Upcoming browser ballot
25 February, 2010
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A brief excursion back into IT. Just came across the following:
http://www.which.co.uk/news/2010/02/browser-choice-to-surprise-brits-204556 which had a link to http://opentochoice.org/en/ and a comment that linked to http://hazymat.co.uk/index.php/browser-choice/.
Why does this matter? Does it matter? Well, if you like choice then it does matter.
The fact that making a choice is being imposed by the European Commission maybe not so good. As doesn’t having something imposed mean you don’t then have complete freedom to choose not to choose?
Microsoft have been accused for many years of abusing their monopoly. Now the European Commission is asking Microsoft to give users a choice of which Internet Web Browser they have as default. So, if you’re using a Windows PC in Europe and you’re still using the default Web browser, over the coming weeks and months you’ll see a Browser Choice screen appear. This will provide you the opportunity to make an active choice in the source of the software that acts on your behalf to broker your online experiences, and meet your own unique needs and interests.
I wonder how many people will just accept the default which Microsoft will have as their own Internet Explorer 8 browser. If you where suddenly offered a choice between that browser and the Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Opera browsers, which would you choose? I’d choose any of them except Internet Explorer 8. But, I have a certain amount of knowledge.
If I had no or very little knowledge I’d probably continue to use the one offered by Microsoft. So is there a real choice here?
Isn’t this a bit like turning up to vote in the forthcoming UK general election, not knowing anything about the parties or their candidates and being asked to make a choice? We cannot choose in ignorance.