EU hints at large fines for Microsoft over browser ballot

Microsoft admitted in July that a number of Windows-based PCs did not display a required web browser download menu in Europe, in violation of a previous settlement with the European Union. This week, the EU's competition commissioner strongly hinted that the EU could have some large fines for Microsoft.

The AFP news service (via Phys.org) reports that the competition commissioner, Joaquin Almunia, stated:

The fault is there, it has been there for more than a year and it is clear that we need to react. It is not only the distortion of competition during this period which concerns us; it is very serious, from my point of view, that the remedies imposed on Microsoft have not been applied.

The story claims that the EU could impose fines against Microsoft that are up to 10 percent of its total annual turnover.

The settlement between the EU and Microsoft was first signed back in 2009 and was supposed to give European users of Windows a menu, such as the one above, that gives them a number of choices for browser downloads. However, Microsoft admitted in July that 28 million Windows 7 Service Pack 1 PCs did not display the required web browser menu for over a year.

Microsoft said that a software glitch was to blame and has since sent out an update to the affected Windows 7 PCs to restore the menu. It has also said it will continue to show the menu screen beyond the previously agreed to time period.

Source: Phys.org/AFP | Image via Microsoft

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Nokia continues to give hints about Windows 8 tablet

Next Story

Microsoft defends data center energy practices

81 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

It doesn't matter if the ruling was right or not, Microsoft had to comply with the law, they didn't so they get fined, it is pretty straight forward and fair.

I don't mind if I'm not given the option to be perfectly honest. I use Chrome as my primary/only browser and am not affected if Microsoft doesn't offer this ballot.

Your whats known as the 'smart people of the world'

The EU is in support of the 'idiots of the world cuz we don't know how to download something else'

peacemf said,
how come macs dont have to have this ballot, or even chrome pc's or android tablets or iphones etc etc

how's come every pc isn't required at first boot to give you a ballot screen that says "Do you want to use Windows, BSD, Linux (list all distros), Unix (list all), Mac OSX (yes even non-apple computers should say this then when clicked give a link to Apple.com to but another but apple built computer), list all variants of DOS just incase, android, WebOS... only way to be fair right?

I really missed that grate looking browser choice windows when i installed windows 8 shame on microsoft they should pay up, its not like browser choice is annoying or anything right?

How about an Underwear ballot, EU?

I need a screen on my wardrobe to let me choose another brands of underwear! I wouldn't know there are other brands of underwear otherwise!

Sounds like mistakes on both sides. Yeah, Microsoft didn't notice for a year but neither did the EU. You'd think there would be someone at the EU that actually checks to make sure companies follow up on their ruling. Instead they waited a whole year before saying a beep. And yeah, Microsoft should of noticed too but two wrongs don't make a right. I understand MS being fined but there's talk about fining them 7 freakin' billion. Over a browser ballot? RIDICULOUS!

They should ship the OS with a brick that reads "If you cannot download your own browser choice apply this liberally about your cranium."

ENOUGH ALREADY!
Haven't you scavenging vultures got someone else's bank account you can line your pockets with!?

I realise that when the rules are broken there are penalties but who polices your behaviour and fines you? The last decade was widely recognised as having turned into an MS vendetta by the head of the EU regulatory body at the time. The new head was meant to be a bit more neutral but obviously the behaviour is institutionalised.

So keep taking billions from companies until they are struggle to survive. What's another 7billion anyway!?

Do the crime, pay the fine. Sorry but you can't do whatever you want in the EU like you do in the US. We actually have regulators that can't simply be bought off with political lobbying.

What I dislike is Microsoft's attitude to the rule of law:

Exhibit A. Fined for failing to open up its protocols.
B. Fined for overestimating data centre power needs. Then proceeded to waste huge amounts of power so as not to incur fines.
C. Now this.

Microsoft is the most greedy, corrupt, and self-serving company I have ever known, and all at the expense of others. It's about time they got a lesson in humility.

Edited by simplezz, Sep 25 2012, 3:12pm :

simplezz said,
Microsoft is the most greedy, corrupt, and self-serving company I have ever known, and all at the expense of others. It's about time they got a lesson in humility.

Then you don't know much about what's going on in our world...

simplezz said,
Do the crime, pay the fine. Sorry but you can't do whatever you want in the EU like you do in the US. We actually have regulators that can't simply be bought off with political lobbying.

What I dislike is Microsoft's attitude to the rule of law:

Exhibit A. Fined for failing to open up its protocols.
B. Fined for overestimating data centre power needs. Then proceeded to waste huge amounts of power so as not to incur fines.
C. Now this.

