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The Seven Hidden Browsers In the Windows Ballot

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the hanging-chads-need-not-apply dept.

Firefox 246

Barence writes "Two weeks ago Microsoft started rolling out a Windows update within the European Union, giving every Internet Explorer user the option to switch browsers. As well as the five big names, anyone who scrolls the ballot window to the right will find seven further browsers, none of which is exactly a household name. There's no quality control being offered, either — they're simply the '12 most widely-used web browsers that run on Windows 7,' based on usage share in the European Economic Area. But what are these unknown browsers actually like? To find out, seven PC Pro staff installed a browser each, used it exclusively for a day, and ran a variety of tests. The browser-by-browser verdict on the hidden seven: two are worth a look for specific reasons, the other five are only likely to give an internet novice a horribly outdated idea of what web browsing is like."

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And thus the folly is proven (0, Flamebait)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31481512)

Users would be better off with IE8 than any of those pieces of crap.

They'd be better off with FF or Chrome too, but by requiring a full selection, users are presented with all kinds of bad software.

Re:And thus the folly is proven (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31481524)

no shit, it's like you want some pussy and instead you get prison raped.

Re:And thus the folly is proven (4, Insightful)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31481676)

The choice of IE8 isn't being removed from those users. They can pick whichever browser they happen to prefer, if that happens to be IE8 then that's their prerogative. If they're incapable of picking the browser they prefer from a limited subset then they have more to worry about in the online environment than usability. In reality if these browsers are hidden initially, they're unlikely to ever be picked.

Re:And thus the folly is proven (2, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31481748)

And it's not like any of those top 5 browsers are much worse or better than another (ok IE aside for us nerds). Chrome, Opera, Firefox and Safari are all good browsers.

It seems Opera has increased it's market share most. It's probably the best choice too, since a casual user doesn't need to go finding all the different addons and other things he or she doesn't have any idea about. People seem to love it and stay with Opera. It's just that they didn't hear about it before, as Opera doesn't have such zealots as Firefox yelling all around how good their browser supposedly is and spamming fox pictures all over forums.

Re:And thus the folly is proven (3, Informative)

ElSupreme (1217088) | more than 4 years ago | (#31481904)

Chrome is SPYWARE! It is a horrible browser, it phones everything home to Google.

Sure it is good at browsing the web, but as a program it sucks!

Re:And thus the folly is proven (3, Interesting)

angelwolf71885 (1181671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482318)

i wish i had mod points.. i dont care if you have to opt in to sending the data the fact that it even collects the data is what bothers me i dont trust google as far as i can throw them

Re:And thus the folly is proven (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31482504)

Come up with one (single) instance of Google misusing customer data and I will henceforth refer to myself as a fool and stop using Google altogether. So will millions of others, I assume.

BTW, you know that Chrome's callback features can be disabled in the options menu, right? And if my memory serves, IE and Firefox also call home (less extensively).

Re:And thus the folly is proven (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31482624)

I can spy with my little eye something beginning with "all the google voicemail text where once indexed and made public"

Re:And thus the folly is proven (3, Interesting)

grapeape (137008) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482792)

For most its not a matter of if Google has played nice with their customer data so far, its the fact that they have all of it to start with. Some people are just uncomfortable with google having access to so much about them and see it as potentailly orwellian, if its not already.

  Knows where you are.
  Has access to your e-mail.
  Has access to your medical records.
  Stores your word processing, spreadsheet and presentation documents.
  Facilitates chat, voice and video conversations, as well as text messages.
  Tracks what you search for and view on the Web.
  Keeps track of your upcoming appointments.
  Knows your contacts.
  Knows what you read.
  Knows what you buy.

And of course the tin-foil hat types will argue, how will we know if they are abusing it, they are in charge of the search engines most use to find out and we know they have no problems with censorship.

As for me I could care less at the moment, nothing to hide...but its still an encroachment on freedom and privacy, its not that hard to understand why some are concerned.

Re:And thus the folly is proven (4, Insightful)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482136)

Opera doesn't have such zealots as Firefox yelling all around how good their browser supposedly is

You’re kidding, right?

Re:And thus the folly is proven (4, Funny)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482582)

You're kidding, right?

