File Under: Browsers, Software

Microsoft Debuts ‘Browser Choice Screen’ for Europe

Microsoft’s Dave Heiner posted the above image on his official blog at Microsoft Friday. It’s the first test of the system that will let users decide which browser they’d like to use, as per the European Union’s mandate on Microsoft. Users in Europe — and only in Europe — running Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 will begin seeing a screen like this one in just a few weeks.

From Heiner’s post:

In December, the European Commission and Microsoft arrived at a resolution of a number of long-standing competition law issues. Microsoft made a legally binding commitment that PC manufacturers and users will continue to be able to install any browser on Windows, to make any browser the default browser, and to turn access to Internet Explorer on or off. In addition, Microsoft agreed to use Windows Update to provide a browser choice screen to Windows users in Europe who are running Internet Explorer as their default browser. This browser choice screen will present a list of browsers, with links to learn more about them and install them. The design and operation of this choice screen was worked out in the course of extensive discussions with the Commission and is reflected in the commitment that Microsoft made. Users who get the choice screen will be free to choose any browser or stick with the browser they have, as they prefer.

It’s interesting that Chrome is listed first in the screenshot. Also, note that the Firefox logo actually stands out rather sharply at first glance.

The browser choice screen will be rolled out in the United Kingdom, Belgium and France starting the week of March 1, 2010. The picker will be automatically downloaded via Windows Update. There are more details on the Microsoft site.