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Microsoft Browser Choice Screen  (Source: Microsoft)
Full roll out will start the week of March 1 in Europe

Microsoft has a long history of accusations that it abuses its dominant position in the browser and operating system markets. These allegations have resulted in several investigations into Microsoft in both America and Europe. One of the more recent investigations happened last year in Europe and was focused on Internet Explorer.

Ultimately, antitrust charges were filed against Microsoft for its practice of bundling IE with Windows in Europe. Microsoft eventually agreed to offer a ballot box that would allow Windows users to choose what browser they want to install on their computer and the charges in Europe were dropped.

Microsoft VP and Deputy General Counsel Dave Heiner has posted to the
Microsoft on the Issues blog new information on the browser choice screen for Europe. Heiner wrote, "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."

Microsoft will begin testing the choice screen next week in the UK, Belgium, and France. Anyone in those three countries that wants to test the choice screen will be able to download the software update via Windows Update. The phased roll out of the choice screen across all of Europe will kick off the week of March 1.

Microsoft reports that the choice screen will be an automatic download through Windows Update for XP, Vista, and Windows 7. Users will either find that the software is downloaded automatically or they may be prompted to download and install the software depending on settings and the version of Windows in use on the PC. 

The choice screen will be shown on all computers running IE as the default browser. Windows 7 users with IE pinned to the taskbar will have the browser automatically unpinned. The choice screen will offer details to users on different browsers and links to download them in a random order.

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Can someone explain to me:
By chruschef on 2/19/2010 12:06:32 PM , Rating: 3
How do people make $$$ off of a browser in the first place? Also, in the EU to be considered a monopoly do you have to make "monopoly profits" as you do in the US? Thanks ahead of time

RE: Can someone explain to me:
By just4U on 2/19/2010 12:17:23 PM , Rating: 2
I think the only way you can really know if a company is a monopoly there is if they are being sued by the EU.. If they are then they can break out the champagne as they know they've just achieved monopolistic status!

Kidding aside, My guess is .. the $$$ come in via adverstising mostly. A browser is a portal that has default apps (search engine,recommended sites, etc)If the browser has a high adoption rate then it's more likely that advertising that comes thru those will command a higher premium overall. Other's can correct me if I am wrong.

RE: Can someone explain to me:
By jdietz on 2/19/2010 2:53:50 PM , Rating: 2
Firefox has a deal with Google. If you search through "Firefox Start" (their suggested homepage), then Mozilla Foundation gets money. If a few million people do it, they make a lot of money. If you search through the search box, they make money too. They have a deal with every default installed search provider except Creative Commons (Google, Yahoo, Amazon, and

RE: Can someone explain to me:
By crimson117 on 2/19/2010 5:48:50 PM , Rating: 2
Firefox has a deal with Google

IE has a similar deal with (even though they;re both Microsoft-owned).

Microsoft also gains power (if not money) by having their browser be the leader of the pack: they gain brand awareness, asp.NET developer usage, Silverlight licensing fees from content producers (installed in IE!), easier for MS to integrate Windows Media Player into IE8's browsing experience, which can drive people to buy Zunes and/or use the Microsoft Music Store (whatever their version is).

The EU is asserting that, since Windows became popular due to (in the EU's opinion) monopolistic practices, the EU wants to prevent MS from using Windows' ill-gotten popularity to make gains in other markets, such as the browser market.

RE: Can someone explain to me:
By chruschef on 2/19/2010 9:57:56 PM , Rating: 2
thanks for all of that, all of this arguing didn't make much sense. really appreciate it. :)

RE: Can someone explain to me:
By Kurz on 2/20/2010 10:16:10 AM , Rating: 2
Heh I should change my Home page back to Firefox Google.
I really like what they did with 3.6.

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates
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