Microsoft is the most greedy, corrupt, and self-serving company I have ever known, and all at the expense of others. It's about time they got a lesson in humility.


Well you're just an adorable little lost cause, now, aren't you.

Monsanto does way worse and lot less is done about their crap...


simplezz said,
Do the crime, pay the fine. Sorry but you can't do whatever you want in the EU like you do in the US. We actually have regulators that can't simply be bought off with political lobbying.

What I dislike is Microsoft's attitude to the rule of law:

Exhibit A. Fined for failing to open up its protocols.
B. Fined for overestimating data centre power needs. Then proceeded to waste huge amounts of power so as not to incur fines.
C. Now this.

Microsoft is the most greedy, corrupt, and self-serving company I have ever known, and all at the expense of others. It's about time they got a lesson in humility.


What's annoying is that this unpins IE from the taskbar in Windows 8, and there's no easy obvious way to pin it back. So for most people, this is effectively going to remove desktop IE access for them in W8, even if they don't want to use another desktop browser.

~Johnny said,
What's annoying is that this unpins IE from the taskbar in Windows 8, and there's no easy obvious way to pin it back. So for most people, this is effectively going to remove desktop IE access for them in W8, even if they don't want to use another desktop browser.

ugh yes it's easy to do...

just

go the the start screen
swipe over
swipe go to search
enter internet
swipe down the list
realize you are searching the wrong category
switchto all programs and files
search again
find Iexplorer.exe
get its options menu
find path of file
go back to desktop
WinKey + R
enter path
go to folder and find IExplorer.exe
right click
get pin to taskbar

gawd, That's one of the easiest things to do...if you can't figure that out just stick to windows 7 sheesh! </s>

neufuse said,

ugh yes it's easy to do...

just

go the the start screen
swipe over
swipe go to search
enter internet
swipe down the list
realize you are searching the wrong category
switchto all programs and files
search again
find Iexplorer.exe
get its options menu
find path of file
go back to desktop
WinKey + R
enter path
go to folder and find IExplorer.exe
right click
get pin to taskbar

gawd, That's one of the easiest things to do...if you can't figure that out just stick to windows 7 sheesh! </s>

Or, just Winkey + R ---> type iexplore.exe and hit enter.

Then right click the 'Internet Explorer' in the taskbar and click 'Pin to taskbar'.

If any stupid n00b can't do this, or doesn't know how to do this, they shouldn't be using Windows in the first place.

javagreen said,

If any stupid n00b can't do this, or doesn't know how to do this, they shouldn't be using Windows in the first place.

Uh, really? I'd wager more than 90% of people using computers don't know how to do that, or wouldn't even think of doing that.

~Johnny said,
Uh, really? I'd wager more than 90% of people using computers don't know how to do that, or wouldn't even think of doing that.

It might not be blatantly obvious but I'd like to think people are a little smarter than that and took the time to learn the basic usage of their system, "pin to taskbar" in a running application's context menu isn't a new feature in Win8. (Can you still do it from the start screen in 8? Can in previous versions, I'm mobile so can't check.)

Max Norris said,

It might not be blatantly obvious but I'd like to think people are a little smarter than that and took the time to learn the basic usage of their system, "pin to taskbar" in a running application's context menu isn't a new feature in Win8. (Can you still do it from the start screen in 8? Can in previous versions, I'm mobile so can't check.)

You can't do that in the case of IE in Windows 8 - the Metro version is pinned to the start screen (and you can't pin to taskbar anyway), and the desktop version doesn't show up even if you search for internet explorer. And they won't be able to pin it whilst running it, because the browser ballot screen runs at start up - so you're not able to launch the application in the first place before it does away with it. It's just a really, really dumb solution.

javagreen said,

Or, just Winkey + R ---> type iexplore.exe and hit enter.

Then right click the 'Internet Explorer' in the taskbar and click 'Pin to taskbar'.

If any stupid n00b can't do this, or doesn't know how to do this, they shouldn't be using Windows in the first place.


Um, a far more realistic scenario would be:

1. Get to the Start screen in any number of really super easy ways
2. Launch Metro IE, either from an icon or by typing the first few letters of "Internet" and jabbing Enter.
3. Click tools > View on the desktop
4. Pin

This is the by-design most 'difficult' way to do it. There are, of course, simpler ways to do it in even fewer steps (Win-R, iexplore [.exe is not necessary], pin), but my point is that, anyone who believes this would take more than four steps is *intentionally* exaggerating to prove a point they wrongly believe.

