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Details Emerge On EU-Only "Browser Choice" Screen For Windows

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the what-would-sun-tzu-do dept.

Internet Explorer 220

Simmeh writes "Microsoft have posted screenshots and details on their upcoming 'web browser choice screen.' Requirements include being in Europe, and having Internet Explorer set as your default browser. It comes with a few surprises, as the software automatically unpins Internet Explorer from your taskbar, and offers 11 alternative browsers."

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More to come (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31205530)

To be followed by Microsoft OS selection: choose between Windows, Linux and OSX!

Re:More to come (3, Insightful)

iammani (1392285) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205584)

Actually OEMs should be forced to offer those, not Microsoft. Too bad it wont happen, as Apple will not take it up with EU. And Linux distors are not powerful enough to take it up.

Re:More to come (3, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205614)

If you mandate OEMs to install it, should they also be mandated to support it?

Re:More to come (4, Insightful)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205646)

Of course they should! Linux dweebs will help them with friendly, free online advise like "You're an idiot" and "Duuh, you don't know how to peruse /proc to find out which revision of your chipset you're using, you numbskull noob!?".

Re:More to come (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31205858)

I've only ever seen that attitude out of one community, the Fedora community. I've never seen it anywhere else, and I've been using Linux since about 1993.

The Slackware community is helpful. The Debian community is extremely helpful. The Ubuntu community is helpful, but there are lots of "noobs" there, so their advice isn't always correct. The OpenSUSE community is extremely professional and provide the best advice I've seen. The Gentoo community is always willing to provide help.

Re:More to come (0, Offtopic)

dan828 (753380) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206052)

I have to say, I've never had anything but helpful interactions with people in the Linux community. Though I did get laughed at on IRC back in 1996, when, after spending a week getting Linux installed on a Pentium 150 machine and getting my DSL connection to work with it, I asked if there was an "easy" way of installing apps. Guess I deserved that one.

Re:More to come (2, Funny)

ZERO1ZERO (948669) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206488)

The Gentoo community is always willing to provide help.

But unfortunately they are still waiting for it to compile, so although willing, are currently unable.

Re:More to come (1)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206932)

./ needs a "Gentoo takes a long time to compile" tag for comments; I don't think "Funny" applies anymore.

Re:More to come (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31205860)

If installing a browser in Windows is as difficult for you as most would find grep /proc then you really are an idiot.

Obligatory... (1)

wickedskaman (1105337) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206692)

Great! Because this is the year of the Linux Desktop! :-)

Re:More to come (1)

iammani (1392285) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205748)

Mmm support should come from Linux Distros in my opinion. Besides do OEM support Windows installation? I though Microsoft directly provides updates to customers and not through OEMs. And regarding help on how to perform stuff, I dont believe either microsoft or OEMs provide them.

Re:More to come (2, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205844)

Support as in "computer doesn't work" phone support. OEMs provide first line of that for Windows on those PCs they sell at the moment.

Re:More to come (1, Insightful)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205622)

Lol. "Forced" huh? Based on what moral or legal code besides the "I'm angry!" code?

Re:More to come (1)

iammani (1392285) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205654)

The same whatever code used to force Microsoft to offer "Browser choices"

Re:More to come (0, Troll)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205670)

Ahh, the code of the corrupt bureaucrat. I agree, they could certainly use that one though since an OEM sells a product and doesn't manufacture one, it might be hard for them to come up with the appropriately sophist argument legitimizing this arbitrary rule.

Re:More to come (0, Troll)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205770)

Uh, forced? For-profit private companies should be forced to offer certain software packages to their customers?

That makes no sense at all. Unless you don't particularly like companies being able to choose what they do and would rather mandate what they do in the name of "common good" and the like. Of course, then you get to figure out just who gets to decide what the "common good" is for everyone else.

Re:More to come (0, Flamebait)

sakshale (598643) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206676)

The camel has put his nose into the tent. What next? Maybe Ford needs to be forced to install Toyota gas pedals in their cars to ensure that they crash in a politically correct manner!