Give us credit for getting quieter when the claims that FireFox invented everything good about web browsing died down.

Re:And thus the folly is proven (0)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482702)

No, Firefox didn’t “invent” it any more than Google invented web search or online maps...

Re:And thus the folly is proven (2, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482420)

I have had Opera for a long time and the thng is I just can not get comfortable with it.
I have been trying to move to Chrome for the extra speed and now that it has plugins I can get it working the way I want it to.
Truth is that I just can not kick the Firefox habit. I have the plugins I want and I don't have crash issues with it so it is in the Just works category.

The best plugin as far as making your browsing more stable? PDF download. Acrobat reader used to crash my system all the time.
PDF download combined with FOXIT seems to have fixed that little problem.
Opera is a good browser but so far it just hasn't been good enough to make me want to move.

Re:And thus the folly is proven (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482564)

Although I still prefer Firefox, IE8 is actually more or less tolerable.

Re:And thus the folly is proven (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482602)

Are you kidding? Merits of the browser aside, Opera has got to have the highest zealot-to-user ratio out of any mainstream web browser.

Seems like I hear about Opera all the time, but don't (actually) know a single person who uses it daily. I've used it a few times, and could never get over the weird UI... (it sure is fast though)

Re:And thus the folly is proven (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31482676)

I actually was greated with the ballot screen 2 weeks ago after manually selecting the update.
Anyway it was pretty funny because the ballot window is actually an *IE8* window showing a web page and, as I use Firefox, the first thing I saw was the infamous "IE is not currently not yoour default browser, would like to use is as the default ?" with "yes" pre-selected.
Of course this is a "modal" dialog, so it must be closed to be able to browse the actual page.

So basically, you first have to answer if you want IE to be the default before having a chance to get a link to alternative browsers, so no, IE isn't being removed.

Re:And thus the folly is proven (3, Interesting)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482720)

That’s weird... it specifically said that users who already didn’t use IE as their default browser weren’t supposed to see the choices screen.

Re:And thus the folly is proven (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31481816)

A friend downloaded Firefox and installed it, then moan to me how Firefox looks and runs just like IE did and still does a bad job of rendering the web pages he looks at. I went over to investigate what he meant and the stupid fool was still double clicking the IE "E" icon on his desktop. When I asked why he was doing tjhis instead of the Firefox icon he said "But this is how I get the internet by click on the E" Doh

Firefox - No Script, Flash, Ads, Own Font/Colour (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31481532)

I like my web browsing outdated, thank you very much.

Now get off my lawn.

Re:Firefox - No Script, Flash, Ads, Own Font/Colou (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31481626)

Thank you of informing us of your preferred way of browsing The Internet in this completely unrelated discussion.

Your contribution will be valued just as dearly as in all of the other places where we're to deal with your uninspiring insight into the mind of someone with OCD.

I would wish that there was a community for people like you, where every topic can successfully have fifty of you posting your browsing preferences as the answer to any question, including "how do I test my 7 year old daughter for pregnancy" and "what is this big piece of metal doing in my stomach and how do I get it out?"

Re:Firefox - No Script, Flash, Ads, Own Font/Colou (-1, Troll)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31481804)

Based on the quality of the linked article, he's overqualified for a job at PCPro.

Re:Firefox - No Script, Flash, Ads, Own Font/Colou (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31481878)

just be glad he isn't describing how he likes to shove a cucmber up his ass while masturbating to the sears' catalog.

Lynx? (5, Funny)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31481540)

Hey! Where's Lynx? [wikipedia.org]

Re:Lynx? (4, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31481598)

Hey wait! I just noticed that the name is a pun. It only took 8 years..

Ho ho ho.

Re:Lynx? (4, Funny)

pla (258480) | more than 4 years ago | (#31481732)

Hey! Where's Lynx?

Oh, look at Mr. Fancy-pants with his text all neatly positioned on the screen for him!

Real men use Wget or Curl. Bonus points for doing it all with netcat.

Re:Lynx? (3, Funny)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31481786)

You kids with your fancy computers. In my days we used to serve web pages to each other with letters and postal mail!

Re:Lynx? (2, Informative)

mrdoogee (1179081) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482020)

That's nothing! In my day we had to listen to the town crier describe web pages to us!