Joshie said,

Um, a far more realistic scenario would be:

1. Get to the Start screen in any number of really super easy ways
2. Launch Metro IE, either from an icon or by typing the first few letters of "Internet" and jabbing Enter.
3. Click tools > View on the desktop
4. Pin

This is the by-design most 'difficult' way to do it. There are, of course, simpler ways to do it in even fewer steps (Win-R, iexplore [.exe is not necessary], pin), but my point is that, anyone who believes this would take more than four steps is *intentionally* exaggerating to prove a point they wrongly believe.

my whole step list above was a sarcastic joke, anyone who read into that needs to rethink what I wrote *lol* (not pointed at you, but anyone)

I'm using the en-US ISO installation of Win8, windows update downloaded it the 22nd of September. Its installed, rebooted and i've opened IE, yet no balloon

That's fine and all, but lets start giving Apple and Google equal treatment when they pull the same crap... and none of this "but they aren't monoploies" bs... Apple is the worlds most valuable company, they hold a LOT of influence, Google controls most of the internet ad's now... they hold a huge amount of influence... yet we are still going after MS who doesn't even have a internet browser monoploy anymore still

This!
The Desktop is not the only machine of information anymore. The Phone and Tablet have become just as a major part of our lives to get information and influence.
Apple and Google freely roam around, buying out companies, even abusing IP of other companies. In many sneaky ways abuse their power in the markets they dominate to lock in users to their products.

IMHO Microsoft has NEVER at any point of time in its history, been as big of a threat to us consumers like Google is.
But Microsoft is bad. Netscape/Mozilla, Opera and Suns campaign against Microsoft in the 90s surely payed off and still is in effect today.
And Google is good, even their slogan says so!

Altho I find around me, that more and more people are seeing this threat to us all... luckely.

Has it been proven that this ballot has given users a choice?

Everyone knows about Google, so the must know about Chrome too. No need for this ballot, at least not anymore.

A340600 said,
Everyone knows about Google, so the must know about Chrome too. No need for this ballot, at least not anymore.

I'm sorry but millions of people don't even know how to change their homepage, let alone their browser. Sure it's common knowledge for people with computer experience but this is targeted at casual and novice computer users.

theyarecomingforyou said,

I'm sorry but millions of people don't even know how to change their homepage, let alone their browser. Sure it's common knowledge for people with computer experience but this is targeted at casual and novice computer users.

Yeah but now if a IE user goes to google.com, there's a banner there about Chrome and once the browser is installed it asks to be made the default browser.

theyarecomingforyou said,

I'm sorry but millions of people don't even know how to change their homepage, let alone their browser. Sure it's common knowledge for people with computer experience but this is targeted at casual and novice computer users.


This is an idiotic defense of the ballot system: that it's for casual or stupid users.

Casual/stupid users don't know how to change their home page! They don't know how to find out about other browsers! So why are we ignoring the logical conclusion to all of this? *They don't know how to tell the difference, either.* Derp.

How can a user who's so horrendously stupid that they think the browser IS the Internet, somehow magically figure out what Chrome and IE do differently? A person this stupid must think the only difference is the design of the toolbar. So what good is a ballot for these moronic lackwits? What good is it without there also being a tutorial--for each and every alternate browser--clearly illustrating in child friendly terms exactly what will change about their experience? A colorful cartoon interpretation explaining the origins of trident, webkit, and gecko would be nice, too.

The ONLY thing the ballot does is complicate the web for casual dumbfart n00bs who now can't simply think of the web as a window to the world, but as a *document platform* with dozens of *document viewers* they have to choose between. Welcome back to the 90s, guys.

Can someone clear this up for me.

I go down the road and buy an Apple MacBook Pro for example. Do I get a ballot for that? saying which browser should I select?

If not, then obviously it should if Microsoft have to?

Apple doesn't own 90% of the market. If OS X still shipped with Internet Explorer, it would probably be another story. Microsoft would then have a near 100% coverage of their browser installed on computers by default.

.Neo said,
Apple doesn't own 90% of the market. If OS X still shipped with Internet Explorer, it would probably be another story. Microsoft would then have a near 100% coverage of their browser installed on computers by default.

So by that theory if I made something that was very popular the government has automatic rights to add and subtract anytime they like. Windows isn't open source technology its privately funded and developed, technically Microsoft could just be like well since you have this rule your gonna be stuck with windows xp forever. Apple is severely anti competitive. Why aren't they getting dinged for forcing users to have to use iTunes to sync and buy content for their phone?

