new iMac and all you get is the default Apple browser safari. Why have the EU not told Apple to offer the same choice.

  89. A says:

    When I buy a car I should be given the option to choose from any one of six different makes of CD player because it is unfair to HiFi manufacturers? Perhaps I want a Ford with a BMW engine? This whole 'issue' is nonsense because as far as 'competition' goes ALL THESE PROGRAMS ARE FREE so there is no 'competition'.

  90. A says:

    What a sad occasion. The European government thinks its citizens are too stupid to make their own decisions, and it thinks "Web Browser" is a static category of product with exactly 12 members who have a legal right to be advertised at no cost to themselves. This is idiotic, regardless of how Microsoft has behaved in the past. It doesn't fix anything, it reflects very poorly on the EU and the browser companies.    Who – apart from a deluded sucker – would pay specifically for a Web browser to run on their PC? They were never a chargeable commodity. This is an argument about *nothing* from the consumer perspective – it is purely political.    If you have a single market leader, and then just one failing competitor and one government, it's only a matter of time before the failure and the government will team up. Then you have a majority on one side, composed of success-hungry business and power-hungry government. The outcome is inevitable.    Oh, by the way, I'm going to write my own web browser soon. It may be a little light on features, but it will have the basic stuff – I think there's a market for a really crappy  browser. In fact if I don't get, say 12% of the market, that basically proves that Microsoft are abusing their monopoly. So I'm going to get my browser on that magic list of EU-approved browsers. Obviously mine should be on there – it's my human right as a browser vendor. What do you say, EU?    I think I'll call my browser 'Lucky 13'.

  91. Anonymous says:

    I hope given all this choice that all the browsers will be accessible to blind and partially sighted users. I know from experience that Many will not work with screen readers.  I use IE7 and  Firefox.

  92. Anonymous says:

    Why is this an automatic update?    I have long held the view that the exercise of choice should be initiated by the customer. Any organisation who tries to force me to accept a 'choice' I have not asked for gets told – No way, if I want to exercise a choice I will ask for it.    This 'choice', if needed at all should at most be an optional update.     BTW I run several browsers on my Windows platform already. I have already decided on the default browser long ago and object to being forced to choose again.    EU madness reigns again.

  93. Anonymous says:

    Will the new browser my anything like Goole Crome it so I'd might return to using MS Exploer

  94. Anonymous says:

    Oh the poor souls that press Safari

  95. Anonymous says:

    Terry: Windows Media Player is fantastic. You are a smell.

  96. Anonymous says:

    It does seem to be a bit of Microsoft bashing. I find Apple products to be much more closed. Are Apple being forced to provide a similar choice in OSX?    I see nothing wrong with Microsoft providing only their own web browser with their OS. For your average user this is ideal, it's a tested combination. For power user they will already know how to get other browsers.     This choice is just going to confuse a lot of people, it's not Microsoft's fault in this case, just the stupid EU. I'll be telling my parents to select IE as I don't want loads of phone calls asking me why a web page does not work.    Personally I use Chrome most of the time, sometimes Firefox and occasionally IE (exchange based web mail much better with IE).

  97. Anonymous says:

    Mr Heiner, why do all the links on…/browserchoice_en.htm pass through Microsoft's own web site on their way to Google, Opera, etc?    I can see no technical reason, so presumably it's just so MS can gather per-browser click statistics.  Will they ever just do the right thing in a clean-handed way?

  98. Anonymous says:

    Northern Ireland is not a country, nothing in any of the legislation (Acts of the Union et al) says that it is a country (neither has there been any historic case of Northern Ireland being a country). The closest you could probably get is "region"; the term used by most UK government departments, and the EU. Even so the term "region" is not entirely satisfactory.

  99. Anonymous says:

    This is in my opinion such a bad marketing move no competitor would actively say why not choose another operating system or a different browser and then list them. If it was me in Microsoft's shoes I would of given an option of either install IE now or install a browser of your choice at a later date, that way there is no confusion and the irritated EU is satisfied.

  100. Anonymous says:

    This is just so stupid. Opera brought this thing to court. It costs fortune just for nothing. This will not change anything for Opera. It is just a tremenduous oportunity for Google to take the browser market! Google didn't need that free help.  This will only help Google to take more market shares and, at the end, will kill Firefox and Opera.  Sometimes, the best intentions drive to the worst things…

  101. Anonymous says:

    This is a great news, finally user experience, will rule the choice and not the market owner.    Hopefully in a few years we will find the same for Linux and who know Opera OS, when we buy a new computer …    Best regards.

  102. Anonymous says:

    It's a great thing that they are finally doing this, but the fact that there is a button saying "Decide later" at the bottom means that there is still the option to avoid moving away from IE. From my experience ignorant users aren't going to want to have the perceived hassle of installing a new browser and will look for the quickest way out.    But it's a start, and for that we can be thankful.

