Europeans to Choose Win XP, Vista Browsers Too

Earlier this week we found out about Microsoft's proposal to the EU to provide a "ballot screen" for those installing Windows 7 to choose which browser, if any, will be installed on the system. This was presented as a possible solution for the EU's antitrust investigation into Microsoft's practices surrounding the bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows.

According to information dug up by Ars Technica, Microsoft will soon offer current users of Windows XP and Vista the same type of choice to install browsers other than Internet Explorer 8.

The browser ballot program is proposed as "Important" or "High Priority" update for Windows XP and Vista that will run for users who have IE installed and set as the default browser. From there, users will get the option of installing other browsers from a Microsoft-maintained website.

Besides the obvious players of Firefox, Safari, Chrome and Opera, the ballot screen will reportedly also include other Windows browsers with a usage share of at least 0.5 percent in the European Economic Area (for a total of up to ten different browsers).

This is still in the proposal stage as the European Union has yet to decide whether or not this is satisfactory, but we'll keep you posted.

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  • So why does Apple not have to do the same thing with OS X...? That comes bundled with Safari and nothing else, what's the difference why is Apple an exception in this case...?
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  • Apparently it's down to market share and "abusing a *dominant* position in the market" although I agree it should still apply to Apple.
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  • I don't know what the EU is up to. As a citizen of an EU member state I don't feel well represented by those who screw with MS so that MS have to screw with us. It's so easy to change to another browser if you really care. It's as easy as Bing Google, Google browser choice, download, install and forget about IE until the next time you (re)install. IE is one of the first programs I use whenever I install windows. I only use it to download firefox and never use it again, but so what. I'm a Linux user primarily and into all the free software idealogies but I don't see why MS shouldn't be allowed to bundle their browser with their operating system.
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