Tag: IE8

Could this e-government initiative be upsetting the applecart in Europe as far as the Browser Choice initiative is concerned?


E-Government-Offensive im Microsoft-Browser | news.ORF.at (Austria – German language)

My comments and brief interpretation

Judging from my basic understanding of the German language together with use of Google’s machine translation, I had “got the gist” of this situation which would be considered hostile to the European Commission’s agenda concerning Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser.

What I was reading here was that the federal government in Austria were placing heavy emphasis on Internet Explorer 8 as part of their “e-government” initiative. This was including a downloadable toolbar add-in amongst obvious page-optimisation for this browser.

Most likely, I would suspect that, like most large organisations, the Austrian government uses Internet Explorer 8 as part of their standard operating environment and they expect that most users in that country may have stuck with IE8 even during the “Browser Choice Screen” switchover. One could say that this government could get away with this practice because many public and private organisations supply iPhone client apps to make their “front-end” useable on an iPhone which may be platform-specific.

What I would like to see with this is that if the government sites become less useful or unable to fulfil their function because of the preference for a particular browser is concerned, then the sites should be organised to at least fulfil their function no matter the desktop-computer user agent.

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



Now using Internet Explorer 8

Over the past month, I have been running Internet Explorer 8 RC1, but now am running the officially-released version of this browser. The official version has been “tightened” so it can run more smoothly. As well, it has the newer functions like an easy-to-use address bar which highlights the domain you are working in and when you key in a URL, it gives you a selection of where you have been for that URL with the location most visited at the top. Easy as!

There isn’t much of a learning curve for IE7 users and people who have used “tabbed” browsers like Firefox can easily get the hang of it here. But the tabbing has improved with colour-coded grouping if you right-click on a hyperlink and select “Open in new tab”. This is similar if you use any of the new “accelerators” which are task-specific options available at the right-click of the mouse for searching, defining, translating and other tasks.
I would say it is certainly a definite improvement for the Internet Explorer family and one of the best “operating-system native” desktop browsers around. I also think why should the US Department of Justice and the European Union target Microsoft’s inclusion of Internet Explorer with Windows while other proprietary operating-system vendors like Apple supply browsers like Safari with their operating systems or device builders integrate browser function based on their own code in to their device’s firmware. Is this because Microsoft is seen in the same context as McDonalds and Starbucks – the “arch-enemy of world peace”?