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Microsoft's Impartial, Antitrust-Friendly Browser Ballot Screen

Illustration for article titled Microsofts Impartial, Antitrust-Friendly Browser Ballot Screen

You may have forgotten about it, but Microsoft got in to a bit of trouble with the European Commission for anti-competitive practices (including force-feeding customers IE). Microsoft's plea bargain was to add other browser options alongside its own.


The new screen, seen here, will pop up for any European Windows (XP/Vista/7) user who has IE set as their default browser, starting around March 1st.


It randomizes new choices for web browsers in an impartial manner, offering direct links to download. It's like Microsoft is saying, "Hey, it's cool, you can take Firefox to the dance. I mean, I handle all of your day to day tasks, like boring spreadsheets, plus I'm awake 24/7 keeping things running for you, keeping you safe. Oh, and remember that time we played Call of Duty all weekend? And we saved the world together? And you cried? I'd never felt as close to you as I did that moment. I thought that meant something. I thought that I meant something, to you."

Actually, Microsoft really should add that message after users make their selections, just so the European Commission is forced to label guilt as an anti-competitive practice. [Microsoft on the Issues via TheRegister]

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Why not just ship Windows without IE at all?

Oh, wait: the entire OS depends on IE anyways - and the Browser Ballot is rendered in IE, too.

Although, and as a tip, if you're a browser purist and wouldn't want to touch IE to download Firefox, there's always this method via cmd:


cd pub/

ls (replace 3.6 in the next lines with whatever is the latest EXE)


get "Firefox Setup 3.6.exe"


open "Firefox Setup 3.6.exe"