Ever since Microsoft got tangled up in EU anti-trust issues, the company has issued a “Browser Ballot Screen” in order to keep the pressure of their backs. The idea was that this ballet gave users of Windows in the European Union options of looking at and choosing alternative browsers.
The browser ballet not only showed up in an XP update but it was also part of Windows Vista. As for Windows 7, it was gone. Now the European Commission is firing back at Microsoft again.
When Windows 7 first launched, they complained immediately and asked for Microsoft to bring back a ballot screen – something Redmond has yet to comply to. They are bringing back the screen in Windows 8, which will hopefully settle the whole issue for the newest OS. It still remains seen if they will be forced to bring it via an update to Windows 7 users, though.
Then again, should they have to? The problem with the “browser ballet” system is that it seems biased particularly against the desktop environment, or more specifically Windows in general. Android has a HUGE presence on mobile devices and yet there is no requirement to include alternative choices for browsers or media players.
The iPad also has a near-monopoly in the tablet world and a fairly strong smartphone presence – where is it’s browser ballet screen?
Windows Phone on the other hand, only has a small marketshare and apparently because of this reason they don’t need to have a “browser ballet” screen there. Okay, so Android, iOS and Windows Phone are mobile platforms — maybe that’s the difference? Nope, because Mac OSX is clearly a desktop OS and they aren’t required to put up such a screen.
To be fair, I understand the idea here. With Microsoft Windows present on the vast majority of laptops and desktops, they can create a monopoly by not providing choices. Still, the same thing is starting to happen in the mobile world and we aren’t seeing much action there. What do you think, should Microsoft be forced to comply to this “browser ballet screen” nonsense or not?