Tag: browser choice screen

Don’t forget that the Browser Choice Screen is your one-stop Web browser port-of-call

Previous Coverage – HomeNetworking01.info

Understanding The Browser Choice Screen (EN, FR)

Web site

Browser Choice Screen – http://browserchoice.eu

My Comments

Previously, I have covered the Browser Choice Screen, which was par of Microsoft’s anti-trust settlement with the European Commission concerning Internet Explorer. This was to be for consumer and small-business Windows setups in the European Union where people were to be offered a choice of Web browser for their operating environment.

But I still see this menu Web page as a “one-stop” port-of-call for people anywhere in the world who want to install new Web browsers or repair a damaged Web-browser installation. This resource came in handy when I was repairing a houseguest’s computer that was damaged by a “system-repair” Trojan Horse. Here, I could know where to go to collect the installation files for the Firefox Web browser that I was to repair so I can restore their Web environment.

If you are creating a system-repair toolkit on a USB memory key, you may visit this resource to download installation packages for the Web browsers to that memory key. Or you can create a shortcut file to this site and store it on the memory key b

The Browser Choice Screen – we are still not happy

 Les éditeurs de navigateurs se mobilisent contre Microsoft – DegroupNews.com (France – French language)

My comments on this situation

There is still some disquiet in the European Union regarding the Browser Choice Screen that Microsoft launched in that market on 1 March 2010 to satisfy the European Commission’s anti-trust issue concerning their delivery of Internet Explorer 8 as the standard browser for the Windows platform.

The main issue was that the only browsers that were immediately visible to the user were the “top 5” desktop browsers – Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Opera. The user had to “pan” the menu rightwards to see the other browsers like Maxthon, GreenBrowser, K-Meleon and Flock. This had annoyed the developers of these alternative browsers, some of which were “super-browsers” built on either the Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer codebases and were endowed with extra features.

These browser developers want the European Commission to mandate an easily-identifiable visual cue as part of the Browser Choice Screen user-interface to indicate more browsers available. This is even though there is a scroll-bar of variable width under the browser list that can be dragged left and right to reveal the other browsers.

Personally, I would also look into the idea of an alternative user-interface layout in the form of a 6 x 2 grid for the browser-selection part rather than the current “ribbon” menu. This can cater for more browsers to be shown to  the user, but the downside would be that it requires more screen real-estate which limits its utility on smaller screens like netbooks. It may also make the user-interface more cluttered and intimidating.

It is certainly a situation that reminds me of many council planning-permission fights that I have read about in various local newspapers whenever one of the big American fast-food chains like KFC or McDonalds wants to set up shop in a neighbourhood. A very constant argument that I read of in these reports is that the fast-food chain’s logo and colour scheme stands out like a sore thumb against all the other small cafés that had existed previously in that area. The alternative browser developers like Maxthon see themselves as the small café who is put out of business by the “big boys” (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer & co) who are seen in a similar light to McDonalds, KFC & co.

Understanding the Browser-Choice Screen – Updated

News articles

Microsoft offers web browser choice to IE users | BBC Technology (UK)

Microsoft about to offer Windows users a browser choice screen | The Guardian Technology Blog (UK)

La concurrence entre navigateurs web relancée en Europe | DegroupNews (France – French language)

From the horse’s mouth

The Browser Choice Screen for Europe: What to Expect, When to Expect It | Microsoft On The Issues (Microsoft)

UPDATE: The Browser Choice Screen for Europe – Microsoft On The Issues (Microsoft)

European Union press release about the Browser Choice screen

Browser Choice Screen shortcut (available anywhere in the world)


Advocacy site

OpenToChoice.org (Mozilla)

My comments and further information

If you run a version of Windows XP, Vista or 7 that you bought in Europe and your default browser is Internet Explorer 8, you may be required to complete a “browser-selection” ballot screen, known as the Browser Choice screen, to determine which browser your computer should run as its default browser. It may not happen if you ran another browser as a default browser, then came back to Internet Explorer 8. It also will happen to European migrants who had brought out their Windows computers with them.

You will have to work through a “wizard” which has an introduction screen then the list of browsers presented in a random order. Once you choose that browser, it will be determined as your default Web-browsing tool every time you go to a Web page. If the browser isn’t installed on your system, the software will be downloaded from the developer’s site and installed in to your system. browser_choice_1_clip_image002_136F9F12

If you run Windows 7, the Internet Explorer “e” logo will disappear from the Taskbar, but you can still find it in your Start Menu. Then, you will be able to reattach it to your Taskbar by right-clicking on the program in the Start Menu and selecting “Pin to Taskbar”.

The Browser Choice screen will subsequently become available as another method of changing default browsers, alongside the options available when you install, update or run a Web browser.

There are some issues you may run into if you move from Internet Explorer 8 to another browser. One is that you won’t have your RSS feeds held in the Common Feed List which works as part of Windows Vista and 7. This may affect the addition of new feeds to programs that make use of the Common Feed List as their RSS data store. Similarly, Windows 7 users won’t benefit from having the tabs viewable in Aero Peek’s multi-window preview. This issue may be resolved with versions of the alternative browsers being built to work tightly with the host operating system’s features, which can be achieved with the Windows application programming interface information being made available by Microsoft.

At the moment, there isn’t a program that adds installed browsers to the shortcut menu when you right-click on a Web link. Such a program would benefit Web developers and bloggers who want to test a page under different browsers or people who want to “spread the Web-viewing load” amongst different clients.

Author recommendations (in no particular order)

I recommend any of these browsers because users don’t have to relearn the user interface if they switch between any of them.

Mozilla Firefox

Internet Explorer