Re:Lynx? (2, Insightful)

lordmetroid (708723) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482476)

That's nothing! In my days we had to paint the web pages on the walls of caves.

Re:Lynx? (1, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482798)

Caves? You had caves, with walls? In my days we had to paint web pages with human blood on human skin...

Re:Lynx? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31482004)

One could also ask: Where's Netscape?

Re:Lynx? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31482870)

Isn't Netscape just a rebranded IE these days?

Re:Lynx? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482304)

>>>Hey! Where's Lynx?

I've tried Lynx multiple times, but always end-up returning to "Links". I think it's more user-friendly and easier to read the sites (like slashdot).

The thing I like about these browsers is that you can have them open at work, and to your boss they look like esoteric programming Terminal windows rather than browsers. i.e. He thinks you're working. ;-)

Re:Lynx? (1)

Neil Hodges (960909) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482454)

I tend to stick with ELinks, since it has tabbed browsing support. Links Hacked [sai.msu.ru] was pretty good back when it was maintained.

Re:Lynx? (1)

frenchbedroom (936100) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482854)

I use w3m [sourceforge.net] myself.

Avant browser == front-end for IE (5, Insightful)

Yuioup (452151) | more than 4 years ago | (#31481604)

Avant browser is nothing more than a front-end for IE.
It's basically a window surrounding an embedded Internet Explorer object.
I personally think its ridiculous that MS offers it as an 'alternative browser'

Y

Re:Avant browser == front-end for IE (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31481622)

MS is required to offer it as part of the settlement.

The EU is the one who decides which browsers are included.

Re:Avant browser == front-end for IE (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31481790)

That's the first I've heard that. Where did you read that the EU government is enforcing which of the 12 browsers should be presented?

I'm surprised that Mozilla's SeaMonkey is not in there.
Or Netscape 9. I've never heard of those other browsers (except Meleon).

Re:Avant browser == front-end for IE (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31481820)

I read it in the summary.

Whether the EU is deciding specifically which ones, they have at least set the parameters for the selection.

Re:Avant browser == front-end for IE (3, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482140)

I re-read the summary. I don't see any place where the EU Government *mandates* MS display the top 12 most-popular browsers. My reading of the summary doesn't tell us who made that decision, and I initially assumed it was Microsoft itself.

So I googled it: "The EU said Tuesday that European users will be asked to choose in a Web browser bake-off among 12 free Web browsers." - http://www.crn.com/software/223101178 [crn.com]

Re:Avant browser == front-end for IE (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482522)

It's a sad, sad day when a summary doesn't have all the details about something. Sad, sad day.

Re:Avant browser == front-end for IE (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482620)

You aren't following the thread of this conversation:

POSTER 1 - EU mandated that they be listed by market share.
POSTER 2 - Where?
POSTER 1 - It's in the summary.
POSTER 2 - No it isn't. Where did you read the EU mandated that?
POSTER 2 - (silence)

RTFA (2)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482814)

From TFA:

"The agreement hammered out between Microsoft and the EC simply stipulated the “12 most widely-used web browsers that run on Windows 7” based on usage share in the European Economic Area"

Re:Avant browser == front-end for IE (3, Interesting)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#31481794)

I don't think it's up to MS. They just include the browsers the EU tells them to. The EU supposedly base the lists on "market share" though I haven't seen any reference as to exactly what they mean by that.

Re:Avant browser == front-end for IE (1, Interesting)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482260)

Hey! Stop interrupting our regularly scheduled M$ hate with your truth! Everything and anything must be made MS's fault to gain karma points!

Re:Avant browser == front-end for IE (4, Funny)

thelexx (237096) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482904)

Not to worry, we still have plenty of real facts upon which to base our hatred of MS.

Oh, I forgot, none of those count when you're whining about people bashing poor little unloved MS.

We're just whoring for karma, yeah, that's it.

I don't need /. karma to hate, hate, HATE MS. Trying to use COM objects from Java is enough.

