John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

No, the Microsoft Browser Ballot Will Not Include an “I’m Feeling Lucky” Option

Microsoft will begin rolling out its “No Browser Left Behind” scheme in Europe next week, offering Windows users a choice of Web browsers, as stipulated by its antitrust settlement with the European Commission.

And so, beginning on Feb. 22, Windows users in the U.K., France and Belgium will be presented with a ballot screen offering them an opportunity to swap out Internet Explorer for one of 11 other browsers from rivals like Mozilla, Apple (AAPL), Opera and Google (GOOG).

“The browser choice screen software update will be offered as an automatic download through Windows Update for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7,” Microsoft (MSFT) Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Dave Heiner explained in a blog post announcing the move. “The software update will be installed automatically, or will prompt you to download or install it, depending on which operating system you are running and your settings for Windows Update.”

Once that’s done, users will be shown a ballot screen offering the option of installing one of the listed browsers, learning more about them or postponing the browser choice to a later time. Simple enough–assuming that automatic updates is enabled and that they actually care about browser choice.

If that’s the case, many probably dumped IE for an alternative long ago, right?

Anyway, as I said, a limited ballot screen rollout begins next week with full-scale deployment across the rest of Europe a week later, potentially reaching some 170 million PCs. It will be interesting to see how many of them end up switching to a new default browser.

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