European Union Kicks IE’s Butt

I never saw this day coming, but now that it did, I am very impressed.

The European Union, believing that “not knowing you have a choice is no choice at all“, has made Microsoft integrate a Browser Choice window in their operating system for both new users and existing Windows PC users. This screen will provide users with a chance “to make an active choice in the source of the software that acts on your behalf to broker your online experiences, and meet your own unique needs and interests.”

This decision ends a long-running dispute over the US software giant’s dominant market position. This “browser choice screen” will present users with a list of leading browsers — including Mozilla’s Firefox, Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome — presented in a random order. The screen will be offered as an automatic download for XP, Vista, and Windows 7.

The browser choice menu

The browser choice menu

The screen gives the user three options:

  1. To simply “Install” any of the leading browsers listed.
  2. To “Learn More” information about any of these browsers.
  3. To “Select Later” – possibly inducing an endless loop for users who will always “Select later”, like I do with my updates.

You can read more about this on the European Firefox Community blog.

Victory for Better Softwares?

I am very happy to read about this news because come on, IE is probably the worst browser out there, and people use it most due to convenience rather than anything else. This decision from the EU will educate users and further give them the chance to browse the Internet with a much better tool.

The market percentages for browsers in February 2010, according to Net Applications analytics run as follows:

  • Chrome: 5.61%, up 0.39% from January
  • IE: 61.58%, down 0.54%
  • Firefox: 24.23%, down 0.2%
  • Safari: 4.45%, down 0.08%
  • Opera: 2.35%, down 0.03%

Meanwhile, on a parting joke, check out this hilarious image that I randomly found on Flickr (click to expand):

CSS on IE6

CSS on IE6

What browser do you use? Do you think this was a good decision from the EU or are novice PC users better off with less choices?

Interested in browser wars? You might like this post on Thoughtpick: What is Google Chrome?

Comments and Reactions

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ Beiruta

    I just love the random image you chose :) Good one!

    Of course I use Firefox! I would never ever change it!

    And I think it is only fair that novice PC users get introduced to all that is out there without being biased to one or another from the beginning :)

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com M.Bamieh

    it took upwards of 10 years to reach this decision ? will Mac and linux be forced to do the same ? designing for IE 6 is like plucking your eyebrows!

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ Roba

    Haha, it's very a funny image yeah? I cracked up when I saw it! :D

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ Roba

    M, it's worse than that man! :D
    I don't think they'll do that with Safari though because it only has 4% marketshare. You can't count that monopolizing :)
    Plus, Mac users are smarter ;)

  • Fredrick1010

    The “(click to expand)” looks like “dick to expand.”

    lol

  • the_leif

    The answer to this isn't as simple as it may seem. There's two questions to ask here.

    1) Is this good for new users and does it allow the computer illiterate easier access to more capable browsers?

    Well the answer to this is yes! And that's excellent that it's going to be easier for these people to KNOW they have this option!

    Question 2…
    Is it fair to force Microsoft to build a select few companies' browsers into their operating system?

    Unfortunately I fear the answer to that may be no. I don't think it is. So in my opinion I see this as being positive so far as new user experience is concerned… but so far as Microsoft (and anyone's) rights go? No. It sets a really unsavory precedent. I don't think it's fair at all.

  • http://Siriuscoffee.com/ Brad

    Um, if you don't like Microsoft, then don't buy their freeking OS! If you do buy it, then why whine when it has Microsoft software in it? Who is the Government to tell Microsoft what software to enable with their own proprietary OS? (It'd be like the government telling you how to decorate your home because you might have a visitor who doesn't like your taste in paint and furniture!)

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ Roba

    You're right of course, especially since other softwares like FF that don't crash every three minutes will probably make learning a better experiences for n00bs. I also agree that it isn't that fair.. it's like asking Mercedes to give their clients the option to use BMW tires. But the difference is… IE is crappy ass software.

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ Roba

    Brad, other options are much more expensive, and Linux isn't that simple for n00bs, so I don't think that's a very good argument. But you're right of course, it's not that fair. it's like asking Mercedes to give their clients the option to use BMW tires.

  • http://ianemv.blogspot.com/ ianemv

    I love the image too..very accurate description ;) this is worth sharing to my fellow theme/web designer

  • Prashant

    Thanks for info. Very interesting.

  • http://www.espreson.com/ espreson

    I kicked off IE6 years back. I don't even bother to code separate for this deadly browser anymore. I've well documented death kiss of IE6 on “5 Amazing resources on Bring Down IE6 movement”.

  • http://informationology.wordpress.com/ information

    I really don't like using IE.. it messes up CSS. I currently using firefox but my friends says chrome is a lot better.

  • veljo

    Great post! I really like your example of CSS on IE6! It's true:D.

  • http://www.zachtheubergeek.com/browser-wars-opera-vs-chrome-vs-mr-potato-head Browser Wars: Opera Vs. Chrome Vs… Mr. Potato Head? | Zach The Uber Geek

    [...] European Union Kicks IE’s Butt (thoughtpick.com) Share/Bookmark var a2a_config = a2a_config || {}; a2a_config.linkname="Browser Wars: Opera Vs. Chrome Vs… Mr. Potato Head?"; a2a_config.linkurl="http://www.zachtheubergeek.com/browser-wars-opera-vs-chrome-vs-mr-potato-head"; a2a_config.onclick=1; [...]

  • http://www.filecabinetkey.net/chicago-file-cabinet-keys Chicago File Cabinet Keys

    I'll post the same information to my blog, thanks for ideas and great article.

  • carpet cleaning sydney

    The European Union, believing that “not knowing you have a choice is no choice at all”, has made Microsoft integrate a Browser Choice window in their operating system for both new users and existing Windows PC users.

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