  103. Anonymous says:

    I do NOT agree with Microsoft releasing this as an Automatic Update because it will confuse alot of users as to why they are being asked if they want to use another browser when they are already using one. Those other browsers are open source so Microsoft will not provide support or release security updates for them.    Instead, Microsoft should release this as a low priority optional update that users will only see if they manually visit the windows update website. It should NOT be an automatic update.    I started a petition so I hope Microsoft listens:…/petition.html

  104. Anonymous says:

    This is an outrage to be honest, Microsoft shouldn't be forced to advertise other software in their operating system. If Opera wants a bigger market share, they need to advertise for themselves or create their own operating system with their browser included.    This ruling will confuse many organisations and companies for years to come; should Apple give a choice of software for using iPods? Should Coca Cola vending machines offer a choice of Pepsi? Should McDonalds give the option of having Burger King fries when you purchase a burger there? The answer of course to these questions is no, in the same way that Microsoft should not be forced to provide a browser selection screen.    Microsoft created windows from the ground up and it is entirely up to them how it operates. They did not FORCE anyone to do anything, you do not HAVE to use windows. If you have an issue with Microsoft enforcing Internet Explorer upon you, get Linux instead!    My point here is that Microsoft have been completely played by the EU, a waste of their money and the EU taxpayers' money. It is a mockery of the legal system and a wake up call for us, the voters of Europe. We need reform with more intelligent politicians in charge and to remove ridiculous laws such as this.    As someone as has quite rightly pointed out, this is not going to help either way. Anyone who currently doesn't understand what a "browser" is and simply clicks "Internet" in their start menu to read their webmail and contact friends on Facebook will simply select the first option available to them and if they have only ever learnt how to use Internet Explorer will be confused by whichever newer browser they accidentally install.    This is, conclusively, an over reaction from the EU of the security flaws and vulnerabilities of modern day IE 6 users. Yes users should be aware of the risks imposed upon them by using an older browser by when law starts interfering with how a company can market it's product in this way, the legal system has failed us.

  105. Anonymous says:

    # Phillip Parr said on 19 February, 2010 04:42 AM:    "I don't think I'd ever return to IE, unless they can pull off a miracle with HTML5, CSS3 and get it to pass the ACID 3 test 100% which currently only Chrome and Apple Safari 4 can manage. ("    …for your info, I just tested Opera 10.10 on acid3 and it passed with flying colours!!…it's one h-e-l-l of a browser!!..

  106. Anonymous says:

    someone may have already said this, but just in case – my country (the United Kingdom) 's full name is – The United Kingdom comprising the Kingdoms of England and Scotland, the province of Northern Ireland and the Principality of Wales. It's a country because we say it is, and we live here so we should know.

  107. Anonymous says:

    I have a feeling it will be difficult for people who choose anything other than IE to transfer their bookmarks to their new browser. Clippy, of course, will be on hand to offer pretend help.

  108. Anonymous says:

    How about shipping Windows with no browser at all!     Watch the confusion ensue as people have to figure out how to download a browser, without having a browser (and telnet suddenly makes a big come back).

  109. Anonymous says:

    Yamn, the same old comments over and over.  Why to people feel they need to take the moral high ground and position their preferred browser as the best there is.    Somehow there is this view that anybody who really knows what they are doing chooses Firefox, what a load of crap.  All the leading browsers are perfectly fine and fit for purpose.  Personally I use a combination, mainly IE8 but also Firefox and occasionally Chrome for certain websites.    And before I'm told I havent got a clue, crap to that also.  I have a very good understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the main browsers and being totally honest and objective I would have no hesitation in recommending either of them.    Get a life, choose your own preferred browser and get on with browsing.  Jeez.

  110. Anonymous says:

    Yamn, the same old comments over and over.  Why to people feel they need to take the moral high ground and position their preferred browser as the best there is.    Somehow there is this view that anybody who really knows what they are doing chooses Firefox, what a load of crap.  All the leading browsers are perfectly fine and fit for purpose.  Personally I use a combination, mainly IE8 but also Firefox and occasionally Chrome for certain websites.    And before I'm told I havent got a clue, crap to that also.  I have a very good understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the main browsers and being totally honest and objective I would have no hesitation in recommending either of them.    Get a life, choose your own preferred browser and get on with browsing.  Jeez.

  111. Anonymous says:

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>IE 8 is Broken!    IE 9 expected soon to replace broken IE8!    That should tell you something about Microsoft!    With open source, it only gets better, faster and safer, while remaining absolutely FREE!      Firefox RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  112. Anonymous says:

    Although IE is not scrubbed from the system if a user chooses a rival browser from the randomly ordered list, Windows 7 users can throw a "kill switch" to disable Microsoft's browser. Windows Vista and Windows XP users, however, do not have that choice.    So we still do NOT have the right to remove unwanted or unused software!    This effort doesn't go far enough!

  113. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft plans to sabotage the other browsers, by offering new features that will only work with it's only vendor lock in products.    Of course, if the owner and user of the computer decides NOT to use IE, then why MUST this unused and unwanted software be kept?    Since Office 2010 does NOT use IE to render Outlook email, it should be obviously IE can be removed!    This is just another lame excuse by Microsoft to PUSH their own products, as we will expect later other "offers" to be updated in the future, such as "advertisements" here.    Microsoft is just isn't going to every play fair!

  114. Anonymous says:

    OEMs will be able to preinstall a browser of their choosing and also uninstall IE from machines shipping with Windows 7.    Customers will NOT be given the CHOICE, to uninstall IE, in any versions of Windows!

