EU Mandated Microsoft Windows 7 Ballot Screen gets a Preview

February 19, 2010, By Atul Roach

Flashback: How did Microsoft ensure that it was not violating the EU antitrust laws in reference to the browsers? The answer lies atop in the Windows 7 Ballot Screen mandated by the EU, something Microsoft had to do to get Windows 7 going in Europe. EU believed that a user needed to know that he had options just in case the Internet Explorer wasn’t something he preferred and the solution wasn’t a browser d-load. Instead, Microsoft had to take the onus to develop a screen that informed about the relevant options (now dubbed the ballot screen).

The unusual screen will start rolling out next week as Users in the UK, Belgium and France will get to try it first while a phased rollout will begin across Europe on March 1.

The above snapshot is from a Microsoft posting which interestingly sets IE almost at the end. All these browsers get placed randomly and the screen also warns the user that they have an important choice to make by choosing their preferred browser.

I fail to understand why EU didn’t realize that people always use a browser of their choice and such a screen format will be ignored as a formality with no conclusive results coming through.

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