General discussion

Windows and Browserchoice

"As agreed with the European Commission to address competition law issues, Microsoft will distribute a Browser Choice Update to users of Windows in EU countries. Starting in March, the update will be distributed to customers via Windows Update. With this update, customers in the affected countries will be presented with a choice of Internet browsers to select from."

It's identified as Update for Windows (KB976002), and will only be installed for users in the EU and 5 adjoining countries. After this update the Browserchoice.exe program may run automatically once to tell about the existence of Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Safari (and 7 others on the next screen), and offering to download and install one of those to replace Internet Explorer as your default browser. For Windows 7 users at that moment it has already unpinned Internet Explorer from the taskbar; it will show instruction on how to pin it back.

If you have any questions about the program, either now or when it has run already, use this thread.


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If only MS was forced to do this worldwide!

Microsoft MUST be FORCED to adopt this policy Worldwide. I am in Australia, and never use internet explorer for anything other than to check for MS updates, it would be far better to be able to use my preferred browser Firefox.
I have a Firefox extension called 'Windiz', available from;
However, this only checks for windows updates and does not check for MS office updates, but it does help me from having to use the insecure internet explorer, most of the time.

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Just wondering - Does this offer anything...

... that a modestly savvy user can't already do for themselves: that is install a different browser and make it the default? Then unpin IE if they want to? I think it's a great step, but I'm not clear if it's offering me anything I haven't already taken care of.

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You are spot on.

I've never bothered myself with any of the anti-trust campaigns against Microsoft for their integration of IE into Windows, because as soon as I get a new system with Windows installed, or if I install it myself, I either use IE to download my own browser of choice, or use my backed-up browser installation file, (on CD, USB, etc), to install it.

Then I forget about IE.

Anyone can do this, and I learnt it myself very early on. Microsoft's acceptance of the EU ruling makes very little difference to those who know how to find and install their own favorite browser. So no, this new move/option offers nothing that we don't already know.

I say nothing, but it does seem at first sight to offer these alternative browsers immediately. That is, the browsers' setup files must be already held on the system, so users do not have to use IE to download other browser setups, or whatever other method they would have to use. Unless of course the option just uses IE to take the user to the browser download web page, but I doubt that is the case, as it would not be fulfilling the EU's ruling.


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Re: browser choice

That's exactly what it does. It starts IE and opens For each of the alternative browsers it offers an 'Install' and a 'Tell me more' button, as you can easily see yourself.

The install-button links to the standard download page of that browser, the tell-me-more button links to an info page from the maker.
That's all. But it's a nice opportunity to download Flock or GreenBrowser, if you feel like it.


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Ahh I see.

Thanks Kees.


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