Windows Browser Choice Screen Will Cause Confusion In Europe

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 22, 2010
Updated • Jun 27, 2016
Windows, Windows Updates

If you have followed the news you know that Microsoft is going to introduce the browser choice screen, often also called browser ballot screen, to European users from March 2010 on.

Microsoft plans to run an external test in some European countries including England and Belgium first, and will expand the delivery to all countries of the European Union later.

The browser choice screen will be delivered via Windows Update. Computer systems with automatic update turned on will automatically download the update to the computer system.

The browser screen will be displayed on the next reboot if the user logging on is using Microsoft's Internet Explorer as the default browser.

The program will then unpin Internet Explorer from the taskbar and display information about the process along with the browser choice screen that displays the top five web browsers in the world in random order plus additional web browsers that become visible after scrolling vertically.

The top five browsers are Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera and Safari. It is not yet clear what the other browsers are.

A browser can then be installed from the browser choice screen. It is furthermore possible to display additional information about a web browser.

There are two problems associated with the process. The first is that the update is forced upon the users meaning that many Windows users will notice that their "Internet" is gone. With Internet we mean Internet Explorer. Removing the link from the taskbar is not a very clever idea in our opinion. A better way would be to ask the user whether to remove the Internet Explorer pinned tab from the taskbar if another web browser is picked for installation in the browser ballot screen.

So, many users will notice that the Internet Explorer icon is gone and be completely clueless about it. Yes, the process is explained when you open the browser ballot screen but we all know that most users are not reading most of the system messages and information presented to them. This could mean chaos.

The second problem is company networks and private networks where Internet Explorer has to be used. These need to block the update so that it is not installed by accident which could turn into a support nightmare for those companies.

What is your opinion about the browser choice screen in Windows in Europe?

Article Name
Windows Browser Choice Screen Will Cause Confusion In Europe
The so-called browser choice or browser ballet screen will cause confusion when it is rolled out to Windows users from Europe.
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  1. sharna said on March 18, 2013 at 2:01 am

    I am completely shocked by this, that MS would include something like this in their updates amazes me. It looks like Malware, behaves like Malware and to all intents and purposes IS Malware. It arrived on my Computer screen supposedly bundled in a security update and as soon as i saw it pop up on my screen alarm bells went off in my head that this was a malware invasion, no certificate, no information, amateur design and to top it all it adds an icon on the Desktop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Are Microsoft trying to give everyone grey hairs and make us all even more paranoid about viruses trojans adware spyware and malware than we already are?????


    I’m totally shocked that ive wasted several hours of my day googling to make sure this is a legit notice….and the sum answer is just because it comes from MS does NOT make it legit it just means they can get away with it!!!!!

  2. James an Australian said on July 20, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I just got of a plane from China and had never heard of this update. Malware was my first thought. I was right European communist parliament virus bigest load of malware nannys in the world. Is that the best you can do for your people great elected members. Stay out of my computer, I need a VPN in communist China and communist Europe to watch music on You Tube for F%#Ks sake. If you don’t already have another browser already you probably best to be left with the basics anyway. You have updated an Australians computer can I sue.

  3. Chris said on October 11, 2011 at 11:04 am

    WOW this is an old thread!?! I just got this thing infecting my system the other day!!

    I live in Italy and this BrowserChoice has just infected my system. YES I keep using terms like INFECT and HIJACK because thats exactly what it is! Its an invasion of my system without my consent! Thankfully I run a Linux distro on my own system rather than Windblows but this junk is on my work pc and since I started getting these notifications my computer has been unresponsive and sluggish! Coincidence? I think not! ALSO the fact that I can browse the net for about 5 mins at a time then its as if I get no net access at all! I have to close my web browser and re-open it again.. EVERY 5 MINS!!! The fact is I am running Firefox on my work pc, Firefox portable at that, and redownload a clean version once a month incase its been compromised.

