You thought the whole browser ballot thing in Windows was behind us, right? That everybody was finally happy, so that we could continue doing what an overwhelming number of people have already done without a ballot screen – that is, install non-IE browsers? Not exactly. Opera, Mozilla, and Google still had complaints, which Microsoft addressed, making everybody happy.
So, we’re looking at yet another round of changes to the proposed ballot screen, because once again Opera, Mozilla, and Google weren’t satisfied. The biggest issue these three browser makers had with Microsoft’s proposal was that by listing browsers alphabetically by vendor, Apple’s Safari had an unfair advantage.
Microsoft has resolved this by now proposing to generate the list of browsers randomly, so that none of the browsers has an unfair advantage. On top of that, under pressure from the three browser makers, Microsoft has agreed to remove the Internet Explorer logo from the ballot screen. It was said that the recognisability of the IE logo would give an unfair advantage to Internet Explorer.
The amended proposal will now make its way to the full European Commission, and with a bit of luck, it can be passed before the holiday break, meaning the browser ballot should start
nagging popping up somewhere early next year.
None of the companies involved was available for comment, so we don’t know if this is really the end of it all.
They might get it all sorted by the time Windows 8 is released.
It is in Microsoft’s interest to prevarocate, delay and dither so that more Windows 7 is bought with only IE8 thus extending their browser lockin.
The EU needs to put their foot down and stop any more Windows 7 sales unless the choice is included. But I don’t have much hope of this happening any time soon.