Feeds

Microsoft spits out 'browser choice' update to appease EC antitrust probe

Surf's up as Google, Apple, Mozilla wash ashore in Windows

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Microsoft will begin asking European Union citizens which web browser they wish to use on Windows-based computers from today.

The software giant is giving its customers a choice of 12 surfing tools - including its own Internet Explorer browser - after agreeing a deal with the European Commission that has been probing Microsoft's business practices.

Redmond is pumping out a software update via its Windows security patches website. Users can expect to see a pop-up window prompting them to pick which browser they want to set as default on their PCs.

Norwegian browser maker Opera Software, which first brought the complaint against Microsoft tying Internet Explorer to Windows to the EC in December 2007, is included in the line-up. Mozilla's Firefox, Google's Chrome and Apple's Safari are also offered in Microsoft's makeshift ballot.

Whether millions of Europeans will take up the offer remains to be seen, however.

According to a poll by Mozilla last week, very few web surfers are aware of the new EC-imposed option to Windows users. And many non-IT-savvy-types might altogether overlook the pop-up screen and simply carry on with Internet Explorer as their default browser.

The open source organisation conducted a survey among 6,000 Europeans in France, Germany, the UK, Italy, Poland and Spain last week in conjunction with Ipsos MORI and published its findings on Friday.

"The results... indicate that nearly three quarters (between 70 and 81 percent) of internet users in these countries are not aware of the browser choice screen coming their way," claimed Mozilla.

Microsoft readied the update for XP, Vista and Windows 7 users. The pop-up window will only appear on screens where users have IE set as their default browser. So the ballot box won't be made available to surfers using, say, Firefox or Safari on their Windows OS.

According to the latest internet browser market stats from NetApplications, Microsoft's Internet Explorer pulled in more than 61 per cent of surfers last month.

Firefox trailed with a respectable 24 per cent, followed by Chrome with over five per cent, Safari with more than four per cent, and Opera hoovering up two per cent of the market. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
Was ist das? Eine neue Suse Linux Enterprise? Ausgezeichnet!
Version 12 first major-number Suse release since 2009
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.