Microsoft Modifies European 'Browser Ballot' to Eliminate Safari's Advantage

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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In mid-October, it was reported that Apple's Safari for Windows browser was slated to receive prominent placement on a "browser ballot" designed to allow Windows users in Europe to select which Internet browser they wished to use. The ballot process was included by Microsoft to address anti-competitive concerns there, where the company has been found at fault for its integration of Internet Explorer with Windows.

Apple benefited from the proposed ballot plan due to Microsoft's proposal that the top five browsers be listed in alphabetical order by company, placing Apple's Safari browser for Windows in the primary position ahead of Google's Chrome, Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Mozilla's Firefox, and Opera. The arrangement, however, drew criticism from a variety of sources, unsurprisingly including Mozilla and Opera.

Yesterday, Bloomberg reported that Microsoft has revised its plans for the browser ballot, and among the revisions was a change that will randomize the list of top five browser each time the list displayed.
Under the modified settlement, computer users with Windows will see a "ballot screen" that randomly lists the top five Web browsers that compete with Internet Explorer, the people said. Users would then click on a browser's icon and the program would be downloaded from the Internet.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft, the world's largest software maker, agreed to changes in the ballot screen following complaints from Opera, Google Inc., and Mozilla Corp., maker of the Firefox browser, according to the people.
Despite the change, Apple still stands to gain from the inclusion of Safari on the primary ballot screen. Safari 4 for Windows held only a 0.29% share of the total worldwide market, suggesting that Apple may have much to benefit from in its inclusion with other major Windows browsers on the ballot.

Article Link: Microsoft Modifies European 'Browser Ballot' to Eliminate Safari's Advantage
 

kolax

macrumors G3
Mar 20, 2007
9,186
115
Would be interesting to see the statistics for Safari downloads on Windows since Windows 7 release (E.U. downloads if possible).

I'd be good to know if most users just clicked "Apple's Safari" just because it was first in the list and put the idea into people's heads that it was first because it was the better choice, not because of alphabetical order.
 

flottenheimer

macrumors 65816
Jan 8, 2008
1,179
145
Up north
Who really cares about Safari on Windows.
Mac software on PCs sucks (including Safari, QuickTime & iTunes) - much like MS Office sucks on OS X.
 

stoplis

macrumors regular
Aug 14, 2009
128
12
If Microsoft has had to do this, why hasn't Apple?
Surely it should do the same when you install Snow Leopard, in the interest of fairness that is.
 

andylyon

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2008
761
8
London
If Microsoft has had to do this, why hasn't Apple?
Surely it should do the same when you install Snow Leopard, in the interest of fairness that is.
Good point. I've always thought that. Apple should have to do the same, or is it just because Microsoft have a huge market share?

AnDy
 

*LTD*

macrumors G4
Feb 5, 2009
10,703
1
Canada
If Microsoft has had to do this, why hasn't Apple?
Surely it should do the same when you install Snow Leopard, in the interest of fairness that is.
One situation has nothing to do with the other. This has been explained countless times.
 

nkawtg72

macrumors 6502
Aug 16, 2007
308
0
does this mean the EU will now require stores to hire hundreds of people to rearrange the proximity of all the computers of differing brands with relation to the front door every time a customer walks through the door?!

this to me has always been such a stupid issue. talk about taking things to the extreme. so fine, IE comes bundled in Windows. who cares. people have been downloading alternative browsers for ages now. do they really have to advertise their availability for it to be fair?!

good grief
 

OllyW

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 11, 2005
17,069
6,418
The Black Country, England
If Microsoft has had to do this, why hasn't Apple?
Surely it should do the same when you install Snow Leopard, in the interest of fairness that is.
Good point. I've always thought that. Apple should have to do the same, or is it just because Microsoft have a huge market share?
Microsoft were exploiting their monopoly position to unfairly push Internet Explorer as the default browser. Apple's market share is relatively insignificant so it is not doing anything wrong.
 

knewsom

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2005
949
0
"Apple stands to gain"??? How the holy hell will Apple stand to gain from people using its free web browser? Gain what? Market share? Whooptee-doo.
 

zombitronic

macrumors 65816
Feb 9, 2007
1,115
6
Randomization is fair, but this sounds like something that 5 year old children would complain about.
 

elppa

macrumors 68040
Nov 26, 2003
3,230
108
Who really cares about Safari on Windows.
Mac software on PCs sucks (including Safari, QuickTime & iTunes) - much like MS Office sucks on OS X.
All subjective though. They all work and millions of people use them everyday.