Post-ballot data (3, Interesting)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205556)

Be interesting to see if this has any effect on browser usage statistics. Would be hilariously funny if IE actually gains traction. I doubt it though, I don't think IE8 is bad at all but even I use Firefox.

Re:Post-ballot data (3, Interesting)

Wintywasthere (1698692) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205658)

Based on the recent bad press that IE has had...I really doubt it'll gain anything. To be fair though the people that see this and then haven't already made a browser choice probably haven't seen many recent press releases about browsers. I'm guessing they'll go with the (probably well presented) Microsoft option..

Re:Post-ballot data (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31205708)

Seems to present IE completely equitably with the other browsers. They show in random order with similar sized logos and all. In the Gizmodo screen shot, Google Chrome is first, followed by Firefox, then Safari, IE, and Opera. http://gizmodo.com/5475490/microsofts-impartial-antitrust+friendly-browser-ballot-screen [gizmodo.com] . Doesn't seem like a slam dunk at all that people would choose IE from this.

Re:Post-ballot data (1)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206046)

Bear in mind it only shows IE8 equitably. Even Microsoft would prefer to see people upgrade off IE6 or IE7. That's pretty big in and of itself, no? (ok, for security concerns obviously it's a great idea, but to pretty well force everyone to take notice that they should be running something other than IE6 or IE7 ...)

Re:Post-ballot data (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206180)

Bear in mind it only shows IE8 equitably. Even Microsoft would prefer to see people upgrade off IE6 or IE7. That's pretty big in and of itself, no? (ok, for security concerns obviously it's a great idea, but to pretty well force everyone to take notice that they should be running something other than IE6 or IE7 ...)

This ballot screen is for Windows 7, and neither IE6 nor IE7 have ever been available for this OS.

Re:Post-ballot data (0)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206704)

Be interesting to see if this has any effect on browser usage statistics. Would be hilariously funny if IE actually gains traction.

Actually, it is much more likely that IE will lose market share from this when you consider that most users:

  • are happy with what they have
  • are not expecting a dialog box to jump at them
  • do not understand the reason for such a dialog
  • do not care what the dialog box says
  • will just want the dialog box to go away

Most of them will simply click a button at random, all while wondering why their Windows is so annoying and hard to use. The most amazing thing is that some people still think this is a good thing:

"Millions of people who have never really thought about which browser to use will now be forced to make a choice," said BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones on his blog.

When did forcing users to make a choice they don't really understand become good design? Oh, that's right, it never did and this whole thing is a farce.

/.'d already? (2, Informative)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205568)

The link isn't working, taking way too long... did we really /.-effect a Microsoft server? Too funny. Although, it's most likely not on the main Microsoft cloud.

Re:/.'d already? (1, Offtopic)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205680)

Wow, I started getting the article to pull up, wanted to see the images (which for some reason weren't loading) so when I clicked on one, I got:

The image “http://microsoftontheissues.com/cs/blogs/mscorp/clip_image0024_thumb_01FF3E3A.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Intriguinger and Intriguinger.

Oh, and the comments on the article are somewhat lol. somewhat.

Re:/.'d already? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31205692)

No, you moron, we did not "/.-effect a Microsoft Server"

Re:/.'d already? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31205732)

Then why the hell is it so slow? Is it in the process of running Windows update?

Re:/.'d already? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31205816)

Then why the hell is it so slow? Is it in the process of running Windows update?

Because you're using Linux. It's loading normally for me on Windows 7.

Re:/.'d already? (1)

Holmwood (899130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206302)

I'm using Ubuntu as a guest OS on Windows 7. Doesn't work. Going there directly via IE8/Win 7 (Host OS) it doesn't work either. (TFA is fine; it's the post on microsoftontheissues.com that won't load).

It would be pretty amusing if Microsoft designed a website hosting a blog that discusses browser choice to not function properly with Linux-hosted browsers.

Re:/.'d already? (1)

trapnest (1608791) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206936)

Good job modding troll what is clearly a joke.

