EU Grows Skeptical of Browser Ballot

Pulkit Chandna

In July, the European Commission and Microsoft finally reached some common ground in their protracted dispute over the bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows, when Microsoft finally assented to the Commission’s favorite solution: a browser ballot. But the European Commission wants to make sure that the proposed browser ballot doesn’t eventually turn out be a well thought out artifice.

Soon after receiving Microsoft’s assent, the Commission secretly sent out a questionnaire about the proposed ballot screen to browser developers and PC makers . The Wall Street Journal has managed to get its hand on the results of that questionnaire.

The European Committee for Interoperable Systems, a non-profit association, which includes Norwegian browser maker Opera among its ranks, isn’t quite convinced by the idea of a ballot screen and the manner in which Microsoft has proposed to implement it. ECIS believes that the entire process of choosing a different browser contains “threatening and confusing warnings and questions.”

"Microsoft has cunningly found a way to accept the commission's suggestion of a ballot screen, but to do so in a way that will be entirely ineffective," ECIS's lawyer, Thomas Vinje, told the WSJ. Ironically, Microsoft plans to offer the ballot screen from within Internet Explorer. Though not opposed to the idea, Mozilla wants it to be modified.

Image Credit: ZDNet

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