Yes I do believe the number of Mac Office customers is in the millions.

"Apple stands to gain"??? How the holy hell will Apple stand to gain from people using its free web browser? Gain what? Market share? Whooptee-doo.
Apple gets money from Google when people search Google via Safari. It's not a huge amount of revenue, but it is pretty much Mozilla's business plan.
 

crees!

macrumors 68000
Jun 14, 2003
1,922
26
MD/VA/DC
Who really cares about Safari on Windows.
Mac software on PCs sucks (including Safari, QuickTime & iTunes) - much like MS Office sucks on OS X.
For RSS feeds, Safari on Windows does a MUCH better job in keeping counts and articles updated. On my Mac it's never accurate.
 

BJMRamage

macrumors 68020
Oct 2, 2007
2,464
885
someone needs a grant to see how random it really is.
surely there will be some issue there.

would be neat if it was like a slot machine thing where you pulled a lever and saw icons flashing by.
 

andylyon

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2008
761
8
London
Microsoft were exploiting their monopoly position to unfairly push Internet Explorer as the default browser. Apple's market share is relatively insignificant so it is not doing anything wrong.
Just because their market share is a lot smaller it doesn't make it right.
 

SubtltzSir

macrumors newbie
Jul 15, 2009
25
0
does this mean the EU will now require stores to hire hundreds of people to rearrange the proximity of all the computers of differing brands with relation to the front door every time a customer walks through the door?!

this to me has always been such a stupid issue. talk about taking things to the extreme. so fine, IE comes bundled in Windows. who cares. people have been downloading alternative browsers for ages now. do they really have to advertise their availability for it to be fair?!

good grief
Awesome <sarcasm>. So, what now - tire manufacturers in the EU who don't sign exclusive deals with car companies have the right to force auto companies to ensure that you have equal access to any tires on the market when you order your car. I hated my Firestones with my early 90's Civic and swapped them off as quickly as possible. The decision was made in the privacy of my own home, and with whatever advertising, reviews and recommendations from friends I could find.

What a crock. Buy Windoze, get IE. By Mac, get Safari. Get over it. There are always alternatives if you care to look. I don't need to be forced to decide before I get to "complete" the transaction. The EU doesn't need these kind of useless laws. :mad:

Oh, and I know lots of folks who were quite happy with their factory installed tires - so maybe it's just me.
 

skellener

macrumors 68000
Jun 23, 2003
1,766
504
So. Cal.
Yesterday, Bloomberg reported that Microsoft has revised its plans for the browser ballot, and among the revisions was a change that will randomize the list of top five browser each time the list displayed.
Makes the most sense.
 

stagi

macrumors 65816
Feb 18, 2006
1,125
0
I think safari is a great browser and hope this helps its visibility!
 

skellener

macrumors 68000
Jun 23, 2003
1,766
504
So. Cal.
If Microsoft has had to do this, why hasn't Apple?
Surely it should do the same when you install Snow Leopard, in the interest of fairness that is.
Sure. Doesn't matter to me. That would be fine. Just offer a check box at the install of which browsers you would like to install. Of course, MS doesn't have one for OS X anymore....do they? ;)
 

ifjake

macrumors 6502a
Jan 19, 2004
562
1
This is all a little ridiculous to me. I appreciate the clever "Programmer's Solution" to this perceived problem, but I would agree with the supposed, unspoken exclamation of someone, somewhere in Microsoft when I say "For Christ's sake. Are you happy now? Jesus."
 

dreadkid08

macrumors member
Apr 4, 2009
30
0
San Diego
If Microsoft has had to do this, why hasn't Apple?
Surely it should do the same when you install Snow Leopard, in the interest of fairness that is.
It's because Microsoft is way bigger than Apple. 95% of computers run Windows. But as much as I don't like Microsoft, Europeans are idiots. If you do not like your browser you can easily go to Apple's website, Mozilla's website, Google's website, or Opera's website and download a different one! I just put Google Chrome on my mom's computer you don't need a law for browsers this whole thing is BS
 

Rodimus Prime

macrumors G4
Oct 9, 2006
10,136
4
A far as I have seen Safari on windows is just a geek toy. It is not a browser of the masses yet.
The only none IE broswer that I have seen to break into the common people market is Firefox. Firefox I have noticed is much more likely to see a non geek using than any of the others.
 

supercooled

macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2007
737
1
One situation has nothing to do with the other. This has been explained countless times.
Please explain it once more in the interest of public edification. It's a fair question and Microsoft should not be pigeonholed.
 
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