Mozilla: 77% of Brits don't know about browser ballot screen

Mozilla commissioned a YouGov study recently that found over three quarters of the UK are unaware of the upcoming browser choice ballot.

Microsoft said last Friday that it will begin external testing of a browser ballot screen for European copies of Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 this week. The software update will be offered as an automatic download through Windows Update for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 users. Users who currently have Internet Explorer selected as the default browser will see an introductory screen providing them with information about the update. If Internet Explorer was “pinned” to the Windows 7 taskbar, the browser choice screen software update will automatically unpin it.

Mitchell Baker, Mozilla’s chairman, and chief executive John Lilly both welcomed the changes that Microsoft has made. "It’s an important choice because the Web browser has become one of the most critical and trusted relationships of our modern lives," the pair explained in a joint statement. "We believe that the Browser Choice screen is an important milestone towards helping more people take control of their online lives — and we hope for the conversation to become broader and deeper."

In July 2009, Microsoft proposed a ballot screen to allow users to pick their default browser in Windows XP, Vista and 7. The European Commission accepted Microsoft's plans in December 2009 after the software giant agreed to randomize the ballot screen due to several complaints from rival software companies. The agreement marked the end of the "browser wars" after Opera originally filed a complaint with the EU in 2007. The European Union originally accused Microsoft of anti-trust violations back in January 2009.

Microsoft said it plans to begin a phased roll-out of the update across Europe the week of March 1. The update will affect as many as 195 million people in 32 European countries.

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This seems rather silly to be honest. Why would they expect general users to know about something like this at this point unless they followed tech news? They'll know what it is when they see it, and that's all that matters...

23% is a huge figure for something that Joe Blow has real no reason or right to know about. If you didn't read tech news why would you know? It's not the sort of thing I find myself talking about with my non tech savvy mates to be honest.

That figure will jump once it's actually released. It'd be like asking the general public what the differences between WM7 and the iPhone OS are, assuming they even know about WM7 to begin with.

Not sure if I missed this in the article, but it looks like the ballot screen is live now for anybody (at least in the EU) to see. http://www.browserchoice.eu

On the original topic, I agree. Who cares how many people know it's coming. 100% of people will know about it fairly soon :)

So basically Mozilla state that 77% of the British EU (End Users) is not aware of the ballot screen… It’s not that they are thick it’s just down to not being educated when it comes to the Internet… 66% of people just use Twitter and Facebook and do not bother with other aspects of the Internet. They do not understand what happens outside Facebook and Twitter; they never update their hardware or software which runs their hardware. If their computer breaks they complain to Dell or wherever they got their computer from. You could say it’s down to arrogant End Users.

But this will hopefully get some people on IE6 and IE7 to upgrade to any newer browser. And I'm sure we can all agree that's a good thing :)

mad_onion said,
But this will hopefully get some people on IE6 and IE7 to upgrade to any newer browser.

Not really, since most of those using IE6 are using either windows 98 or Windows 2000 and the ballot screen isn't being delivierd to those platforms ;)

akav0id said,

Not really, since most of those using IE6 are using either windows 98 or Windows 2000 and the ballot screen isn't being delivierd to those platforms ;)

What? But the market share of 98/2000 is less than 1% and yet 20% of people are using IE6.....

99% of Brits think all rulings that come from the European Union are Bull**** Just a bunch of M.E.P's trying to justify their existence.

What I don't really like the sound of is how this seems to hijack the user's computer, and Mozilla is a-ok with it. Firefox got where it is today thanks to people being able to use it side-by-side with IE, making those comparisons, and developing a preference. This seems to be about *replacing* IE with whatever browser you choose, without even having a checkbox somewhere giving users the option to keep IE as well if they happen to click on, say, Chrome.

I'd say I'm most disappointed in Mozilla of all the developers in this case. Though in the beginning I was on the hate train for Opera's crybaby hissy fits that escalated this crap, I used Mozilla as an example of a group proving that significant market share could be earned with effort and a quality product. But Mozilla has been all gung-ho about this whole thing, voicing their own criticisms of Microsoft, and most amusingly:

Free? Seriously? I mean, did anyone look at the brief description of Firefox in that screenshot? They made it a point to say it was free? They're ALL free. Ugh.

If people have been using IE, they will continue to use IE. All their settings are there and they are most familiar with it.

Xilo said,
If people have been using IE, they will continue to use IE. All their settings are there and they are most familiar with it.
This doesn't make sense. How then would non-IE browsers be increasing in usage, if not by user choice?

77% of brits dont give a flying monkeys arse tbh they use what they use and arnt tech savvy so is this any surprise they dont know?

Fubar said,
77% of brits dont give a flying monkeys arse tbh they use what they use and arnt tech savvy so is this any surprise they dont know?

+1 :D

"It’s an important choice because the Web browser has become one of the most critical and trusted relationships of our modern lives,"

Such drama from the little browser that could.

When I think of "the most critical and trusted relationships" of MY life, what I use for a web browser doesn't really come into play very much. Maybe I'm just old fashioned but I put more value on interpersonal relationships.

C_Guy said,
"It’s an important choice because the Web browser has become one of the most critical and trusted relationships of our modern lives,"

Such drama from the little browser that could.

When I think of "the most critical and trusted relationships" of MY life, what I use for a web browser doesn't really come into play very much. Maybe I'm just old fashioned but I put more value on interpersonal relationships.

Emphasis on *one of*.

Edited by Kirkburn, Feb 23 2010, 5:24pm :

warwagon said,
Well the fact that Opera is last on the list, I can see them going throwing a hissy fit about that.

The list is not static.

dhan said,

The list is not static.

