Windows 8 update brings back browser ballot screen

After a couple of complaints in the European Union, way back in February 2010, it was decided that Microsoft must display a browser ballot screen to those living in Europe so that they can choose which browser they would like to use to try and stop the dominance of Internet Explorer. Until recently the browser ballot was not displayed in Windows 8, although today we've received word from a reader that an update brings it back.

KB976002, the same update number as the equivalent Windows 7 update, brings the browser "Choice Screen" to Windows 8. Italian reader Stefano tells us that the browser ballot is shown as a Metro-style grey tile in the Start Screen, which launches automatically upon the next boot of Windows 8 after the update is installed. From there you get to choose from a number of browsers through a Modern UI application, and if you choose to skip you can simply launch the tile again.

It's interesting that Microsoft has the capability to launch a Modern UI application straight from boot, which could suggest some clever hackers could find a way to boot the Desktop tile at boot - perhaps what the RetroUI folks did. Regardless, it now looks like folks in the EU will have to go through the browser ballot screen just like they did on Windows 7.

Thanks for the tip Stefano!

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TCLN Ryster said,

That said, there is nothing stopping other companies from developing a browser written in WinRT and releasing it as a Metro app in the store.

You mean apart from the fact that WinRT limits them to use Trident instead of their own engine?

TCLN Ryster said,
Windows RT isn't a continuation of the Windows x86/x64 line, it's a separate product built for a different architecture and device type (ARM tablets). As iOS and Android is. Additionally, Windows RT has zero market share therefore there are no anti-competitive concerns here.

Competition laws prevent companies from using their influence in the market place to gain an unfair advantage. Pretending that WinRT bears no relation to Windows 8 just isn't going to cut it. Browser marketshare gained through anti-competitive practices on WinRT can benefit Windows 8 and there is a direct influence.

More importantly, it's still a Windows product. It's competing in the same market. Who are you trying to fool?

theyarecomingforyou said,

Competition laws prevent companies from using their influence in the market place to gain an unfair advantage. Pretending that WinRT bears no relation to Windows 8 just isn't going to cut it. Browser marketshare gained through anti-competitive practices on WinRT can benefit Windows 8 and there is a direct influence.

More importantly, it's still a Windows product. It's competing in the same market. Who are you trying to fool?


Okay tell me. If WinRT is competing in the same market as Windows 8 x86/64. How come the iPad and Android tablets are considered a completely different market? But when Microsoft gets involved, all of a sudden its the same market? geesh, are you kidding me?

Bunch of hypocrites, as soon as something has the Microsoft label, people treat it differently (mostly like its a satans spawn) then other products from other companies who actually control markets where MS only just started in or just plays in.

Hilarious IMHO.

If it was me, I'd simply just right click and hide it. It's non-essential and pointless. Good thing they didn't have to do that crap here in the US.

brianshapiro said,
Does the absence of the Safari icon mean its officially discontinued for Windows?

I managed to find it the other day but yeah its near enough dead for Windows

It is interesting how in Europe, Microsoft is forced to offer these alternative browsers with their OS and somehow Apple is okay with making Safari the only choice in theirs. Definitely reeks of double-standard. It's funny that given the choice, most still choose IE.

bradsday said,
It is interesting how in Europe, Microsoft is forced to offer these alternative browsers with their OS and somehow Apple is okay with making Safari the only choice in theirs. Definitely reeks of double-standard. It's funny that given the choice, most still choose IE.

Must have missed the info that Apple has a virtual desktop os monopoly in the EU...

MFH said,

Must have missed the info that Apple has a virtual desktop os monopoly in the EU...

They do have a tablet monopoly, and yet Windows RT tablets are getting hit by this too and Apple isn't.

MFH said,

Must have missed the info that Apple has a virtual desktop os monopoly in the EU...

There is alot you have missed, including the point he was making.

Richio said,
Never heard of Maxthon Browser...

Alternative shell for Trident (and in the latest version Webkit)

Richio said,
Never heard of Maxthon Browser...

It's a dual engine based browser with webkit being the default (not chromium-based as some may mistakenly think) and Trident being the alternative engine. It's pretty popular in china and seemed to catch up in terms of use after switching to webkit. as far as I remember it's being used more than Safari on windows, that's why I'm guessing it replaced it.
It's also available on iphone/ipad/android. The Maxthon company also develops other services such as skyfile, a dropbox-like service.

You don't have to install the update which brings the Browser Ballot Screen, just right click on the update and select hide, that's what I do or you can let it install and deselect it as a start up item simple as that.

Those browsers do not have Metro mode. Last time I checked Chrome was faking being a Metro application, Firefox was still dumb and slow and buggy, and the rest weren't even giving a bleep.

IE's dominance? they kidding me right? it isnt the 90%+ market share anymore they used to have, its what, around 30-40% nowadays? what a bunch of BULL if you ask me!

I still wanna know when will Apple be forced to do this with Safari. Such a crap ruling. Would love to shoot the person who ever came up with such a daft idea.

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