Browser Choice Ruling Against Microsoft Expires

Browser Choice Ruling Against Microsoft Expires

In 2009, the European Commission ruled against Microsoft, forcing the company to deliver an update to Windows users to make it easier for them to choose a non-Microsoft Internet browser. Since then, we've seen the likes of Google (with Chrome and Android) and others gain market share. The share gains were slight and Internet Explorer still commands the majority of the browser share.

The ruling brought a Browser Choice screen (or consumer ballot screen) to Windows users and unpinned Internet Explorer from the Windows taskbar. The changes imposed were retroactive, forcing an update to Windows XP but then carrying on through subsequent Windows releases all the way to Windows 8.

Yesterday, the imposed obligations expired. It's possible that Microsoft may deliver an update to remove the changes in the future, or just leave it out of Windows 10 entirely and move on. In the interim, Microsoft has supplied registry edit information for those customers wanting to remove the effects of the ruling:

Registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\BrowserChoice

Value name: Enable

Value type: DWORD

Possible values:

1          Display the Browser Choice update (default)

0          Do not display the Browser Choice update

At the time of the ruling, Mozilla Firefox was the browser most affected by Internet Explorer's dominance. Today, it's a different story. Though Microsoft still leads in browser share, it's Google's Chrome browser that is the biggest reason why Firefox still struggles to gain acceptance. Once a sleek, fast browser, many feel Firefox has become just as slow and bloated as Internet Explorer was once. Interestingly, Google is under similar scrutiny as Microsoft was in 2009, embroiled in an antitrust lawsuit over how the company has positioned its own apps on Android devices.

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