Re:Avant browser == front-end for IE (2, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482568)

Here's the usage share in Europe from one year ago (Q1 2009). I'm trying to find more recent data:

IE 67.7%
FF 25.3%
Safari 2.6%
Opera 1.4%
Chrome 1.0%

Re:Avant browser == front-end for IE (5, Informative)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482436)

Maxthon, GreenBrowser and SlimBrowser are IE Front ends also. It means that 4 of the 7 (with Avant) are just IE Shells. One that is an IE/Gecko shell (Sleipnir). One that is essentially a FireFox offshoot (Flock) and K-Meleon.

Not that I have anything against Maxthon. Back when I was an IE user, it was my stepping stone to FireFox (though I didn't realize it at the time). I used it instead of IE6, the most current version of IE at the time, and was impressed by the tabbed browsing, pop-up/ad blocking and other "cool new" features while not having to completely abandon my IE-comfort-zone. Of course, I grew accustomed to having these features so going on a plain-IE PC turned into a chore. Then, one day, I decided to give FireFox a chance. It was a bit of an adjustment, but not as bad as I thought it would be. So while I wouldn't install Maxthon now, I do appreciate how it helped me transition from IE6 to FireFox.

Re:Avant browser == front-end for IE (1)

Rary (566291) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482776)

It's a perfectly valid option. I used Avant for years because at the time IE did the best job of rendering the most websites, but I wanted advanced features that IE didn't provide (tabbed browsing, saved sessions, etc).

Today I use Firefox, but if someone prefers Avant, why not use it? So what if it's just a wrapper for IE. It's still a valid option, and if you're going to provide a comprehensive list of browser options, it should be included.

IE engine with a new GUI (4, Interesting)

TorKlingberg (599697) | more than 4 years ago | (#31481634)

Many of these are the IE rendering engine wrapped in a new user interface. They appeared in the days when IE development was dead and provided useful things like tabs and popup blocking, while staying compatible with the IE6-only websites that used to be everywhere.

Maxthon for one is very popular in China because it supports ActiveX which many Chinese banking websites rely on (bleh), and it is much nicer to use than IE6. I am not sure how it compares to IE8 though.

Re:IE engine with a new GUI (1)

pete-wilko (628329) | more than 4 years ago | (#31481934)

I also read this as well, and agree with your sentiments. How exactly any of these is an alternative browser to IE is beyond me when they are using the trident rendering engine.

Actually the summary is awful - of the 7 lesser known browsers - Avant, Maxthon, Slepnir are using trident (MSHTML). Appreciate that they may well be individual legitimate projects and not meaning to cast any aspersions on them, but having an additional 3 options which are how MS renders the web and whatever fobiles that entails, just seems wrong.

Re:IE engine with a new GUI (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482276)

I think that's a bit of a gray area. It's unfair to not classify Konqueror and Safari as different browsers just because they use the same rendering engine. I would probably consider a wrapper for the IE6 Active-X control which created tabbed browsing to be a *different* browser. I'm not sure exactly where to draw the line though.

Re:IE engine with a new GUI (2, Informative)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482472)

You're wrong, though. (for two reasons, one being less important the other) The main thing is that while yes, Safari and Chrome both use WebKit, their implementations can actually be different. Any changes should head upstream, but Chrome can use a newer release of WebKit than the latest version of Safari, for example. (Same with Gecko implementations.) And of course, don't forget things like extensions and whatnot. But, anything implementing Trident can only use Trident and change the window chrome because it's closed source, as well as be stuck with whatever version of Trident is installed on the machine.

My other, lesser point is that Konqueror and Safari do not use the same rendering engine. Konqueror uses KHTML, and Safari uses WebKit, which is derived from but not the same as KHTML.

Re:IE engine with a new GUI (1)

Neil Hodges (960909) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482482)

They don't really use the same rendering engine, though. WebKit has had dozens of changes not yet included in KHTML, though at some point Konqueror will move to using Qt's built-in WebKit widget soon enough.

Re:IE engine with a new GUI (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482400)

Appreciate that they may well be individual legitimate projects and not meaning to cast any aspersions on them, but having an additional 3 options which are how MS renders the web and whatever fobiles that entails, just seems wrong.

Then blame the EU. They are only included due to their list of the top 12 browsers.

Re:IE engine with a new GUI (3, Interesting)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482450)

To be honest, there are currently only 4 rendering engines worth talking about, I believe their used to be five(I think that Konqueror used to have it's own rendering engine though I was never a KDE man, so I may be wrong) so looking at a list of 12 you're going to see a fair amount of overlap. Add in the fact that to the best of my knowledge only Opera uses Presto and the overlap becomes even more extreme.