Article Text (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31205794)

Over the next few weeks, Microsoft will begin offering a “Web browser choice screen” to Internet Explorer users in Europe, as required by the European Commission. Internal testing of the choice screen is underway now. We’ll begin a limited roll-out externally next week, and expect that a full scale roll-out will begin around March 1, a couple of weeks ahead of schedule. If you are an Internet Explorer user in Europe, here is what to expect.

First, a little background. In December, the European Commission and Microsoft arrived at a resolution of a number of long-standing competition law issues. Microsoft made a legally binding commitment that PC manufacturers and users will continue to be able to install any browser on Windows, to make any browser the default browser, and to turn access to Internet Explorer on or off. In addition, Microsoft agreed to use Windows Update to provide a browser choice screen to Windows users in Europe who are running Internet Explorer as their default browser. This browser choice screen will present a list of browsers, with links to learn more about them and install them. The design and operation of this choice screen was worked out in the course of extensive discussions with the Commission and is reflected in the commitment that Microsoft made. Users who get the choice screen will be free to choose any browser or stick with the browser they have, as they prefer.

External testing of the choice screen will begin next week in three countries: the United Kingdom, Belgium and France. Anyone in those countries who wishes to test it can download the browser choice screen software update from Windows Update. We plan to begin a phased roll-out of the update across Europe the week of March 1.

The browser choice screen software update will be offered as an automatic download through Windows Update for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. The software update will be installed automatically, or will prompt you to download or install it, depending on which operating system you are running and your settings for Windows Update. If you do not have automatic updating enabled, you can get the choice screen by going to Windows Update and clicking on “Check for Updates.”

If you are running Internet Explorer as your default browser, here is what you will see after the software update is installed. An introductory screen appears first. In the screen shot below we added a few comment bubbles to point out certain features. The introductory screen provides context for the next screen, which shows browser options.

Windows 7 users can “pin” frequently-used programs to the taskbar (shown along the bottom of the screen, above.) If Internet Explorer was “pinned” to your Windows 7 taskbar, the browser choice screen software update will automatically unpin it, as shown above. (Note that unpinning a program does not remove it from your computer.) Once you have selected your preferred browser, you can easily pin that browser to the taskbar just by right-clicking on the browser icon in the taskbar anytime it is running and selecting “pin this program to taskbar.”

If you have any trouble finding Internet Explorer after it is unpinned, just click on the Start icon at the lower-left corner of your desktop and type “Internet Explorer” in the search box above the Start flag. (You can find any program in this way.)

The browser choice screen, shown below, will present you with a list of leading browsers. In keeping with our agreement with the European Commission, this list is presented in random order. You can also scroll to the right to see additional browsers, which are also presented in random order. The browsers that are listed and the content relating to them will be updated from time to time. The screen provides three options: Click on “Install” to install one of the listed browsers. Click on “Tell me more” to get more information about any of the browsers. These links (and the browser logos and associated text) are provided by each browser vendor. Click on “Select Later” to review the choice screen the next time you log onto your computer. This software update will also add a shortcut to your desktop, from which you can launch the choice screen at any time.

Finally, for those who prefer Internet Explorer: if you are running an older version (IE 6 or IE 7), Microsoft recommends that you upgrade to the latest version, Internet Explorer 8. IE 8 offers a number of significant safety and security improvements over earlier versions of IE.

Published 19 February 2010 12:01 AM

Re:/.'d already? (1)

Jorl17 (1716772) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205812)

/.? No, it's a mental hallucination. Go back to sleep and it shall be reborn.

11 browsers (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31205570)

11 browsers? how many of them have >1%market penetration? This is going to confuse the less versed users and I bet one ballmer's chair this is intentional, divide et impera

Re:11 browsers (1)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205604)

11 has been long known in this space. The above comment is a nonquestion.

Re:11 browsers (1, Insightful)

dave562 (969951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205710)

I challenge you to name the top 11 browsers off the top of your head without searching for them. Go. 11 browsers. Other users of "this space" are waiting.