.Neo said,
Apple doesn't own 90% of the market. If OS X still shipped with Internet Explorer, it would probably be another story. Microsoft would then have a near 100% coverage of their browser installed on computers by default.

Apple own the majority of the oa x market, they should be forced to offer windows/Linux and bsd on first boot.

Leopoldo Dante Rodriguez said,
Apple is severely anti competitive. Why aren't they getting dinged for forcing users to have to use iTunes to sync and buy content for their phone?

Apple dont even allow 3rd party browsers to be set as default on iOS. There are not even any *true* 3rd party browsers on iOS. They're all just basically skins as Apple don't allow these browsers to use their own JavaScript engines. Instead they have to use Apples crippled Safari JavaScript engine, which is slower as it's been purposely cripped for 3rd party browsers (or some iOS browsers get around it by having a server deal with the web code and sending a image back to the browser). Meanwhile Apple get to use a faster JavaScript engine with JIT support that ONLY Safari can use. You cant get any more anti-competitive than Apple.

Edited by NoClipMode, Sep 25 2012, 3:27pm :

The Ballot box thing was stupid anyways, people who only know IE will carry on using it until told otherwise. Chrome is still gaining on IE's market share as it is while IE has been on the decline for ages.

Safari is not a real competitor
Opera is a very niche browser, Opera hurt itself in the early days because of the builtin ads (that was the reason that put me off)
Firefox was great for a number of years but lost traction with it stupid long release cycles.
Chrome is gaining traction because Google is constantly pushing on it, it's always being improved and it updates in the background without user interaction which is a huge bonus to users as they don't need to worry about version numbers and if they are using the latest one, because they always are.
IE is self explanatory why it got the way it is.

Tony. said,

Chrome is gaining traction because Google is constantly pushing on it, it's always being improved and it updates in the background without user interaction which is a huge bonus to users as they don't need to worry about version numbers and if they are using the latest one, because they always are.
IE is self explanatory why it got the way it is.

Actually, it has more to do with Chrome being automatically installed when anyone download Adobe Flash Player.

illegaloperation said,

Actually, it has more to do with Chrome being automatically installed when anyone download Adobe Flash Player.

If anything, I want a bigger ballot when I install Adobe Flash. Those sneaky ***** nearly had me install Chrome on my PC.

Tony. said,
Firefox was great for a number of years but lost traction with it stupid long release cycles.
Chrome is gaining traction because Google is constantly pushing on it, it's always being improved and it updates in the background without user interaction which is a huge bonus

Firefox is now updated atleast as much as Chrome, if not faster, and since version 15 it automatically updates in the background with no user interaction. Same as Chrome. But just because a version number increases faster doesn't mean that any company is doing more work on their browser, they just release very small updates quicker. The IE dev team will be working on IE just as much as the FF and Chrome teams are. Chrome hasn't even changed the main UI since the BETA version before it was released years ago and it's looking dated now.

Edited by NoClipMode, Sep 25 2012, 3:38pm :

I live in Europe and all the 4 windows computers in my house got it.

I just downloaded all the alternatives to IE and sea monkey and displayed their shortcuts

in a pretty paten on my desktop. I doubt I will use them ever, however I like some of their

icons.

Xerax said,
What about Apple not allowing Google Maps on their platform and forcing their own Mapping solution?

Do you have an actual reliable source for that?

Xerax said,
What about Apple not allowing Google Maps on their platform and forcing their own Mapping solution?

Don't forget the idevice/itunes buy in as well

Mando said,

yes iOs 6, a reliable enough source?


iOS 6 as a software says absolutely nothing about Apple supposedly "blocking" Google Maps. iOS 6 is a set of apps. What's not included there in the release is not a sign that these apps are automatically "blocked".

No sources so far is claiming that Apple are blocking Google Maps.

The latest news claim that Google hasn't even submitted an app.

Xerax said,
What about Apple not allowing Google Maps on their platform and forcing their own Mapping solution?

What about OS X only shipping with Safari?


From that same article you linked to:

"Update (September 12th): Eric Schmidt went on record saying:“We haven't done anything yet with Google Maps,” Schmidt told reporters in Tokyo today. Apple would “have to approve it. It's their choice,” Schmidt said, declining to say if the Mountain View, California-based company submitted an application to Apple for sale through its App Store."