IE has caused me huge amounts of dramas and still continues to do so, it is probably the one thing I will never forgive Microsoft for, but what else would you have put in the other 7 slots(8 if you want to make sure that a rendering engine is only represented once). Once you've put in the big 5 and a few of the moderately tolerable gecko ports what have you got left. Especially since they have to run on Windows. I suppose one of those slots could have gone to seamonkey, but as a browser it's identical to firefox so there's not much point. I don't know who decided that the number had to be 12, but with that large a number you're really bound to have some pretty awful stuff in there. Rendering engines are complex beasts, which is why there are really only 4 of them. Javascript engines are even more complex which is why there are only 4 of them(I know that Safari and Chrome have different Javascript engines even though they have the same rendering engine and I'm counting those, but IE's is so godawful it doesn't count). It takes a large team of programmers years to come up with something halfway decent, and that requires serious amounts of money or trying to snag open source developers when most of the people with the right skill set are already likely to be working on Gecko or Webkit.

Re:IE engine with a new GUI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31482694)

I doubt your post will be modded up due to wall o' text, so I'd just like to say this: thank you and well said.

Re:IE engine with a new GUI (1)

barzok (26681) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482334)

Many of these are the IE rendering engine wrapped in a new user interface. They appeared in the days when IE development was dead and provided useful things like tabs and popup blocking, while staying compatible with the IE6-only websites that used to be everywhere.

That shell game (pun intended) started back in the IE3 or IE4 days.

This won't make the user happier (5, Informative)

Advocadus Diaboli (323784) | more than 4 years ago | (#31481650)

See Barry Schwartz on the paradox of choice [ted.com] . Got to help someone with his Windows-PC lately and got seriously confused by this invasive dialog. :-)

Re:This won't make the user happier (5, Insightful)

quantumplacet (1195335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31481762)

if you actually got confused by this 'invasive dialogue' then you have no business helping anyone with any computer, and might want to think about wearing a helmet on a regular basis.

Re:This won't make the user happier (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 4 years ago | (#31481968)

...might want to think about wearing a helmet on a regular basis.

What kind of conclusion do you think they would come to?

Re:This won't make the user happier (1)

dissy (172727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482080)

...might want to think about wearing a helmet on a regular basis.

What kind of conclusion do you think they would come to?

Well, it would at least not be the conclusion of "Oww, windows makes my brain hurt! Oh and I fell over too, but am sure that is unrelated"

Re:This won't make the user happier (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482860)

I'm not sure that Advocadus meant to imply that he was the one who was confused, but the person he was helping was confused (and hence needed help). Or possibly not. But that's how I read it at first.

Re:This won't make the user happier (1)

ianare (1132971) | more than 4 years ago | (#31481920)

Which is why they're having the 5 most popular browsers initially visible, and the other 7 so that you have to scroll over to see them.

QC (5, Insightful)

bunkymag (1567407) | more than 4 years ago | (#31481656)

"There's no quality control being offered, either — they're simply the '12 most widely-used web browsers that run on Windows 7,' based on usage share in the European Economic Area." .. just like there's no quality control for presidents and prime ministers I suppose, except the fact that they are the most widely-voted politicians in a given area .. draw your own conclusions as to whether it works, or more importantly if there is a better option.

Re:QC (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482290)

It's a lose/lose for Microsoft. If they were to filter out choices then "Microsoft is picking the winners and the losers." Seriously, companies sue Google because they aren't high enough in the page rank. What Microsoft did, while annoying, was probably the best option.

SeaMonkey? (2, Interesting)

KritonK (949258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31481682)

I'm surprised that the twelve most commonly used browsers include several that I hadn't heard about (most of which are not that good, if one is to believe TFA) but do not include SeaMonkey [seamonkey-project.org] . Perhaps it is too much like Firefox+Thunderbird for people to actually want to use it.

Re:SeaMonkey? (3, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31481710)

"Hey Sea Monkeys! It's time for the 'I Hate Marco' Show!" ::high-pitched female choir:: "IIIII Hate Marco! Hate Marco! Hate Marco and his mailbox head!"