  115. Anonymous says:

    Does any one from the Microsoft and POWER to add something to this screen […/clip_image002_136F9F12.jpg ] reads these comments?  I wonder!  But if they do THEY SHOULD ADD ONE LINE to the short description of Internet Explorer that it supports EOT which offers the BEST visibilty of fonts-as-is for the millions of Indic or Indic-Unicode users.   This can help such users to get the best possible browser and website experience.  Thanks for reading.

  116. Anonymous says:

    I want to able to choose my own versions of Notepad, Solitaire, and music/videoplayer etc.  In the next step I want to choose which version of every DLL etc. that is going to be installed.  I think I can to this a lot better myself than Microsoft.  Honestly, I run Kubuntu and the default browser is Konqueror not Firefox.  Did install Firefox though.

  117. Anonymous says:

    Ah Mark Wilson, or should I say Microsoft Employee No 459763, you are so transparent.  

  118. Anonymous says:

    That's really good news, but I think IE will not loose more than 1% or 2% of users.

  119. Anonymous says:

    I use Firefox for most things, after just switching from Safari full-time. So I use Firefox 3.6 for most things, except for my Hotmail which works best in Internet Explorer 8 and the fastest boot up one is Google Chrome so I use that for quick stuff. I think this option screen is a great idea for basic users to easily get their hands on great browsers like Firefox, Google Chrome, and maybe Safari.

  120. Anonymous says:

    Next: the instant messaging software!

  121. Anonymous says:

    I'm glad I live in a free country. our economy may suck, but at least we dont jump down a private company's throat about how they are using their software. How come we don't get a choice of what browser to install on osx? or Chrome OS? Why haven't google and apple been sued for billions multiple times by the EU?

  122. Anonymous says:

    Well heres hoping that Microsoft include an alternative to Chrome from the various open source forks aswell, SRWares Iron would be nice.

  123. Anonymous says:

    I find some of the comments on here ill-founded and often deeply misinformed.    1) Giving the choice is a requirement following a legal agreement between Microsoft and Europe's Competition Commission in December 2009.    2) IE will NOT be un-installed as it is integral to the Windows OS.    3) You can install and use any software you choose as a replacement for any of the native applications.     4) Some people should read up on the issues before posting comments that embarrass their lack of knowledge.    5) ITS SATURDAY! TAKE A DAY OR TWO OFF!    Thanks!  

  124. Anonymous says:

    Why is it that Google are allowed to provide a link to download Google Chrome on their dominant Search home page?    Shouldnt this now be a link to a choice of browsers?    Fancy allowing a profit organisation to advertise or promote its own products, totally disgraceful 😉

  125. Anonymous says:

    I think that a lot of people here are missing two things:    1) IE is no good. Not horrid, like it used to be, but still with bad security (monoculture), bad customisability (any adblock yet?), bad page rendering (but much better in 8).    2) Unlike text editors or media players, web browsers are connected and their relative popularity affects the world wide web in terms of security, stability and feature set. I'll say again that IE is a lot better now than it was when this all started, but it's still lagging behind the pack.    When a browser in that position is the default choice for 90%+ of the PC market, you've got trouble. If Apple or Google or whoever else were in MS' position, I'm sure that the same thing would be happening to them.    Bobby: Messenger has already been separated. You need to download Windows Live to get it these days.

  126. Anonymous says:

    Whilst I commend Microsoft for reaching an agreement with the EU.* (Whether the EU pressing for such an agreement is worthy of our tax money is not an issue for Microsoft to deal with, but our politicians.) I am confused…    In Windows 7, I already have the choice to switch IE off, and as I have done, install Firefox. This is not "in your face," but it is simple enough to do in a few clicks.    So I don't see why Windows 7 needs any popup advertising for Google (BigBrother) Chrome, or Failra (Opera.) I don't want that advertising and I don't welcome it.    I understand that XP and Vista would need it, but as I said, in 7 you already have the choice so why ship this patch out to 7?    * : When are the EU going to put an anti-trust towards Google?

  127. Anonymous says:

    Now if THIS could be rolled out to the US!

  128. Anonymous says:

    Today it's a browser, but what will be next? Update to choose alternative Media Player, alternative Paint, alternative Notepad, alternative WordPad, alternative Calculator…    This browser choice is ridiculous. Only for brainless who can't make their own choice. Maybe with release of Windows 8 EU will oblige Microsoft to put Linux on installation DVD? And what about MacOS? They also have browser included. Or it's because Mac is not so popular like PC and EU can't make lot os money on it?

  129. Anonymous says:

    Whats up peeps? get over it, it will happen sooner than later whether it is going to happen!