Shadowzz said,

Seriously? lame ass joke?..
On a GDP of 17,5trillion USD from the EU.

GDP means nothing. Tax revenue is significantly less than GDP.

Ok..so they noticed an issue..fixed it and moved on. Why is the EU still complaining about something that had a negligible effect on the browser market? Are they broke and looking to steal money from a successful US company again?

SharpGreen said,
Ok..so they noticed an issue..fixed it and moved on. Why is the EU still complaining about something that had a negligible effect on the browser market? Are they broke and looking to steal money from a successful US company again?

Because the beaks in the EU clearly are luddites and dont understand how technology actually works.....numbnuts the lot of them.

SharpGreen said,
Ok..so they noticed an issue..fixed it and moved on. Why is the EU still complaining about something that had a negligible effect on the browser market?

It affected 28 million users and persisted for over a year, which is a significant breach of the EU ruling. Companies cannot be allowed to flout the law without repercussion.

Mando said,

Because the beaks in the EU clearly are luddites and dont understand how technology actually works.....numbnuts the lot of them.


Actually, EU is more aware of the Internet and its technology then your friends in the US government.
Our EU actually defends us on the internet, while the US government breaks down the internet.
I do not agree with this bullying vs MS, but in general. I'm happy with the EU being involved with the internet. And in most cases, defend our privacy and well-being on the web.

theyarecomingforyou said,

It affected 28 million users and persisted for over a year, which is a significant breach of the EU ruling. Companies cannot be allowed to flout the law without repercussion.


and how many would have defaulted to IE even given the choice to pick their browser?

Ricardo Dawkins said,

and how many would have defaulted to IE even given the choice to pick their browser?

How about most
The blue E is a synonym for the internet for most people.
The blue download-chrome bar on Google.com has had a bigger impact.
the bloatware of install-chrome-and-make-it-default of Google in freeware in the hope you mistakenly miss it and install it and end up with Chrome as your default browser (I'm sure we all have done so by mistake.)

SharpGreen said,
Ok..so they noticed an issue..fixed it and moved on. Why is the EU still complaining about something that had a negligible effect on the browser market? Are they broke and looking to steal money from a successful US company again?

EU is indeed playing with fire now. Not sure their actions fits into WTO rules. But it does looks like EU is trying to take down foreign developer in favor of local (Opera) using indistinct explanations.

MS now can surely push with their friends in Washington onto EU in WTO.

Ouch. Being fined that much due to one employee or a small number of employees (probably accidentally) including a bug in the code they wrote Pretty much all software has bugs, and not all bugs are easily found through testing, especially one like this because it only involves a specific number of Windows PCs rather than all of them.

Microsoft rectified the mistake.

I'm not saying it's wrong of the EU to fine Microsoft, and I'm not saying it's right. I'm just pointing out the facts and information that we know of.

Edited by Calum, Sep 25 2012, 2:26pm :

Calum said,
Ouch. Being fined that much due to one employee or a small number of employees (probably accidentally) including a bug in the code they wrote

I'm sorry but Microsoft has a dedicated legal department which should have been monitoring whether they were in compliance with the EU ruling. While it may have been a mistake the fault lies with Microsoft for not having systems in place to detect the issue and it's shocking that such a mistake could have been allowed. If this had simply been something that slipped through and picked up a week later then I'm sure it wouldn't have been an issue but 28 million users (that's 10%) didn't receive the browser ballot and the issue persisted for over a year, which is a significant breach of the court ruling.

The EU fine was the biggest that Microsoft has ever received and it's preposterous to think that Microsoft didn't have systems in place to ensure they were in compliance.

theyarecomingforyou said,

I'm sorry but Microsoft has a dedicated legal department which should have been monitoring whether they were in compliance with the EU ruling. While it may have been a mistake the fault lies with Microsoft for not having systems in place to detect the issue and it's shocking that such a mistake could have been allowed. If this had simply been something that slipped through and picked up a week later then I'm sure it wouldn't have been an issue but 28 million users (that's 10%) didn't receive the browser ballot and the issue persisted for over a year, which is a significant breach of the court ruling.

The EU fine was the biggest that Microsoft has ever received and it's preposterous to think that Microsoft didn't have systems in place to ensure they were in compliance.


Other companies make much bigger mistakes then this and its not a problem.
This is just because its Microsoft, nothing else.