Re:11 browsers (2, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205800)

Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, K-Meleon, Konqueror, SeaMonkey, IceWeasel, and that's about all I can name.

Of course, IceWeasel and SeaMonkey are forks of Firefox I guess. On the whole, I agree with the GP - offering 11 browsers is ridiculous. Unfortunately, that was probably the only way to be "fair" to everyone... except the end user.

I would have rather had the EU tell Microsoft "You can keep your browser but you have to get it up to current standards." THAT would have accomplished something good.

Re:11 browsers (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205840)

You did much better than I could. I know Firefox and IE because those are the two browsers that I can manage via GPO on my network. I know Safari because that is the default OSX browser that some people in the design department use. Beyond that I know about Opera and Opera-Mini through friends and because O-Mini is what I use on my Blackberry. Do SeaMonkey and IceWeasel even work on Windows? I only hear Linux users talking about those. Of course there is Chrome. It's pretty much impossible to not know about Chrome.

Re:11 browsers (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205894)

Well, I used K-Meleon and Konqueror on Linux. There's the Gnome one but I forgot what that is.

I don't know if seamonkey and icweweasel have Windows builds. I actually preferred it to Firefox on slower boxes that I installed with Linux... they both actually worked fairly well.

Opera is actually kinda nifty, but I still prefer Chrome at the moment :)

Re:11 browsers (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206486)

Iceweasel is a strictly Debian fork, Seamonkey is the good old Mozilla browser and it was always multiplatform.

Re:11 browsers (1)

BeeRockxs (782462) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206456)

SeaMonkey is not a fork of Firefox, it's the old Mozilla suite evolved.

Re:11 browsers (0, Offtopic)

wisdom_brewing (557753) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205820)

IE 1
IE 2
IE 3
IE 4
IE 5
IE 6
IE 7
IE 8
Firefox
Opera
Safari

Re:11 browsers (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205952)

You went back that far, but didn't mention Mosaic? Come on now..

Re:11 browsers (2, Informative)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206030)

http://community.winsupersite.com/blogs/paul/archive/2009/07/28/browser-ballot-screen-isn-t-just-for-windows-7.aspx [winsupersite.com]

who has time to do that? I'll just point to something that's more than 6 months old (albeit this one mentions just 10, other sources shortly thereafter were mentioning 11 or more such as
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/09/12/18/0210240/How-Europes-Mandated-Browser-Ballot-Screen-Works [slashdot.org]
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9142416/FAQ_How_the_IE_ballot_screen_works [computerworld.com]
which listed:

The first five are Apple's Safari, Google's Chrome, Microsoft's IE, Mozilla's Firefox and Opera. On a second screen, the ballot will list AOL, Maxthon, K-Meleon, Flock, Avant Browser, Sleipnir and SlimBrowser.

so ...)

It also would appear as though Microsoft wanted to do a "top ten" http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2009/jul09/07-24statement.mspx [microsoft.com] so I believe that they are using the "top ten" plus IE8, thus making 11.

Also, it's important to note that three or four of these browsers (at a minimum) are rebranded IE experiences, using the IE rendering engine. A couple are rebranded Firefox builds.

Also:
http://tech.slashdot.org/story/09/07/24/1927255/Microsoft-Agrees-To-EU-Browser-Ballot-Screen?from=rss [slashdot.org]

Re:11 browsers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31206912)

11 has been long known in this space. The above comment is a nonquestion.

Score:-1, Dick

Re:11 browsers (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206922)

11 has been long known in this space.

In base-4 maybe...

Before today they've only ever mentioned five browsers. The first link won't load for me, but from the second link...

Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera are the alternative browsers that people will be offered.

Not among the alternative browsers, the alternative browsers. Meaning those four, plus IE, and no more.

Re:11 browsers (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205934)

Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera, AOL, Maxthon, K-Meleon, Flock, Avant Browser, Sleipnir and Slim Browser.

Ah yes, AOL... good thing that's an option! Much better than IE.

