Feeds

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

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

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.