  130. Anonymous says:

    Couple of comments:    1.  For those belaboring the fact that their work computer uses Internet Explorer, I would recommend not to get your hopes up.  Internet Explorer, like Windows, is designed for domain control, allowing your network administrators to control how you access the internet via global policies.  No other browser is designed to work in such a way.  2.  Despite the funds devoted to what many would see as a trivial cause, I applaud the EU for their anti-monopolistic efforts.  One of the primary purposes of governments in a competitive market is to resist the integration of disparate markets.  The EU has done so.  I only hope that the American government wakes up and follows suit.  For those that point out Microsoft's new-found willingness to, "do the right thing," it's taken a long time for the company to get there, and it will take vigilance on the part of consumers and governments to ensure that the company to stay there.    All companies seek to circumvent the free market, and consumers need an advocate in their corner.  The EU has become such an advocate, prosecuting blatant disregards to the free-market by both Microsoft and Intel.  3.  Maybe someone will do the same for Apple, one day, but right now, it appears that they're simply too small a fish to fry.

  131. Anonymous says:

    Imagine this: majority of internet users do not care which browser do they use to access internet, because all modern browsers are essentially the same.    They are the things for using internet.    They have (in order of frequency of usage): in-browser search field, window to show you internet, "back" button, flash to play games and view "youtubes", and if content doesn't fit, you drag the scroll-thingie along the window's right edge. Bookmarks? Mark interesting pages with a star or you can always google them again.    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the way it is. They won't bother learning about inricate details not because IE is better than FireFox, but because there's no observable difference. They just have different area of expertise: my dad, for example, is a talented engeneer, my old pal is a natural-born antrepreneur.    World is not made of computer geeks. Those who wanna change security situation run around in circles coding, helping and educating, those who don't just boast about their fav browser "feature set" and whine about the world ingnorant of their cleverness and taste. IE user? Fine. Safari? Whatever. Fox? Meh. Is not important anymore. At all. Get your best buddy a firewall and tell your dad about phishing sites. THIS will improve security.    Ahem God save the European Liberal Nanny-State. Sing along.

  132. Anonymous says:

    I don't get the fuss – I can already choose which browser I want and am using both IE8 and Opera. I don't want an extra screen to click. To the person still using IE6 – you are perhaps concerned about losing Outlook Express – well, upgrading to IE8 won't lose your Outlook Express – I run them together – and IE8 works better with BBC IPlayer

  133. Anonymous says:

    99% of users will click the red X in the upper right of the window. Another win for Microsoft.

  134. Anonymous says:

    Could sombody who believes that Windows would be better off without IE/MediaPlayer/Outlook (the latter not actually a part of Windows) or any other component YET AT THE SAME TIME STICKS ON THE WINDOWS O/S tell me what actually compells them to stay? I'm not interested in "Linux is ace" or "just use FF" arguments,  they add nothing to the argument.    I think we need to separate those those believe individual applications are not of the quality they want from those who think it's the whole of Microsoft they want to see the end of? In other words people, are we complaining about legitimate concerns, or just MS bashing (which is and always will be, "the new black")?

  135. Anonymous says:

    The browser issue is no real problem, a user has allaways had the chice to install what they like. Ok you had to remove IE, but it is not a hard task.  Microsoft would have spent the time far better by giving Europe the chice of having a chocie of British or American spelling in it's products.  Most people in europe use British spelling, they are being marked down in tests for poor spelling and gramatical errors in tests. This is due to having no choice but use American rules.

  136. Anonymous says:

    This isn't an issue.  Users could always switch browsers.  All this does is make it easy for them.  I think overall it's a laugh to call Opera. Safari or Chrome major browsers.  There are only two major browsers IE and Firefox.  You just need to look at the percentages, these two own the marketplace.    Personally my only complaint is with IE 6 and in generatl the poor support fo Javascript in Internet explorer – it makes it hard for developers!

  137. Anonymous says:

    @Marketshare is no indicator of quality.  Xbox is a prime example of this.  It's utter shite but has good marketshare in the US.

  138. Anonymous says:

    Love them or hate them Bill Gates and Microsoft have bought order to the computer world. Don’t get me wrong Microsoft is not perfect but at least most of us are singing the same tune.  Just because the other companies did not negotiate deals with the PC manufactures does not mean Microsoft should be penalised.  Secondly why have Google ( I use Google) not been forced to offer the other browsers on their home page when they put that annoying Google Chrome advert on.  

  139. Anonymous says:

    Since Vista doesn't need IE for its updates, what about a technical method for removing the iexplore.exe executable in Vista? That would be better IMO.

  140. Anonymous says:

    From above:    "Consumers now have a choice about which browser they want to use!"    They always have. In fact, I'm using FireFox on Windows right now. Wow!    I think this whole thing is retarded and the EU is retarded for requiring it. I hope that the exact same thing will be required of Google's netbook OS, which is really nothing more than a Chrome session that you can't fully close.

  141. Anonymous says:

    @ Siobhan Palmer:     Are you serious?!?! Microsoft has a moral responsiblity to promote their competitors' products?!?    What's next Siobhan? You want Microsoft to bundle a copy of Linux with every Windows CD/DVD they make, and prompt about whether the

  142. Anonymous says:

    To all the flamers writing about how the choice has always been there – of course it has, but many people don't know about the choice.    To be honest I think this is a good idea, but tbh I think it's biggest flaw is that the browser descriptions will just be full or pointless marketing drivel. It would be much better to have more objective advantages of each browser, e.g. if you like heavily customising your browsing experience, then download firefox. if you just want a simple, but fast browser then download chrome, if you like Norway then download Opera, if you like what you already know then keep with IE… and lastly if you want to use safari then you should have bought a mac…    at least it lets people know of the variety out there, and i think that's the most important thing 🙂

  143. Anonymous says:

    Forgive me I dont understand. I have always used what ever browser I like. What is the issue here?    I use at least 5 browsers.

