Print 36 comment(s) - last by glennc.. on Aug 10 at 3:24 AM

Hopefully the ballots will be Florida friendly

Microsoft is trying hard to work within the regulations that are in effect in Europe concerning its products. The big issue in Europe and other countries like the U.S. is that Microsoft competitors claim that it is anticompetitive to bundle IE and other software from Microsoft with Windows.

Microsoft had to pay a record fine in the EU over bundling Internet Explorer with Windows so it devised a method of using a ballot box to allow users to choose what web browser they want to use. Microsoft has also announced that it will use a similar ballot box in Office 2010.

In the case of Office 2010, the ballot box will be used to allow the user to determine what format files will be saved in. The ballot box will be seen by users the first time the application runs and will be in effect until the user goes in and manually changes the setting.

The software giant has offered no images of the ballot box – beyond Microsoft's own DOC/DOCX files and the open source ODF format, there is no word on what other formats will be included in the ballot box. Assuming the EU accepts the proposal it will be in effect for ten years reports WindowsITPro.

The Microsoft proposal reads, "Beginning with Office [2010], end users that purchase Microsoft's Primary PC Productivity Applications in the [European Economic Area] will be prompted in an unbiased way to select the default file format for those applications upon the first boot of any one of them. Microsoft will also make tools available to enterprises in the EU so that they can auto-specify which format their users will see when using Office."

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By Master Kenobi on 8/6/2009 11:38:41 AM , Rating: 4
Sometimes I wonder exactly what the European Union is trying to do here. All these "Ballot Boxing" ideas are really the early 90's all over again. Before "defaults", and "preinstalled" apps were commonplace. Is the EU trying to come full circle and go back to the way it was before, back when setting up and configuring a PC took all day to accomplish?

RE: Europe
By MrPeabody on 8/6/2009 11:56:35 AM , Rating: 5
I, for one, hope they continue adding these ballot boxes. Maybe scatter them around different points of the installation process. As a user, I'd really prefer having to nurse my Windows installation through seventy-eight separate checkpoints rather than deal with all of these newfangled "defaults" and "pre-installations" and other such gallimaufry.

It's about time these folks realized that I've absolutely nothing better to do.

RE: Europe
By CU on 8/6/2009 12:14:27 PM , Rating: 5
I thought you were serious for a second.

RE: Europe
By MarkHark on 8/6/2009 5:21:20 PM , Rating: 3
So did I :)

RE: Europe
By mikecel79 on 8/6/2009 1:36:07 PM , Rating: 5
This gave me a good laugh. I wanted to vote you up but you had a 5 already. Give this man a 6!

RE: Europe
By sieistganzfett on 8/6/2009 6:41:20 PM , Rating: 4
true dat! i have nothing better to do either. :D

RE: Europe
By MatthiasF on 8/6/09, Rating: -1
RE: Europe
By Samus on 8/6/2009 6:19:11 PM , Rating: 3
The EU is bored and broke. What better to do than pick on multi-billion dollar corporations?

RE: Europe
By Murloc on 8/6/2009 11:59:10 AM , Rating: 2
it's the article that is a bit offtopic imho, this ballot box is just a thing of the installation process to avoid ppl crying that they can't open files with word 2003, this way they can set it from the beginning and don't cry (yeah, because they can't figure out what the options are).

RE: Europe
By 3minence on 8/6/2009 1:04:07 PM , Rating: 5
While I am uncomfortable with government interference, I absolutely believe we will all see benefits from this. MS has proven over and over again that where it faces no competition it stops innovating (example - IE after Netscape died). By doing this the EU is forcing competition and therefore innovation.

People are lazy. Why download something else when IE is already there? MS has for many years taken advantage of that laziness. And that assumes they know their are competing browsers. Not everybody reads DT.

RE: Europe
By Master Kenobi on 8/6/2009 3:28:46 PM , Rating: 2
Given the 32% adoption rate of Firefox I have to reach the conclusion that not everyone is lazy.

RE: Europe
By BZDTemp on 8/6/2009 4:31:53 PM , Rating: 2
Those 32% are somewhat of an odd figure. It depends a lot on where you measure the use of browsers. The use of Firefox is growing but depending on the user profile the adoption rate can be from single digits to more than half.

RE: Europe
By rudy on 8/6/2009 3:30:13 PM , Rating: 1
The innovation itself creates competition. There were no needed laws or stupid european demands to only a single company which resulted in FF bursting on to the scene. FF did it all simply by offering a better product. Why does the EU need to force M$ to do this. If M$ has a poor enough product someone will create a competitor and it will work. Netscape died because they themself were not doing any usefull innovation. Once again I say if the EU is going to demand this then they better demand it for all organizations including apple and OOo, Lotus, and iworks better come with these ballots as well as all linux distros and OSX.

RE: Europe
By segerstein on 8/8/2009 9:07:28 AM , Rating: 2
Firefox really wasn't usable for general browsing until version 2.0. I've been using Mozilla since 1.0, then switched to Firefox 1.0 for tabbed browsing of some of the websites I frequented.

Firefox 2.0 was much of a speed improvement over IE7, especially when opening new (also empty) tabs.

Firefox usage numbers shot up because Firefox 2.0 became usable and recommended by techies to ordinary users as a web browser.

In Firefox 3.0 I hate one thing though: that is copy-pasting from a webpage to MS Word - it doesn't retain the full formating. For that purpose, IE8 is a much better alternative, as it is for websites requiring personal certificates.

RE: Europe
By ClownPuncher on 8/6/2009 3:38:15 PM , Rating: 2
They are trying to make it too much of a hassle to use MS products so they can start charging for Ubuntu etc and take over the world.

RE: Europe
By rbfowler9lfc on 8/6/2009 5:03:51 PM , Rating: 2
Back to the time when selling PCs actually earned you some money for the trouble? Sign me in, please.

RE: Europe
By remo on 8/7/2009 8:02:25 AM , Rating: 2
I thought the ballot boxes were Microsoft´s solution, and not suggested by the EU.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

Most Popular ArticlesAre you ready for this ? HyperDrive Aircraft
September 24, 2016, 9:29 AM
Leaked – Samsung S8 is a Dream and a Dream 2
September 25, 2016, 8:00 AM
Inspiron Laptops & 2-in-1 PCs
September 25, 2016, 9:00 AM
Snapchat’s New Sunglasses are a Spectacle – No Pun Intended
September 24, 2016, 9:02 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki