Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/10/23/windows_seven_ballot_browser/

Win 7 users shout: Where's my bloody ballot screen?

Calm down chaps, calm down

By John Oates

Posted in Operating Systems, 23rd October 2009 14:45 GMT

Several Register readers have been in touch because their early installations of Windows 7 have not come with a ballot screen offering them a choice of browsers to download.

Earlier this month Microsoft and the Commission agreed to provide a ballot screen offering users a choice of browsers in the form of a ballot screen in order to end ongoing anti-competition action against the firm for unfairly bundling products. But that agreement is currently being 'market tested'.

The deal on the ballot screen has not yet been adopted by the Competition Commission as a legally binding agreement. It is still open for industry feedback.

Assuming industry agrees the terms set out between the Competition Commission and Microsoft then the ballot screen will be sent out via Windows Update. It will be seen by Windows 7 users who have made Internet Explorer their default browser. It will also go to XP and Vista users.

Browser makers, and anyone else, have until early November to respond to the proposed agreement.

At some point after that the Commission may decide to adopt it as an Article 9 decision - effectively making the agreement a legally binding committment.

If that happens then Microsoft will have eight weeks to distribute the ballot screen to Windows 7 users in Europe who are using IE as their default browsers. The screen will also go out to Vista and XP users.

Of course, we're guessing the people who've notice the lack of a ballot screen have already got something other than IE as their default - which means you're unlikely to ever see the ballot screen even when it is released.

Anyway depending on industry reaction the deal might not even get that far. Browser maker Opera has already said it is unimpressed with the choice screen option. ®