I've heard of Avant and Flock. I've never heard of Maxthon, Sleipnir, or Slim Browser. I've used Avant and disliked it.

This seems remarkably ... pointless, as someone else said.

Re:11 browsers (1)

mr_lizard13 (882373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206176)

It would be better if they just made the most popular browser the default.

Mirror.... (5, Informative)

ZiakII (829432) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205578)

The site with the picture did not load for me, I found the image on The Register with story listed here. [theregister.co.uk]

Re:Mirror.... (1)

sloomis (1326535) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205990)

I liked this from the register article
Still, it's interesting to note that in Microsoft's posting, Explorer has been discretely pushed to almost the end of the list.
Please, here [xkcd.com] is the code they used to get IE in that place

11 Browsers? (4, Funny)

Hasney (980180) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205610)

I honestly didn't know there were that many constantly update, up-to-spec browsers for Windows.

Please God don't let any of them be Netscape.

Re:11 Browsers? (5, Funny)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205652)

Please God, let one of them be a telnet terminal.

Re:11 Browsers? (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31205776)

or gopher? i hear it's losing popularity as of late?

Re:11 Browsers? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206554)

By default, Windows 7 does not have a Telnet client installed. I found this out when attempting to troubleshoot SMTP for a mail server. It can be enabled if you don't want to bother with PuTTY.

To enable it go through Start --> Control Panel --> Programs --> Programs and Features --> Turn Windows features on or off -- Telnet Client.

Re:11 Browsers? (2, Funny)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205914)

I honestly didn't know there were that many constantly update, up-to-spec browsers for Windows.

See? That's the benefit of having a totally professional system with an ultra-stable, totally dependable and unchanging set of system DLLs, so the programmers can totally concentrate on the specs of their browsers.

Re:11 Browsers? (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206606)

One of them better be LYNX.

Air France here I come! (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205630)

Might as well pick up some nice laptops while I'm there ...

I can already anticipate the ignorant posts (2, Funny)

dave562 (969951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205694)

Microsoft agreed to use Windows Update to provide a browser choice screen to Windows users in Europe who are running Internet Explorer as their default browser.

Who wants to bet we are going to see posts here after this feature is rolled out from users who don't have IE configured as their default browser? They will be complaining about not being presented with a choice of alternate browsers, even though they have already selected one.

Furthermore, the article states that the top browsers (Firefox, Opera, Chrome, IE) are going to be presented in random order. I can't wait for the whines from people who happen to see IE as the random first choice.

Here, I'll come up with one for you guys.

"Whaaaa!! IE was first on the SO CALLED RANDOM browser choice list. Obviously Microsoft weighted their algorithm to give preference to IE. My mom and third cousin also both had IE show up first. It's a conspiracy!"

Re:I can already anticipate the ignorant posts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31206764)

Hey I got IE first too! It made me click on it, because I wanted the "internet". Microsoft has brainwashed me.. We should class-action sue them to oblivion for that too. Come join us, it's lotsa fuun (for the whole family! ;-)

Re:I can already anticipate the ignorant posts (1)

Mutant321 (1112151) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206778)

The random order makes sense, and I've seen it used in other similar situations (like the list of domain registrars [dnc.org.nz] on the NZ domain name commission site). But I wonder how this randomness (and potentially other aspects of the ballot screen) are verified by the authorities. Is the code turned over to them? Or do they have to black box test it? If the latter, then maybe MS have fudged it so IE *will* appear towards the top more often.

Re:I can already anticipate the ignorant posts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31206788)

Have you actually looked at the page?

IT USES JAVASCRIPT.

irrelevant (-1, Troll)

voss (52565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205700)

As long as windows update only works with internet explorer, Microsoft is still not giving users a true choice.

Re:irrelevant (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31205736)

Hey retard, Windows update has been out of IE for a while.

Why don't you take the time to learn something about the products that you're ranting against instead of looking like a total asshat? Or is that too hard for you to do?

Re:irrelevant (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205738)

Ding ding ding, you win the dumbest post of the thread award so far!

