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04.06.10

Microsoft is Still Cheating in Browser Ballot — Claim

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Windows at 7:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Butterfly ballot

Summary: Microsoft has found ‘creative’ ways of preventing people from actually choosing a Web browser other than Internet Explorer, according to Håkon Wium Lie from Opera Software (the infamous butterfly ballot is shown above)

THE BROWSER BALLOT has changed since it was first introduced because Microsoft cheated or had convenient (self-serving) bugs in it [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. There are still problems being reported and Opera accuses Microsoft of blocking the ballot with Internet Explorer, according to the following source:

Opera Software — makers of the popular Opera browser — is once again causing some trouble for Microsoft. The Norwegian-based company told The Register that the browser-ballot screen introduced by Microsoft is covered almost completely with an Internet Explorer configuration wizard [pictured], thereby lowering the chances that people will pick up a browser other than Internet Explorer. “When you’ve been through the 10 screens of IE settings, you are limited with what you can be bothered doing next,” said Opera Software Chief Technology Officer Håkon Wium Lie. Microsoft, on the other hand, believes such situation could never really take place outside a simulation laboratory.

Microsoft’s friend Gavin Clarke wrote about this too.

Opera Software has told The Reg that it has informed the European Union of a possible problem with a fix that was designed to make Internet Explorer in Windows comply with EU antitrust law. Opera has also informed Microsoft.

Opera said the browser-ballot screen Microsoft introduced to Windows so users could pick a browser rather than take Internet Explorer by default is being almost completely hidden by a set of 10 IE configuration screens. Opera illustrated the problem at The Reg’s San-Francisco, California, offices with a set of screen shots taken from a Thinkpad X31 running Windows XP SP2.

In any event, based on several Indian sources [1, 2], Internet Explorer is losing market share in India where there is not even such a ballot.

According to research firm Statcounter, Internet Explorer has shed its market share by as much as 20 percent in the past two years in India. This, even though things like the browser ballot is yet to arrive here. The steady decrease in the usage of Internet Explorer is attributed to the perception that it offers comparatively lower security protection compared to other browsers and due to the huge publicity any Internet Explorer loopholes related story were out in the media.

It is the same elsewhere [1, 2].

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