I think Apple stores must show samsung,nokia and other's product along with iPhone.......otherwise who knows they may be the another target

theyarecomingforyou said,

I'm sorry but Microsoft has a dedicated legal department which should have been monitoring whether they were in compliance with the EU ruling. While it may have been a mistake the fault lies with Microsoft for not having systems in place to detect the issue and it's shocking that such a mistake could have been allowed. If this had simply been something that slipped through and picked up a week later then I'm sure it wouldn't have been an issue but 28 million users (that's 10%) didn't receive the browser ballot and the issue persisted for over a year, which is a significant breach of the court ruling.

The EU fine was the biggest that Microsoft has ever received and it's preposterous to think that Microsoft didn't have systems in place to ensure they were in compliance.


Those are fair points, and I can't disagree with them. I'm not aware of the technicalities behind this issue, but perhaps Microsoft could have done more to actually ensure it didn't happen, especially considering the importance that all Windows PCs under the agreement had to see the ballot screen.

sachinkarki said,
I think Apple stores must show samsung,nokia and other's product along with iPhone.......otherwise who knows they may be the another target
Also when you buy a car, they should give you the choice of other manufactures engines, transmission, etc..

Shadowzz said,

Other companies make much bigger mistakes then this and its not a problem.
This is just because its Microsoft, nothing else.

Sorry, but if you actually think this was a mistake, then you're really naive. Obviously Microsoft intentionally tried to circumvent the EU ruling. For a while it worked, but it in the end it didn't. This was a calculated strategy on Microsoft's part, it failed, and now they have to pay.

Boohoo...

theyarecomingforyou said,

I'm sorry but Microsoft has a dedicated legal department which should have been monitoring whether they were in compliance with the EU ruling. While it may have been a mistake the fault lies with Microsoft for not having systems in place to detect the issue and it's shocking that such a mistake could have been allowed. If this had simply been something that slipped through and picked up a week later then I'm sure it wouldn't have been an issue but 28 million users (that's 10%) didn't receive the browser ballot and the issue persisted for over a year, which is a significant breach of the court ruling.

The EU fine was the biggest that Microsoft has ever received and it's preposterous to think that Microsoft didn't have systems in place to ensure they were in compliance.

The more intresting piece of this is not so much the fine but the amount. It looks like it would be 10% of Global sales. With this being an EU issue, I could see 10% of EU sales. As I am not bound by EU law in reguards to OS displaying Ballot box for browser, I fail to see why I would be part of the fine.

Seriously? I think people have figured out how to download other browsers at this point.
This must be how the EU (read: Germany) is going to fund the EFSF

gohatters said,
Seriously? I think people have figured out how to download other browsers at this point.

You say that but IE has a much lower market share in the EU than the US, which suggests that the browser ballot had a significant impact. In most EU countries Chrome is considerably ahead or at a similar level to IE, while in the US IE has a commanding lead.

At the end of the day Microsoft was legally required to provide the browser ballot and it failed to do so. They can claim it was an innocent mistake but it was their duty to ensure they abided by the ruling.

theyarecomingforyou said,

You say that but IE has a much lower market share in the EU than the US, which suggests that the browser ballot had a significant impact. In most EU countries Chrome is considerably ahead or at a similar level to IE, while in the US IE has a commanding lead.

At the end of the day Microsoft was legally required to provide the browser ballot and it failed to do so. They can claim it was an innocent mistake but it was their duty to ensure they abided by the ruling.


Bull! IE already had a lower marketshare in the EU compared to the US prior to the browser ballot.
The highest number people estimate the IE loss of marketshare is LESS then 1%.
People will ignore the browser ballot (it'll just annoy people). Either the blue E is the internet. Or they already know how to get another browser. Or how they access the internet is just a total /care.

This is just nitpicking on MS for no real reason. When the ruling was filed, IE wasnt the monopoly it was 10years prior.
Can't speak for each EU country, but around here. People are real Google fanboys, far more then in the US. Also Firefox is pretty much as well known as IE is.
The general population know IE and FF. The minority knows Chrome.

theyarecomingforyou said,

You say that but IE has a much lower market share in the EU than the US, which suggests that the browser ballot had a significant impact. In most EU countries Chrome is considerably ahead or at a similar level to IE, while in the US IE has a commanding lead.

At the end of the day Microsoft was legally required to provide the browser ballot and it failed to do so. They can claim it was an innocent mistake but it was their duty to ensure they abided by the ruling.

Actually, last I heard, IE's market share has gone UP since the introduction of the ballot screen, not down.

As a US user of Chrome, it's amazing how many websites just don't work we'll with it. IE seems to always work for everything. Other browsers seems to be more forgiving with sloppy code though.