Re:SeaMonkey? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31481888)

Howlin' Mad Murphy, is that you?

Re:SeaMonkey? (3, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482160)

"Hey Sparkplug, did you see the ratings? Number eight, baby!"

Re:SeaMonkey? (3, Insightful)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 4 years ago | (#31481744)

Or the EU felt that Seamonkey was too close a derivation of Mozilla to count it a separate browser.

Re:SeaMonkey? (1)

ianare (1132971) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482106)

Except a few of the browser in the '7 list' use IE's rendering engine.

Re:SeaMonkey? (1)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482494)

This is true. The idea that Maxthon is a distinct browser from IE is pretty freakin' laughable.

Re:SeaMonkey? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31482156)

Maxthon, Avant Browser, Sleipnir, GreenBrowser and FlashPeak Slimbrowser are all based on the Trident rendering engine (Internet exploder)
K-melon and Flock both use the Gecko engine (Mozilla)

So out of the 12 browsers offered, 6 of them, that's half, are based on the Trident engine.

I hardly think having another mozilla derivative is a big issue. (3 gecko browsers, that's one quarter)

Re:SeaMonkey? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482684)

So out of the 12 browsers offered, 6 of them, that's half, are based on the Trident engine.

Yes, but only 1 of the top 5 browsers, and the ones below that barely register in the market. Which goes to show you: the only reason any significant number of people will use a browser with the IE engine is because it came with their computer.

Re:SeaMonkey? (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#31481792)

I couldn't live without Seamonkey, but for the group of users who will be using the browser ballot, Firefox is probably a better fit for them; including Seamonkey would just be needless duplication.

Re:SeaMonkey? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482168)

>>>Seamonkey would just be needless duplication

That was my initial thought, but then I realized that most of the bottom 7 browsers are actually Internet Explorer clones, so that too is needless duplication. If there will be duplication of the IE suite, why not have duplication of the Mozilla suite too?

Besides seaMonkey is a nice small footprint service - smaller than Firefox and provides additional services like Email, Chat, and Usenet newsgroups. I think it's worth listing.

Re:SeaMonkey? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31481868)

I use SeaMonkey on my Puppy Linux install. Why? Because it has a smaller memory footprint that allows it to fit inside RAM without needing virtual mem thrashing (HDD). So YES some people would rather use SeaMonkey than Firefox, and it really should be listed as an option rather than left off. I'm surprised no one from that team complained.

At least they included Opera. It's a good browser - the only flaw is the constant need to "mask as firefox" or "mask as explorer" since many websites refuse to talk to Opera. I wish there was a universal setting for masking. (shrug) I like the built-in Turbo mode for slow dialup or cellphone connections.

Re:SeaMonkey? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482612)

I use SM on a Puppy install as well. It's much quicker than Firefox.

Missed the point (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31481698)

So what? This is about remedying anti-competitive practices. "Our product is better than theirs so they should be locked out of the market" is not a valid defense to an anti-trust lawsuit.

Re:Missed the point (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482628)

Except in this case, "locked out of the market" == "not promoted by the competition."

Testing? (5, Interesting)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31481784)

From TFA:

we installed each browser on the same Windows 7 computer and tested their speed in the SunSpider benchmark, their memory usage with the Google home page open in a single tab, and their startup times – measured from the moment we clicked the icon to the browser window appearing.

Expectation for any sort of consistency in the testing parameters has been set to zero. But, at least we get to see which browsers are most-liked and offer a nice user experience, right?

Then we asked seven members of the PC Pro team to abandon their favoured browser and switch to one of these alternatives. To say they were delighted to do so would be a lie: there was gnashing of teeth, wailing and screaming pleas for mercy. All these fell on deaf ears. We provide full reviews of each browser in the Reviews section, but for a helpful summary click through to the next page.

OK, expectation of any sort of positive review of any browser has been set to zero.

The only consolation is that the popularity of the top 12 browsers is re-examined every six months.

Which means PCPro will have a steady ad revenue from writing meaningless reviews cobbled from the barest minimum of testing where the browser used by the least whiny of the random-picked team gets top marks just because that person hates change the least.