  144. Anonymous says:

    What's next, apple taking them to court because WMP is default media player?

  145. Anonymous says:

    Thanks! This helped so much! I've seen a few   rather confusing blogs lately, this cleared up some confusion I had.

  146. Anonymous says:

    @ James C, and other people hating on the first post…    The fact of the matter is, that Microsoft are held in such low esteem by such a large portion of people that any act they do that outwardly appears to be positive, is suspected of carrying some so

  147. Anonymous says:

    Ilive in the UK/England  and i feel verry ofended by all the people slaging of The UK i was born in the uk yes it is a soverign state but it is also a country. And what does the issue of whether the UK is a country orn not have to with Microsoft issuing a update for a browser balot screen anyway .Please stop slagging of the UK thank you

  148. Anonymous says:

    I honestly don't see what all the fuss is about,  In my opinion IE is the best browser all round anyway. Not the best in particular aspects you understand, but the best all-round. Certainly it is since they got their act together more with standards compliance.    And before you start bashing me, no, I am not an ignorant #@$%!, I am a seasoned web developer (five years now, I believe), and I have Chrome and FireFox on here as well, for cross-browser compaitability checking when building my sites – I always use standards compliant coding, and thus for the sake of compaitability must often compromise on site features to cope with older IEs. Yes, I know what it's like.    I have come to the decision that FireFox is too heavy for me: yes, it's featureful, but I really don't need those features and they just slow me down. Chrome is good, and I would use it if it were possible to properly customize it. For example, I always have 'Search from the URL bar' switched off in IE – it just annoys me if I type in "" and get presented with a search page which takes an extra ten seconds to load where a  blankish "whoops" would suffice. If I want to search, I go to Google myself. I have yet to find a way to turn this off in Chrome. Another example there is the New Tab page. At least for me, it takes an extra 3-5 seconds for it to load over a blank page, and if I open a new tab, I already know the address I am going to type into the URL bar myself – thus the new tab page just slows me down. (Hell, I don't even use bookmarks. I just know all the sites I use off heart).    IE has features, but I can generally turn them off or at least ignore them (indeed, this is why I have not yet upgraded to IE8 – I am worried that the ability to ignore things which are unuseful will have been removed, i.e. "Web Accelerators" etc). Google, in it's demented effort to be "user friendly" has created an excellent browser which is wholly unfriendly to my browsing style. Though, the javascript debugger is neat.    Anyway, FireFox is literally just heavy. That's all there is to it, I find it runs much, much slower than the the other two, all the time.    I admit I have not tried Opera, Safari or any others, but from what I gather they're pretty similar to either Chrome or FireFox anyway.        —-      Since the Act of Union 1701, and the conquest of Wales in 1XXX, and the annoying history lesson about Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a single soverign nation under a monarch; I personally think of the Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland subdivisions as being much likes states within the Country. You, and I, wouldn't call Maine a country – it is a state, within a country. Same here.  (I am British->England btw)

  149. Anonymous says:

    The United Kingdom is not a group of countries, it is a grouping of countries (Great Britain: Scotland, Wales, England) with Northern Ireland which is, well, that bit across the sea.  na na na na na!! thleewwwwww (my attempt at a raspberry).    Right, now for my comment: good.  Now the EU can sort that effin POS that is iTunes out.  Break the link!  Stamp your feet, break the link now….altogether now!

  150. Anonymous says:

    @Joe     I mean I don't have any spiritual or principled problem with IE or Microsoft as such, I just wish that it was as good as Google Chrome… Google Chrome is really great! It's simple and fast and safe…      

  151. Anonymous says:

    England, Scotland and Northern Ireland are countries within the United Kingdom. Southern Ireland is a country in it's own right. Wales, on the other hand, are large mammals that live in the various oceans of the world.

  152. Anonymous says:

    It's still only refering to "Additional Browsers" and unpinning the icon.  Basically, just doing what every user can do for themselves – ie, install software and delete icons.  IE8 will still be there.    Are MS committed to allowing users to remove IE8 completely?  Are the file associations updated to the chosen browser?  Will they ensure that MS websites are properly css'd so that they work in all browsers and don't require SilverLight.  Probably not.

  153. Anonymous says:

    You can remove IE from your system by going to Control Panel -> Programs -> Add/Remove Windows Features -> Internet Explorer {Version Number}.     You do not need IE in Vista/7 as there is a designated application for Windows Update, unlike in WinXP which usually uses IE to pull down updates.     You cannot remove the whole code base though, as win update and other apps (McAfee) use part of the code to display their programs to the user.     Its good that MS are opening up I suppose, but will this lead to issues, as stated with Apple shipping with Safari, Linux shipping with Firefox rather than Chrome/Opera? Will MS Office soon have to ship with Open Office just incase?      Its a farce. End of.