A few things.

a) It doesn't.

b) Why would anyone care that it does? Updating the OS is an OS function, if they choose to use IE to do it that's not depriving you of "choice" any more than if they wrote a custom GUI app to do it.

Re:irrelevant (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205936)

I had to install IE again the other day, or else the "Microsoft Update" link in Windows 7 wouldn't do anything. IE isn't actually required to use Microsoft Update once you've installed it, as far as I know. I needed it for a link.

"Microsoft Update" is an upgrade to Windows Update that works on all MS software you have installed, in case you hadn't noticed it. I wanted it to keep Visual Studio up to date.

Also, any applications that use the IE activex (like steam) won't let you open any links outside them (e.g. steam's screenshot gallery) without IE installed.

For now, I suspect I'm going to keep finding little reasons I can't get rid of it, even though I don't use it as my web browser.

No longer true! (4, Interesting)

MonTemplar (174120) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205778)

Windows Update has been separated from IE in both Vista and Windows 7 - and apparently it will be backported to XP at some point in the future.

-MT.

Re:irrelevant (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205824)

Right. They shouldn't have any sort of internal displaying method for their OS.

I'm afraid most of the world doesn't care that they use IE when they use Windows Update. And those that care as much as you appear to probably don't use Windows ;) :)

Re:irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31205928)

I hope he/she/it doesn't use windows. There are enough clueless bitches using windows as it is.

Re:irrelevant (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205852)

Windows update has been separate from IE since Vista's launch.

Pointless (3, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205706)

Lovely, so now a bunch of tech savvy people are going to be getting calls asking how to make these screens go away and never come back.

Users don't want choice, they don't want complexity, menus are complexity. Even that stupid setup menu on IE when you first install it scares the hell out of people and they just have to keep clicking 'not right now' or whatever it is EVERY time they start the application because they don't know how to make it go away. They want shit that does its thing that they don't have to think about and for whatever they're doing IE already does that. If you have enough know how to not use IE already, you don't. If you don't have the know how sticking some other choice for you there is just going to break stuff and confuse people. I feel bad for people who will accidentally choose google chrome or safari and then not have a clue how to use it, and not have a clue how to immediately revert the system to what they did have that let them do whatever they were doing.

Not a bad concept in the 'when it's installed' sense, and on purely legal basis it makes sense, but it's not the sort of thing you want to be pushing out to live OS's that people are actually using right now. Even then putting anything other than IE8 on tends to be risky, everything is designed to work in IE, less so with firefox and way less so with any other choice, that's going to hobble people who suddenly have a new browser and no idea how to make it work.

Re:Pointless (1)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205854)

Personally I think MS should have completely removed the browser from the operating system and not used this system. If for no other reason than to comply with the regulation while giving the other browser manufacturers a big middle finger. They could have left it up to the hardware manufacturers to put a browser of their choice on it. Considering the amount of other crap that they usually put on PCs it probably won't be a big deal. Then MS could just pay them to include IE as the default.

Re:Pointless (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205940)

Personally I think MS should have completely removed the browser from the operating system and not used this system.

They tried that - although probably as a bluff - and the EU denied MS that approach.

Re:Pointless (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31206316)

Personally I think MS should have giving the EU the finger and just left it the way it was. this was just a ploy by the EU to take money from microsoft and that is all. the EU did the same thing to INTEL.

Re:Pointless (1)

Kocureq (1191079) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205898)

Oh this "welcome to new IE8" window is annoying as hell. Try to setup multiple virtual machines - servers, clients, whatever. You HAVE to click through those options on every new VM you setup. It's a pain in the back.

Re:Pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31206132)

So an iPad would be perfect?

Re:Pointless (2, Insightful)

mr_lizard13 (882373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206270)

everything is designed to work in IE, less so with firefox and way less so with any other choice

Whilst I think that's not really the case these days (5 years ago perhaps), I really can't see how people will find a browser like Firefox, Chrome, Safari etc any more difficult to use than IE.