In fact, maybe a PC Pro browser is exactly what the EU needs

If it's written with the same attention and care to detail as the articles, the first installed instance of it will crash the Internet and bring civilization to a smoking ruin.

Re:Testing? (1)

cts5678 (1383735) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482528)

Sounds like somebody has a bad case of the Mondays...

Re:Testing? (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482820)

I guess I just need a couple more pieces of flair.

lynx (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31481796)

I use lynx you insensitive clod!

Re:lynx (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31482398)

Where's the "telnet %URL% 80" shortcut, you insensitive clods!?

Yuo fxai7 it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31482026)

to the transmission w0r4 that you

The name they know. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31482032)

MS are INTENSIVELY advertising IE8 now on tv in the UK. The only advertising I've even heard of from the others is google chrome billboard ads (so no market penetration round here in the countryside)

users won't read the descriptions, they will just chose the one they've heard of, which is IE8

now if Mozilla threw millions of quid at TV advertising...

Re:The name they know. (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482534)

now if Mozilla threw millions of quid at TV advertising...

It would be messy and constitute animal cruelty.

LoRD? (1)

magus_melchior (262681) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482034)

For some reason, I was reminded of Legend of the Red Dragon [wikipedia.org] when they mentioned:

Essentially Internet Explorer bashed with an ugly stick.

Internet Explorer LOSES 10 CHARM!
Internet Explorer IS NOW KNOWN AS GreenBrowser.

I played that BBS game/MUD in my senior year of high school, though the sysadmin chose to "upgrade" me a few times for some reason.

Re:LoRD? (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482510)

I think it's even worse that I recognized what you were referring to when only seeing

Internet Explorer LOSES 10 CHARM!
Internet Explorer IS NOW KNOWN AS GreenBrowser.

before seeing Legend of the Red Dragon.

What manner of testing is this? (4, Interesting)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482116)

They ran it through one Javascript test (SunSpider), so that’s at least something, I suppose.

Their other “benchmarks” are woefully lacking in the usefulness department. They gave the startup time (in seconds)... I’m much more interested in how quickly pages load. They gave the memory requirement at startup (with Google loaded as the homepage)... I’m much more interested in how much memory it’s consumed after a few hours of browsing.

Not to mention that certain browsers (*cough* IE) take way longer to give you a usable browser than they do to just display the window. That’s just the same trick of showing your desktop while Windows finishes loading; it looks like it accomplished something, but you still can’t click anything yet.

What it is actually (2, Informative)

m0i (192134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482280)

a desktop link to http://www.browserchoice.eu/ [browserchoice.eu]

Re:What it is actually (1)

m0i (192134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482300)

Actually it is C:\WINDOWS\system32\browserchoice.exe /launch which redirects to the above.

Outdated browsing (1)

Cloud K (125581) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482446)

"the other five are only likely to give an internet novice a horribly outdated idea of what web browsing is like."

One of them must be Internet Explorer. :)

Probably version 6. I know it's "dead" but like a JRPG boss, it will keep coming back until we kill the evil mastermind behind it.

Why would there be quality control? (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482590)

MS is simply doing as told and it appears to be bending over backwards to comply with what the EU thinks everyone wants. How is it MS's job to help you choose another browser...they offer the option to pick a different one after that your own your own.

What I do not understand (2, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482718)

Is why they are going after Microsoft exclusively and why only browsers.

Every OS on the planet has a list of software they have bundled with them.
Their is nothing wrong with this, sure I do not like using pretty much everything MS bundles with windows, but I would not want to spend huge amounts of time configuring it during installation and still only be offered the top X of the market share.

Working Perfectly (1)

swinefc (91418) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482744)

I think this setup is working. It is creating real competition. Sure, the seven browsers offered right now are crap, but before MS was forced to offer choices, these browsers would have zero exposure. There was little incentive to try to update any browser that wasn't backed by someone with deep pockets. So, no one tried. Most of these are simple pet projects. Now, developers might be interested. Investors have a way to inexpensively get software in front of millions of users. These choices will only get better. The barrier to entry has been lowered. Microsoft has been forced to compete with the little guy. Right now, the little guy is loosing, but these seven have nowhere to go, but up.

Score one for the EU. They had the balls to make change instead of just fining M$ millions of their billions.

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