    Now I find out all this disruption to my work is because of Microsoft and the EU!?! Thank god I use Linux on my own pcs.. I would be going mental if this junk got on my pc! My boss even accused ME of looking at dodgy websites and infecting a work pc!! Why!?! Because Microsoft!! *rollseyes*

    DISGUSTING BEHAVIOR!! This incident only further reminds me why I use Linux rather than Windblows! Unfortunately when Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Premiere are a necessity for work I HAVE to use windows.. because Adobe wont release their products on Linux.. typical!!

    BAD FORM Micro$oft!!

  4. IDIOTWAYTODOTHINGS said on June 14, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    The way browser choice screen works right now is the WORST WAY to do this.

    Installing UNREMOVABLE ADWARE on a user’s computer is not the way to guide users about what web browsers exist.

    Why no just add a default HOMEPAGE in INTERNET EXPLORER that lets users choose a broweser? Internet Explorer has the ability to use multiple homepages.

  5. Joyce said on May 28, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    I do agree, I too don’t have these force fed Microsoft wimps. But I too am on Linux. I heard that even governments (yes also EU not only India) are now switching to Linux OS. I guess that would be the logical choice.

    But in response to what I read here, I am wondering if this browserchoice.exe is still installed, even when you uncheck it in the WinUpdate list you can review… I know that this is not always the case with MS. I have had customers complaining about MS “forcing” updates on them, especially for Internet Explorer. They were on Firefox, but repeatedly and without remorse were pestered by WinUpdate to install “safety updates” for their Internet Explorer (that indeed is impossible to remove completely). So yes, I guess that free browser choice with Windows is indeed just a lot of hot air, but no substance…

  6. Penny said on May 26, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    I have to be honest, this is mighty amusing to read. I googled this to understand what all my phonecalls were all about. Now I know. Oh, I am on Linux by the way, you know, the free-choice OS. Didn’t have something like this. Actually, due to the structure and operation of Linux, it is not even possible. I guess Microsoft proved themselves now how flawed their OS actually is.

    And for the frustrated remarks here: nobody forces you to do anything. Your OS choice is yours always. And for the people that say that people are WINEing: if you use one OS exclusively, you don’t have to. (For people how don’t understand that, look at

  7. Thomas Anderson said on May 26, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    If you ask me this is something that MicroSoft caused themselves. And furthermore, I do think it is nothing more than Windows-dressing. Yes, we do get your point about the “digi-social weaklings” who complain that their internet is gone, but maybe they need to be taken care of more, or be more profoundly educated. Like for example that even after a browser choice, IE still can not be deleted since it is weaved into many other Windows processes. Like also for example the MediaPlayer that never can be removed completely. Like the Messenger, full front door for all kinds of trouble, but never removed completely. Or Outlook Express. The list goes on, and on, and on. So Windows dressing. And if you think “your internet is gone”. I guess it was never yours to begin with. Painful to realise if you remember how and why CERN started the whole initiative.

  8. Nico said on May 12, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Thought it was a virus at first my security software said it blocked a dangerous activity when the Browser choice window popped up have de-installed it but returned within several days. this is hacking my system would’ve had no problem with it if i was notified before anything was installed. Wouldn’t be so bad if the EU would ban microsoft would give other companies a chance to steal some market share increase competition and that way hopefully improve customer service!

  9. Kecal said on May 2, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Microsoft was a veteran software company, best known for its Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software.

    Now it started with dissemination of computer viruses, malicious, spy and pirate software.

    Recomendation: Try switch yourself to another company, which does not loose your trust.

  10. GunnarH said on May 1, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    I was heavily disturbed by that message!

    1. A window dropped down from nowhere. When I searced for an explanation in Google “Ett viktigt val: din webbläsare”, I essentially got no valid hit. With no explanation I got even more confused.

    2. As I was suspecting something bad, I tried to close the “window” with the X in the top right corner. That was not working either. I was transferred to the choice window anyway, which I desperately just closed. The start window behaved just like a very bad advertisement that makes you start a trojan installation.

    If this is an EU decision – it is certainly not forbidden to include that in the “start window”! And please do not make it a fake by modifying the X-function of the window!!!