They still made the list of top 5 browsers. No one I know uses Opera, (because it's rubbish) and statistcally browser usage shows the majority of the world that don't have Internet Explorer as their default, don't use it either

akav0id said,
They still made the list of top 5 browsers. No one I know uses Opera, (because it's rubbish) and statistcally browser usage shows the majority of the world that don't have Internet Explorer as their default, don't use it either
Opera isn't rubbish, and your comment has no relevancy to the point. The list is randomized.

"Users who currently have Internet Explorer selected as the default browser will see an introductory screen providing them with information about the update. If Internet Explorer was “pinned” to the Windows 7 taskbar, the browser choice screen software update will automatically unpin it."

How is this even legal?

epple said,
"Users who currently have Internet Explorer selected as the default browser will see an introductory screen providing them with information about the update. If Internet Explorer was “pinned” to the Windows 7 taskbar, the browser choice screen software update will automatically unpin it."

How is this even legal?

What do you mean "legal"? It's MS doing it to its own software. It puts IE there in the first place.

So the 23% that know about it, will it change their lives? Or have they already made their choice. This whole thing is kinda weird.

Who cares Mozilla?
Or maybe they want to force MSFT to start TV ads for the ballot screen now? That ballot screen was the most stupid idea ever anyway, if anyone is not able to download their own browser on their own they don't deserve anything else.
I personally love IE but most of the people I know prefer Firefox or Chrome; who cares it's a free choice and I don't think anyone is unable to type in "firefox" in Bing/Google and get the download.

I knew the ballot screen was coming for at least 3/4 of a year now, but did not take part in any YouGov survery, so the % is off :)

DaveGreen said,
The EU is completely out of the line in this. Completely. This ballot screen is pointless.

Let's not judge this until it's actually been in effect for a while. Many will just click on IE when this pops up. But on the other hand this will make changing browsers a 1-click choice, as opposed to firing up the browser, searching for Firefox or Chrome, navigating through that, downloading and launching the installer etc. Even a beginner could change browser this way.

77% don't know that it is coming and 99% don't actually care, because they are all going to ignore it. Windows 7 has been around long enough now, people have already chosen their browser of choice.

Those people who don't know about other browsers are just going to click on what they know and that's the big e.

This was a YouGov survey too, people who take these surveys are ever so slightly clued up anyway so I am surprised it's as high as 77%.

Redz0ne said,
Just click the big Blue E to get on the internet

Basically yeah, that is what the people I know who aren't great on a computer do. Stick to what they know :)

Redz0ne said,
Just click the big Blue E to get on the internet
Unfortunately, this is [i]so[/i] true. Average Joe doesn't know or care about alternative browsers. Heck, he/she probably doesn't know what a "browser" is. The big blue E is "the internet". The ballot screen will only confuse people.

and a large percentage of people don't even know how to use a computer yet really.... comon, the older populous still has a hard time doing a lot of stuff... they along can make up for a large amount of that number, along with the ones who just dont care

John Freeman said,
Also I would like to know how many have actually switched after seeing ballot screen?

Indeed, that is the number I'd be more interested in seeing. If someone can't figure out that they can change their browser without seeing this screen, I doubt they'd care enough to follow any of the links to download and install something new.

John Freeman said,
Well, duh! What did they expect. Also I would like to know how many have actually switched after seeing ballot screen?
Bit hard to tell that a few weeks before it's actually launched :P

~77% of Brits don't know how to use a computer properly.

A similar percentage applies to the rest of the world.

Considering that to anyone outside of the tech industry, the browser ballot doesn't even exist yet, I'd say 23% of people knowing about it is quite ok.

I still can't believe this **** is happening. The EU is essentially forcing a company to advertise and promote other companies' products for free...complete bull****.

Elessar said,
I still can't believe this **** is happening. The EU is essentially forcing a company to advertise and promote other companies' products for free...complete bull****.

its the new "limited-free market" that we live in...

bdsams said,

its the new "limited-free market" that we live in...

Well we've always lived a limited-free market, just maybe not as limited as it is today. Some limitations are good, such as anti-monopoly committees breaking up a company too big for its own good, stopping companies selling products at a massive loss (loss leading still exists of course, but it's regulated) to wipe out the elimination before jacking up the prices and not allowing companies to run the emergency services (with the awful exception of American healthcare).

It's not a matter of it being a limited-free market, it's a matter of where we draw the line.

Elessar said,
I still can't believe this **** is happening. The EU is essentially forcing a company to advertise and promote other companies' products for free...complete bull****.

Did you forget the whole Netscape/IE fiasco?

Matt Hardwick said,

Did you forget the whole Netscape/IE fiasco?

What fiasco? People switched to IE because after version 4 Netscape became crap.

Having IE bundled isn't exactly killing Firefox is it.

Elessar said,
I still can't believe this **** is happening. The EU is essentially forcing a company to advertise and promote other companies' products for free...complete bull****.

i agree, this is nonsense. just an agenda pushed by competitors making it look like they are solving a non existent problem for consumers.
will they do this for chrome, mac, linux too?

thealexweb said,
23% of people knowing it's coming is pretty good.

My thoughts exactly. I have doubts about it though. I imagine there is a possibility just because it was Mozilla who took the poll that it was probably techies who answered mostly. I guess it could have been a proportional straw poll, but I find it unlikely if the number is as high as 23%.

thealexweb said,
23% of people knowing it's coming is pretty good.

In other news: 77% of Brits still don't know about their died relative's fortune or about some Nigerian prince. Keep spamming, Mozilla Corp., you still have a lot work to do!

Beastage said,
And mozilla point is? please don't tell me they want MS to pay for public ads about that.

Exactly what i was thinking.