  154. Anonymous says:

    @Joe….Chrome is safe.   Is that an opinion or a statement based on some form of proper testing I wonder?      Oh yeah, its called user preference.

  155. Anonymous says:

    @blahblah    blah, blah, blah    BTW I am not Joe…

  156. Anonymous says:

    The UK (aka. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) is an internationally recognized sovereign state.     It's constituent parts including England, Scotland, Wales, Nth Ireland are 'countries' or 'nations' but are not recognized internationally as sovereign or independent states. Other parts of the UK like the Isle of Man are Crown Dependencies…     Having said that why do Wales, England and Scotland get to have international rugby teams… I mean The different constituent parts of other sovereign nations aren't entitled to have multiple international teams… Australia for instance only has one national team, even though it is made up of 6 constitutionally distinct states…..

  157. Anonymous says:

    Dear Microsoft,    Please don't forget your largest revenue source: the Enterprise customer! We need a Choice Screen blocker tool before March 1.

  158. Anonymous says:

    @ Mark     Your Quote: I think the EU is wrong in making Microsoft do this. I have just bought a new iMac and all you get is the default Apple browser safari. Why have the EU not told Apple to offer the same choice.    Apple may supply you with Safari, bu

  159. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps this will cause a few of the old dinosaurs to upgrade from Internet Explorer 6. That would be nice.

  160. Anonymous says:

    To anyone who builds a virus that deletes IE6/IE7 on all PCs, the web development community will be eternally grateful!

  161. Anonymous says:

    I fully agree with Mark Wilson – a complete waste of public funds. If this issue is really about giving European consumers "choice", then why didn't the European Courts look into pre-installed operating systems instead of browsers? Why is it that whenever I purchase a computer I can never (rarely) purchase one that doesn't come pre-installed with Windows? Why is it that I have to battle with PC hardware vendors in order to get my Microsoft license fee refunded?

  162. Anonymous says:


  163. Anonymous says:

    This is still the dumbest thing the EC has ever done. For someone who [let's say] had Win XP and bought a new system with Win 7 on it and they used Firefox or Safari on it, I think they can figure out how to get their favorite browser on Win7 without have to resort to this useless ballot thing.    And in some cases you DO want a second browser. You have the case where the browser no choice is not rendering the page correctly – so you use a different one. Or in the case I had last week of a client who ouldn't "access" but could see the other PC on a 2 PC network. It wasn't a DNS issue. In the end, something stopped the browser from accessing the Internet. Resetting the browser's setting fixed the issue. An alternative could of been installing another browser to check.    My favorite is a Mac couldn't access the Internet after a large update. In the end, an old version of IE that came with the Mac [you really have to dig to find it …. hmmmm] could access the Internet. In the end, it was the usual sloppy Apple programming that was the cause.

  164. Anonymous says:

    People have been saying that those less familiar with PCs/technology would ignore the message and stick with what they have. I agree with what Andy, and maybe some others said.    Those who would ignore alerts or would stick with what they've used before cause they don't know any better shouldn't be using a PC anyway.    You wouldn't use a lawn mower til you knew how to work it, same with most other equipment. A PC can be one of the most complex pieces of equipment and it's worth understanding it if you're gonna use it.    Also, IE isn't exactly terrible, but there's nothing that makes it special either. I've used a ton of browsers, and I have to say IE has NOTHING attractive about it. I am pretty sure if it didn't come bundled, people would never bother installing it. Btw, Chrome is my browser of choice. It's currently the fastest on windows, and it now supports addons like Firefox.

  165. Anonymous says:

    I both agree and disagree with everything that has been said.

  166. Anonymous says:

    Although I believe this is a perfectly good solution to this issue from Microsoft I also feel that it should be one rule for all, so Apple should me made to offer a browser choice also.

  167. Anonymous says:

    The idea here is to give those who are not computer savy a choice.     Also the other issue is that Microsoft was designing propriety extensions into there browser and into server applications that prevented other browsers from competing.    For a comparison
    of security look at the following URL      

  168. Anonymous says:

    I'm continually amazed at how uninformed some people are when it comes to Microsoft's history.    The reason Apple isn't forced to do this is because Apple has never been shown in court to have used monopolistic power illegally to create an anti-competitive environment to force competitors out of a market. Microsoft has.    It's that simple.     When and if Apple ever owns that much of the personal computer market and they misuse that power in illegal ways, then you'll have a comparable situation.    Until then, bringing up Apple is NOT a defense of Microsoft's past misdeeds.

  169. Anonymous says:

    @Radu: "Looking forward to have Opera file a complaint against Apple (for bundling Safari in OS X) and against every Linux distro (for bundling Firefox).  Opera and the EU bureaucracy just lost a point each in my book."    When the day comes that Apple ha

  170. Anonymous says:

    The browser choice is a total waste of time. It fails to give people any real choice.    Real choice would have been forcing Microsoft and the Vendors to stop bundling Windows with the hardware as the default OS.

  171. Anonymous says:

    I think MS have done nothing wrong to begin with if users want to change from IE to any other Browser they have been able to do so from day dot by downloading the exe and installing it.  if there was no browser with the os how would ppl be able to download.  at my workplace we USE IE as Standard browser because we use SharePoint.  we also use Firefox because it has some neat features.  if i ever wanted to use crappy Opera i would download it and install it. what a waste of time and money.

