UPDATE: The Browser Choice Screen for Europe


Posted by David Bowermaster 
Administrator, Microsoft on the Issues

The European Commission issued a statement this morning welcoming Microsoft’s rollout of a browser choice screen for Windows PC users in Europe who have Internet Explorer as their default browser. 

“Giving consumers the possibility to switch or try a browser other than that included in Windows will bring more competition and innovation in this important area to the benefit of European internet users,” said European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia.

As detailed in Dave Heiner’s February 19 blog post, below, the choice screen presents a list of leading browsers and enables users to install and set any of the browsers as their default.  The browers are presented in random order.

To read the Commission’s full statement, click here.

Comments (8)

  1. Anonymous says:

    How about playing nicely and not limit this to the EU, but give people all over the world this choice (voluntarily)?    Is fair play only an option for Microsoft if they are being forced to it, in order to avoid punishment? C'mon, prove me wrong!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wow. A screen just to tell people they can do what they've always been able to do. How many people out there have still missed going to a website, downloading a browser, and setting it as your default browser has been built into Windows for several versions now? These people actually need a special screen that tells them, "You can download software on the internet, didn't you know that? Here's some of what you can find!" This seems so ridiculous to me. Are Europeans really so ignorant that they haven't learned how to find new programs on the internet, how to download them, and then install them? Are they really so ignorant that they can't explore the internet and realize that downloading a different browser is a viable option without having someone tell them first? They really need a fancy screen that advertises several browsers you can find on the internet just as you could find by using any simple search engine query on the internet for years now?    If you really hate Internet Explorer and don't want to use it, then you should have enough know-how to download a new one on the internet. Because the average user doesn't care.    I do believe it's nice that Microsoft is committing to not retaliating against manufacturers who decide to install a different browser as the default browser for their system. This makes sense. It helps promote competition in the marketplace and allows manufacturers to deliver to their customers a customized PC experience.    But a screen telling people they can do what they want with their PC is ridiculous, though. I hope no one forces a silly screen like this in other countries because I find it belittling and a waste of time, energy, and resources that would be better spent on developing real new features for the operating system.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Markus, I think a lot of people overlook the fact that IE has lost a lot more market share across the world than in the US.    They are only helping the EU speed up what Microsoft is probably writing off as a lost battle. In the US this is not the case yet (but slowly). I would presume IE9 is going to adapt as many HTML5 standards as it can to at least retain the current new computer market share that it can in the US.    Will be interesting if this works, right now it is looking better for MS if they either adapted webkit as it has been showing strong promise in Chrome among casual users. Doubtful of course with IE still being found (but in much better quality) in the new Windows Phone 7 Series OS.

  4. Anonymous says:

    @CR: Fact is that too many people do not know that they have a choice. And if you don't know that you have a choice, you don't have a choice. This is not limited to people in Europe (actually, IE usage share in Europe is already lower than in other contin

  5. Anonymous says:

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  6. Anonymous says:

    I would love to use IE but I cannot work out how to block adverts with it.  As soon as that is possible I would use it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    What sort of nonsense is this? I have disabled IE with my firewall software for over 5 years, during which time I've used Firefox as the default. But, I use Outlook, which seems to be associated in some way with IE, and so received this idiotic 'Browser Choice Screen' update notification. And now, if I decline the update, I expect to be left with irritating problems.  This update is:  (i)   A legal non-entity  (ii)  A means for Microsoft to assess their market-share in Europe.  (iii) An infuriating waste of time  

  8. Anonymous says:

    The ones who cared always knew what to do and where to find.