They all have navigation buttons, some sort of address/search bar, tabs, etc etc.

They all work very well. They all work with all the important plugins. And they all look and function more or less the same.

Some would argue that they function better than the leading browser, too.

I understand what you mean though about menus and choices adding complexity. But really, this ballot screen ain't that hard to figure out. Computers have to present the user with a choice from time to time. They're not appliances. At some point, the user will have to make a choice about something.

Not ideal, but better than letting IE get a free ride. The web gets better for everyone the more choice there is, even if that means confusing a few million people.

Re:Pointless (2, Interesting)

headbulb (534102) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206374)

While I agree that Microsoft's IE is bloated and shouldn't show that dialog on start. I strongly disagree that somehow users that chose another browser like Chrome or safari will be confused. Those two alternative options are much easier for a user then the default IE.

One of the menu choices is missing (-1, Flamebait)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205856)

The one that says "Fuck the EU bureaucrats and leave my computer alone".

Re:One of the menu choices is missing (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206520)

It's the one with the blue "e" logo.

Does IE "security" sabotage Firefox download? (1)

chriscorbell (1093363) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205998)

Has anyone recently tried to use IE to download firefox? Does IE adopt "security" policies to make it harder to download and install Firefox? I was experimenting with a fresh 2008 Server instance in EC2 the other day and needed to download some open-source packages to install. I found that IE was super paranoid about any download, especially from a mirror site, and would put up a security warning, make me click OK to whitelist the site, and then go back and try the download again. I went through all the settigns dialogs I could find trying to turn off this "feature" to no avail. Turns out if you download Firefox from the mozilla site it will redirect you to a different mirror each time - meaning you can do this dance repeatedly and never actually satisfy IE's bizarre "security". The workaround is to delve into one of the mirror sites and navigate to the download you need. I'm not a paranoid type but I find myself questioning whether this wasn't a deliberate "how can we make it a PITA to download Firefox" move by the IE crew.

Re:Does IE "security" sabotage Firefox download? (3, Informative)

dan828 (753380) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206194)

IE on a server install is locked up tightly. You know, to let you know that you shouldn't be surfing the web on your server anyways, what with security issues and the like. Do a google search for "2008 server as a workstation" to find some helpful tutorials for turning that security off.

Re:Does IE "security" sabotage Firefox download? (3, Informative)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206660)

I'm trying to figure out how he didn't see the Enhanced Security warning screen... you know, the one that pops up the first time you start IE (and subsequently, if you don't turn off the warning) and tells you various things (including that downloading is restricted and security settings are very high). It also tells you how to turn off this feature, if you want to...

Re:Does IE "security" sabotage Firefox download? (1)

ActionDesignStudios (877390) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206208)

It's not an intentional pain in the ass because of the existence of Firefox -- IE on a server has almost always been a pain in the ass. It's a server, they harden the browser so you can't be doing stupid things on the Internet and end up compromising your server (although I think if this is really an issue, you shouldn't be administering a server in the first place).

Re:Does IE "security" sabotage Firefox download? (2, Informative)

ashridah (72567) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206482)

This is actually a feature, as other posters have pointed out. It's called Internet explorer Enhanced Security or somesuch. You can disable it as a feature in Win2k8/Win2k3 via various means if you really want to use win2k8 as a desktop. Basically, it's the server's way of telling you you shouldn't be browsing the web, and if you try to, it's going to pester you about everything you visit.

It's a reasonable "duh" saftey net, imho, and sufficiently annoying enough to remember to minimize the RDP session and use your desktop.

the 11 choices are (3, Funny)

rarel (697734) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206066)

Mario

Luigi

Princess Peach

Wario

Yoshi

Toad

Donkey Kong

what...?

ooooh, browsers... ok, nevermind!

Re:the 11 choices are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31206794)

I think you meant

Ludwig
Lemmy
Roy
Iggy
Wendy
Morton Jr.
Larry

and possibly Bowser Junior.

