Microsoft’s revised plan for a “browser ballot” to allow Windows users to choose which application they’d like to use when browsing the web, rather than simply bundling Internet Explorer, is close to being approved by the European Commission.
According to The Register, Microsoft’s latest changes to the browser ballot screen have been well received – so well, in fact, that it seems the company is soon to receive approval from the European Commission, meaning that they’re fast approaching the browser ballot we’ll actually see in the real world. Of course, not everyone has been best pleased by the manner in which Microsoft’s browser ballot option handles their browsers, with Opera and Mozilla chief among the dissenters.
Mozilla’s rant does come from Mozilla’s staff writing to their personal blogs in a “don’t represent the company” kind of way, but the complaint is still quite a hard one to refuse. Apparently, the browser ballot option must feature the top five web browsers at any given time, but the gang at Firefox felt that Microsoft had deliberately given Internet Explorer a position that new users were more likely to choose from. The complaint from Opera was relatively similar.
Equally worrying for both Mozilla and Opera is the fact that the two are among the smaller names competing for users’ browser space. They are, effectively, up against Microsoft, Google and Apple, some very well recognised brands indeed. Moreover, the fact that Microsoft’s product is called “Internet Explorer” could well help it grab the not-so-technically-literate crowd in fairly short order.
For now, we’ll have to wait and see on just how the ballot screen turns out, if indeed it is approved, but it’s nice to see some democratisation of the whole browser choice for Windows users.