Internet you still have a choice

Internet you still have a choice
Friday 19 Dec 2014 [12:33]
Your computer screen  initially started with a choice of Safari, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera. But after five years Microsoft has ended its deal to offer new users a choice on how they browse the web.

Called the browser ballot, it gave non-Microsoft browsers as much prominence on Windows as Internet Explorer. The requirement was drawn up in 2009 after the European Commission found Microsoft had exploited its dominant position in the operating system market to push its own IE browser.

The European browser landscape has changed since 2009. Around 70% of people used IE in 2009 but its market share has since declined. Estimates from browser analysis companies suggest that IE is now only used by between 20 and 30% of all people going online via a desktop. Google chrome has become the most popular with 50% share and about 20% of people use Firefox. Opera Software, which filed the initial antitrust complaint against Internet Explorer's dominance, has seen its market share decline from about 4.5 percent in December 2009 to 2.6 percent this month.
The European Commission said giving people a choice of browser had proved successful and that in its first eight months 84 million browsers were downloaded via the choice screen.  Microsoft was threatened with heavy fines if it did not put in place the proper procedures and keep the ballot maintained. In March 2013 it was hit with a £441m fine because it failed to include the ballot screen on Windows 7 Service Pack 1 for 14 months, which led to a 63 percent decrease in Firefox downloads during the nearly 15 months that Microsoft failed to show the screen to SP1 users, costing the company about 9 million downloads.

The browser choice system was agreed on 16 December, 2009 and was first seen on copies of Windows in March 2010.
News about the ending of the ballot was posted from a service update Microsoft posted to its support site. In that note it gave advice to system administrators about how to turn off the ballot screen.

How this will affect which browsers people download is yet to be seen. But if the trend continues the way of recent years Google Chrome could become the most downloaded browser available.
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Wed 12 Dec 2018 11:04:31