  172. Anonymous says:

    I wonder, why all the fuss? All you people who seem unhappy using Windows and the built-in web browser Windows Internet Explorer, why not choose another system?    I personally took the time to learn how to use Ubuntu. Sure, it takes some time to change old habits, but in the long run it seems like a good choice.    In Ubuntu, Firefox is the default browser. As I'm not too happy with that I install Google Chrome or Epiphany (standard browser in Gnome).     Again, most private Windows users don't even have a valid Windows license, and still they complain? Go open source and start contributing to the development you want to see in the future.

  173. Anonymous says:

    I was really excited when I first read about browser choice but then got un-excited when I realized it was only for Europeans. I bet a lot of American Windows users would be happy to have that kind of choice on their PCs. IE is so incredibly weak. Windows could upgrade it forever and there would still be serious vulnerabilities in it.

  174. Anonymous says:

    I read in an German Computer News Paper, that Google Chrom , compared with other Internet Explorers, is the quickest one.

  175. Anonymous says:

    Good move, what happens if I don't choose IE from the selection, will it be totally removed from my system?

  176. Anonymous says:

    if you are here posting an opinion on this story you probably aren't the kind of user this choice is aimed at.    this is for people like my mom who didn't know there were alternative browsers til i stuck firefox on her PC.    Microsoft attempted to monopolise the browser market just like the OS market and this pitiful pop up is the result (along with craploads of fines)    monopolys are a fundamentally bad thing in a capitalist/consumerist society because they smother competition and choice and thus innovation and tbth i've been praying for the day Apple just releases a version of its OS that'll run on any PC for a long time because so far the only thing that has squeezed any decent amount of reflection and thus customer driven innovation out of microsoft is when large amounts of people decide they didn't actually need to upgrade to the newer version of their own products.

  177. Anonymous says:

    I was used to Internet Explorer since I got my computer and connected to the web for the first time. Those days, the internet was not as dangerous as it is right now, so not so much threat was there.  Then news about security holes in the IE and lacking some other features in comparison to other browsers made me look for alternatives. Another reason for me to test other browsers like Firefox, Opera, Safari, etc, was that as a web app developer I had to know how my websites would work in different environments.  Eventually, Firefox gave answers to many of my requirements while surfing the net. Its built-in dictionary to check my spelling while typing, easy-to-find the address of the websites you have visited even by giving key words are a lot to me, although it is unable to save web pages in MHT format.

  178. Anonymous says:

    This was a complete and utter waste of EU tax-payers money to get to this stage which adds little other than confusion for the average user who probably doesn't care about what browser they are using so long as they can get on the Internet.    People, myself included, who care about what browser they run will have most likely swapped before now.

  179. Anonymous says:

    This 'choice' screen popped up on my wife's PC this evening.    She's not interested in what browser she uses as long as it does the job so simply chose IE as it was the only one she'd had ever actually used and she doesn't care to "waste time" comparing free software products when she just want to get on with her hobby.    I suspect most people who use their computers as a tool rather than an end in itself will react similarly.

  180. Anonymous says:

    I am very happy with Microsoft Internet Explorer and have just chosen it.  Why do these wretched Eurocrats insist on interfering in everyone's lives? I am free to choose any browser I want at any time and I stick with microsoft because it is the best, it has the most users, the most experience and there are reasons for this.  It's market forces- so much for the EU favouring free trade. (I would have said more, but I don't think my language would be appropriate for this blog!)  

  181. Anonymous says:

    I guess there is an option misssing:  "I already use the browser of my choice and have the latest version installed. Please don't ask it again."    Isn't this an obvious option?

  182. Anonymous says:

    i have your browser choice screen coming up on all my computers at school. i dont want it but if i delete it just comes straight back after a couple of uses. it pops up and confuses. everytime i start up. How can i get rid of it and make sure it stays away.

  183. Anonymous says:

    Your opening screen is quite a shock. It doe not mention at all who is responsable for the screen popping up. It could just as easy have been malware.  

  184. Anonymous says:

    It acts like Malware as well!!!. Slowing the computer and locking up the internet connection. Even MS error reporting sugests it is a virus. Microsoft Pirates strike again. Not impressed. Think I'll switch to Linux or Apple.

  185. Anonymous says:

    Well, but Qoogle and Apple put aside, what are you gonna to do about this now?   I will choose Firefox, since it's the single browser, which is competitive to Explorer. It's restore function is what had been lacking in Explorer.   Besides, we can't let the IE to become a monopoly, can we?

  186. Anonymous says:

    Internet Explorer is, and always has been, rubbish. Switch to FF, Chrome or Safari as soon as you can – you'll never look back!

  187. Anonymous says:

    What is the point of this? It seems like an Arcane fight circa 2002. Who cares which browser you use. I use IE and Firefox at work. Safari and Firefox at home. Opera on my Wii, Safari on my iPhone, IE on my windows machine (on a mac). Come on EU. This is outdated rubbish.

