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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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By VitalyTheUnknown on 2/22/2010 12:54:58 PM , Rating: 2
"Why doesn't Europe put their money where their mouths are and switch all gov't controlled PCs to Linux"


Free and Open Source Software.

FOSS activities and initiatives in the European Union institutions (other than DG INFSO)

The impact of FOSS reaches far beyond research and development activities. This page is trying to give an idea of other activities of European Union in this area.

A good staring point to explain EU activities in FOSS is the e-Europe 2005 action plan, which calls for the consideration of open source software solutions in many areas, in particular in the field of public administrations


In parallel the IDABC programme on interchange of data between European administrations studied the pooling of open source software resources and production between European administrations. IDABC program will come to an end on 31/12/2009, and will be followed by the new program "Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations - ISA", which is expected to continue its work for the widespread acceptance of FOSS in the public administration.

Policy actions and non-research programmes are active in promoting use of open source software. IDABC programme has first conducted a study on open source software for administrations, and has created the Open Source Observatory and Repository (OSOR)

Another important source of information is the ePractice eGovernment and eInclusion factsheets, providing an overall picture of the situation and progress of eGovernment and eInclusion, with a strong focus on Open Source.

A consultation meeting on European perspectives for open source software provided the initial input on the main opportunities for open source software in Europe in the coming years.

An important accomplishment of IDABC is the creation of a FOSS license specifically adapted for European law (EUPL) and compatible with some other FOSS licenses. Its purpose is to encourage public administrations to embrace the FOSS model in a framework of legal certainty.
IDABC and ISA are managed by Directorate-General DIGIT of the European Commission

DG Competition (COMP) activity in ICT industry has particularly focused on anti-competitive behavior and state aid monitoring. DG Competition accepts state aid "that is beneficial to consumers, by providing new research grants and encouraging the development of new products, such as open source".

DG Informatics (DIGIT) provides most ICT systems used internally in European Commissions and other European Institutions. It is not involved in policy making, but it uses and deploys open source components for internal use when this is possible

DG Internal Market and Services (MARKT) is involved in public procurement and e-commerce policies, as well as in patenting; all these aspect have direct or indirect connections with FOSS

Joint Research Centre (JRC)

The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission has a number of free / open source software projects; one very significant example is the OPTIMA - Open Source Text Information Mining and Analysis.

By The Raven on 2/22/2010 5:03:08 PM , Rating: 2
I subscribe to the announce feed of OOo and watch adoption of Ubuntu (and linux generally) closely. I know that odf is the official format of NATO (which includes the US by the way).
But I have yet to hear that the EU is not using Windows.

I know there are initiatives to switch from windows, and that is a reason why I think the need for this nonsense of browser choice is nonexistant.

Also, please stop filling the screen with such verbose posts. Use links please. Thank you.

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller
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