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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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RE: Europe is Retarded
By Crystallas on 2/21/2010 11:51:21 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, if there was one automaker that was leaps and bounds above all others in terms of ownership and usage, then that one company has the ability to jeopardize any company. This is an anti-trust, and violates choice.

Automakers don't manufacture many of their own parts. The tires, filters, lubricants are all competitive, and users have a distinct choice in which they would choose for their own needs and support. Whereas an Operating system that did not allow a user to uninstall Internet Explorer freely for many years is not anywhere near comparable as a choice, and manipulates the lack of knowledge a user may have to continuously push their own product.

Microsoft's defense at one point was, if you buy Windows, you do not own what you buy from them, but you are permitted to use it. While I understand they need to protect their own IP, Microsoft should never imply that you aren't allowed to use what you have purchased, the way you choose to use it.


"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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