11 is a crafty choice by MS (4, Interesting)

dalhamir (1423303) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206136)

There's a decent amount of research (although, somewhat controversial) suggesting that providing too many choices may actually impede our ability to make rational choices, and would be less likely to experiment with an unfamiliar browser. Overview of some of the research can be found on the Freakonomics blog: http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/02/is-the-paradox-of-choice-not-so-paradoxical-after-all/ [nytimes.com]

Irrelevent (5, Informative)

pavon (30274) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206652)

The 5 most popular are shown when the window first opens (in random order), you have to scroll over to see the rest. Furthermore, it can't be an evil scheme by Microsoft as it wasn't their choice - the idea, the criteria for browser selection, and the ordering of the browsers were forced on them by the EU

Re:11 is a crafty choice by MS (1)

cynicist (1112505) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206680)

From the article,

The average of all these studies suggests that offering lots of extra choices seems to make no important difference either way. There seem to be circumstances where choice is counterproductive but, despite looking hard for them, we don’t yet know much about what they are. Overall, says Scheibehenne: “If you did one of these studies tomorrow, the most probable result would be no effect.” Perhaps choice is not as paradoxical as some psychologists have come to believe. One way or another, we seem to be able to cope with it.

The link (5, Informative)

ivonic (972040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206148)

You could just visit the browser ballot page directly [browserchoice.eu] .

For reference, the browsers listed are IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, Flock, FlashPeak, K-Meleon, Avant, Maxthon, Sleipnir & GreenBrowser

Re:The link (1)

The_PHP_Jedi (1320371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206232)

You could just visit the browser ballot page directly [browserchoice.eu] .

I was surprised none of the articles I've seen have provided a direct link... I saw the screenshot from the Microsoft blog, and figured the site was already live.

+1 Informative

Re:The link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31206684)

Maxthon is no browser, but an IE interface

Try it out (0, Redundant)

SoonerSkeene (1257702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206304)

Here it is if you want to view the real thing:

http://www.browserchoice.eu/BrowserChoice/browserchoice_en.htm [browserchoice.eu]

Re:Try it out (1)

aflag (941367) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206472)

It's funny how IE always shows up first and, only then, they are randomly reodered (at least on firefox.)

Re:Try it out (1)

SoonerSkeene (1257702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206518)

Wow... so I bet if you turn off scripting, you see IE first every time. But then, only a very techy person would have done that, and they already installed firefox and know how to get what they want.

Re:Try it out (1)

Lulfas (1140109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206954)

You do :D I visited the site with no script, and it didn't randomize anything. Always Microsoft/Firefox/Opera/Chrome. Funny way to do it...

11 browsers? (4, Interesting)

jc42 (318812) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206312)

My first thought was "Can I tell it to load all 11 of them?" If so, it could make the Windows box useful for real web testing.

I do most of my actual testing on my Macbook Pro, because I have 9 browsers installed there. I also have a linux box with 5 browsers installed. My wife has a Windows XP partition on her iMac that has 3 browsers. For most of these, we had to download them and install them ourselves. A working package of 11 browsers could be really handy, especially when it comes time to reformat and reinstall, which happens quite often with "lab" testing machines.

Anyone know if MS's browser installer has an "All of them" choice?

Re:11 browsers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31206702)

Bah, I have[1] more than 11 browsers on a UFD[2]; including all but flock and IE from the ballot-list plus a few other rarer ones - not all of them even listed on 'list of browsers' on wikipedia nor not all available on evolt browser archive.
Easily more than two dozen browsers if you count different major versions of one browser.

[1] Some run directly off the UFD, some as self-extracting 7z archives, none downloaded from portableapps.com and like such as, uh, portablefreeware.com {1}

[2] Usb Flash Disk (actually a Sandisk SD Plus)

      {1} Caitlin Upton reference

Why not the direct link? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31206540)

http://www.browserchoice.eu

Unless I'm mistaken, thats the link that'll be used.

Missing Option (2, Funny)

rlp (11898) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206578)

So where's Lynx?

Re:Missing Option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31206896)

Not funny...
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