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Microsoft's Ballot Screen is a Farce, Decoy

Summary: Microsoft uses its Web browser to promote its own Web services while pretending to offer Web browsers in addition to its own

THERE is a lot of coverage this week about the Web browsers ballot screen which Mozilla employees like Asa are covering in their blogs, whereas Microsoft employees are pushing as 'news' -- making it their own biased 'coverage' -- into R&D Magazine (there is a lot of Microsoft-written material there). This is yet another example of Microsoft's control of the media (there are more examples coming later). As mentioned before, right after SJVN had brought this up, people are missing the more important news and instead covering irrelevant subjects [1, 2, 3]. IE8 is reducing choice even in the search bar. As a reader of ours explained it yesterday:



I'm sure you have covered this topic, but I haven't read about it on Boycott Novell yet. I use Windows only rarely for 2 things: 1) as a VMWare ESX client, 2) if I need to experiment with Outlook. The administrator of the Windows instance which I use upgraded to Server 2008 R2, so I decided to give it a try. I can now share my experience with trying to make Google the default search engine on IE8. As previewed, Microsoft does indeed make it difficult to add or change the default search engine. It's necessary to navigate a menu, go to a Web page on "microsoft.com" and click the right links there. The first time I tried it, I got a security pop-up which said that "download.microsoft.com" is not a "trusted" site. My change didn't take effect. I tried again after adding "download.microsoft.com" as a "trusted" site and, while I didn't see any more security popups, Bing remained as the default search engine. Finally, I went to Google manually, searched on "make Google default search engine IE8" and saw a Google discussion group: http://www.google.com/support/forum/p... as the first result. The first suggestion I saw outlined the steps which I took but which didn't work. I tried the second suggest, which was to go to a different page which purported to do the same thing, except for IE7. That worked for me the first time I tried it. All in all, this process is a very clumsy one which is far more difficult than it should be.


This is another example of Microsoft playing dirty. Will the European Commission pay attention to it? Almost nobody is discussing it. _______ [1] Microsoft’s About To Lose More Web Browser Users

This is in compliance with a December European Commission antitrust agreement that stops it from pushing its own Internet Explorer exclusively, and is likely to mean a market-share hike for Google’s Chrome, Firefox and Opera, whose complaint to the EC kicked off its year-long competition inquiry.


[2] Microsoft Browser Poll could be heaven for hackers

Hackers find a way to get into every corner of the internet and Microsoft’s antitrust-busting ‘Browser Poll’, due to launch in Europe next week, could be no different.


[3] EU Browser Ballot: Which Would You Choose? -- A Poll

After years of legal squabbling between Microsoft and the European Commission, Redmond will soon make it easier for Internet Explorer users in Europe to switch Web browsers. Starting next week, Microsoft will offer a "Web browser choice screen" to Windows users in Europe who have IE as their default browser.


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