  188. Anonymous says:

    It's a good thing that we have to choose. Now we can see the real market share 🙂

  189. Anonymous says:

    why are so many people into microsoft basing and conspiracies maybe if they stopped listening to rubbish and learnt some real facts they might come back to the real world Rock On microsoft

  190. Anonymous says:

    So now this Browser Ballot has installed itself on my laptop, how do I get rid of it? Is it just a shortcut and an executable, or is there more stuff splattered about my hard drive? I note that in the Windows Update screen it says that the update can not be uninstalled, which seems a little rude really.

  191. Anonymous says:

    This is supposed to be about choice, so the EU impose this on us. We had choice before, if we wanted another browser there are plenty available, you only have to do a quick search. It seems to me that the EU are punishing Microsoft for running its  business in a business like manner, something the idiots in Brussels know nothing about.

  192. Anonymous says:

    I personally agree with some of the comments on here already. I downloaded the update today – and I found this just wasted my time. Sorry to say to all other browser fans, I think Chrome and some others are rubbish for general browsing. I have installed various browsers on different machines. IE without a doubt is the most stable and reliable. Don't get me wrong, I like to see fair competition. However, I would use the other browsers if they were stable in did not cause the computer to fail working properly. I believe MS have done nothing wrong. The EU fat cats should stop wasting money. After all, for the inexperienced user it may be problematic for them to realise how to go back to using IE. If I was MS I would be arguing that this forceful act is a waste of money and development, and at the end of the day the end user is forced to install it.  It is part of an 'Important Update'. Don't see all the other browser companies offering support once their software (full of bugs!) messes up the OS! I'm with MS on this one!  Neil Clemenson, London (UK)  

  193. Anonymous says:

    Thank God the EU took this measure. Hopefully IE will lose some marketshare. I'm a webdesigner and i'm REALLY tired of fixing bugs for IE6, IE7 and IE8.  You guys suck at building browsers, that's for sure!

  194. Anonymous says:

    To be honest I like Internet Explorer 8, but I also like Chrome. But which is the best?    There is only one way to find out…….    FIGHT…    Glad I've got that off my chest;-)

  195. Anonymous says:

    Lay the proud usurpers low,  Tyrants fall with every foe,  Theres liberty in every blow,  So let us do or dee.    Very apt for Microsoft even if Robert Burns was talking about Scotland's fight to remain a sovereign independent state. Perhaps EU can get Microsoft to pop up an independence ballot on Scottish computers.

  196. Anonymous says:

    Hey very nice blog!! Man ..  I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…

  197. Anonymous says:

    What I didn't like is how there was no identifying logo on the panel when it popped up, which made me suspicious I'd been invaded by malware. And yes, after investigating and finding it was legit, I did consider it a waste of my time!

  198. Anonymous says:

    Hello! deeaddd interesting deeaddd site!

  199. Anonymous says:

    I had made my choice and installed the browsers I prefer to use a long time ago, but obiviously the EU does not want to respect my choice. Without my consent this program changed the settings on my computer by unpinning IE. Curiously, Firefox was not upinned 🙂 Is this free choice or discrimination?

  200. Anonymous says:

    Good fill someone in on and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Thank you for your information.

  201. Anonymous says:

    I am extremely annoyed that this came up on my computer without my request.  Like many others, I made my choice of browser without being forced to choose, as can everyone else.  It is now interfering with my startup.  Thanks, don't do it again without asking me first.

  202. Anonymous says:

    @Rob    Yeah, me too. Never trust anything that fails to identify itself.    A little weird this Browser Choice screen.  it clearly says "Before proceeding, please confirm that you are connected to the internet" then has OK to click on, presumably, if you

  203. Anonymous says:

    Should have said above that the message only appeared to me today. Has been dormant I imagine since last on net before Easter; hence my trojan comment.

  204. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft’s Dave Heiner posted the above image on his official blog at Microsoft Friday. It’s the first test of the system that will let users decide which browser they’d like to use, as per the European Union’s mandate on Microsoft. Users in Europe — and only in Europe — running Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 will begin seeing a screen like this one in just a few weeks.  

  205. Anonymous says:

    I wonder, why all the fuss? All you people who seem unhappy using Windows and the built-in web browser Windows Internet Explorer, why not choose another system?    In my opinion, because Microsoft have been trusted since 1993. 🙂      "I personally took the time to learn how to use Ubuntu. Sure, it takes some time to change old habits, but in the long run it seems like a good choice."      My answer is: changing habits is not that much easy and also windows is very useful. I personally like windows and have been using it since 1993.      you might like Linux, but some people like windows. however, even linux has it is bugs I think.

  206. Anonymous says:

    So, do I have to have this bl00dy browserchoice.exe for the rest of time? Can't I just remove/uninstall it. It would be fine as a one time "did you know…", but now *everyone* knows, can't we get rid of it from our computer???

  207. Anonymous says:

    If Microsoft was so keen to do this than it would have a button "No thanks, I am happy with my current browser"

  208. Anonymous says:

    The thing that gets me is that if people wanted to use another browser on windows surely they would know how to install it.  Why force this change on everyone?

  209. Anonymous says:

    It follows a legal agreement between Microsoft and Europe's Competition Commission in December 2009.