Do you use Windows and Internet Explorer as the default browser? Then it’s time to make a choice.
In March Microsoft releases an update that allows the user to select the browser used as default on the computer. The update is now being tested internally at Microsoft. The so-called browser choice is a result of negotiations between Microsoft and the European Commission.
The negotiaons led to a legally binding agreement which, among other things, forces Microsoft to allow all European users of Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, with IE as default browser, to choose the default browser. Microsoft will also make it possible to turn off and IE, witch currently is not possible. According to the Commission over 100 million users in Europe will be affected by this change.
This update contains a new browser window in which the 12 most popular web browsers, including Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Opera, are presented in random order comlete with information from the respective developers. The user can then choose to install one or more browsers.
The contents of the browser selection and will be updated every six months. You can see what this looks like already on www.browserchoice.eu.
The update will be automatically installed via Windows Update or the user is encouraged to download and install it, depending on what operating system you use. Microsoft says that those who do not have automatic updates enabled can get the selection by checking for new updates on Windows Update. Companies should let their IT department take care of the browser selection.
In about six months Microsoft will report usage statistics from the new update to the EU Commission. The company has also agreed to modify the browser selection on their request, depending on the outcome.