    This Windows upgrade has cost me more time consumption than any other upgrade, including most service packs!

  11. Noob said on April 30, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    Very unimpressed with M*soft…not that that’s anything new.

    Since they must have at least one or two programmers working for them that know what they’re doing, I can only imagine that they designed this to look like malware. Seems like a childish and petulant response to EU.

    Furthermore, it made a right mess of my wireless connection, with/without dongle. Deleting the file, removing from startup, even regedit no good. Had to roll back to the last system restore.

    Only just bought my laptop. Got a discount because I was unhappy about it coming with Vista. Was thinking of switching to Linux but dragged my heels, not being very knowledgeable on the techy side. So I guess I should be saying a big THANK YOU to M*soft…I quit!

    No more unhelpful ‘diagnostics’ (“Yes, you have a problem User…no, I don’t know what it is…try turning it off & on again…?) No more trojan updates and no more stealthy undermining of any non MS programmes.

    Goodbye monopoly, hello free(ware) world!

  12. Richard said on April 24, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    Another rubbish from Microsoft. I’m very angry with Microsoft!
    They should pay me money use theyare rubbish.
    I have XP. Computer is made to make poeple easy life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Every time I switch On my laptop laptop doesn’t work for me but for it self!?!?!?!? Always some updates, always some restart!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    They made VISTA what is dissaster. They are that root when they made (new) WINDOWS 7 they let all VISTA users in Mcrosoft shit. Microsoft should apologised for VISTA and let all VISTA users update for WINDOWS 7. All my friends have VISTA and I have headache.
    MICROSOFT IS LUCKY ” I havn’t bought VISTA ” because I will take them to court !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    It’s very ARROGANT from MICROSOFT get money for they are work!
    We ALL paid for something which shuld’n be on the market.
    We PAID for something what doesn’t work!!!!!!

    We all driving cars. Every car have COMPUTER, which working in EXTREME conditions! -40C to +80C. How meny times you have problem in your car with that computer? How meny times you heard it was broken? Sometime can be broken, but not very often.

  13. Plumsmonkey said on April 24, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Yup, I figured it was a virus / malware attack and I deleted the file.

    Well done MS.

  14. Dave said on April 22, 2010 at 11:10 am

    My first thought was “OMG..its a trojan!!!!” McAfee didn’t find anything so I went looking for the application and associated files …. Deleting them felt great. However the next day it came back!!!

    I was convinced I had a particularly persistent trojan .. As you can see chaos ensued

    Looking on the MS site, ( the browser choice app shouldn’t popup/install if your default browser is non-IE. Not true, I use and will continue to use Firefox as my default but it still installed and keeps poping up every time I reboot.

    Thanks Microsoft you have really managed to throw a spanner into the works this time. How many others have gone through the hassle of a complete reinstall of the o/s just because you couldn’t be bothered to tell us.
    Just how do we disable it Mr Gates???

    I’m a PC and I’m not impressed!!!!! (MAC next time for me)

  15. All said on April 8, 2010 at 11:43 am

    What are some people talking about???

    I here read this MS “worm” is to make users aware they use an “old” browser.
    First: perhaps people want to use this old browser. That’s their own concern, if microsoft forces them anytime at startup to be busy removing it, I consider this as a violation of my ‘freedom of choice’!!!

    Now, I use version 8.0.6001.18702. There is absolutely NO need to renew my IE. The ms worm asks (demands) me to install an IE 7 version. Very funny.

    So far many people around me have asked what to do. I simply tell them: from now on do not use MS IE anymore. (Exept for the basics of course)
    I myself am trying out the windowsversion of Safari. I like it! Earlier I worked with Opera, and it worked fairly well. Never had no pushing troubles as with IE.

    So. exellent business idea of microsoft! Pushing so hard people run away meanwhile screaming and getting fed up with Billy Gates!

    An European User.

  16. Dumbo said on April 7, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    This smacks of a pissed off 10 year old been told what to do, everything from how it was included with auto-updates to its crappy and amateurish appearance. MS clearly got some student programmer to make this GUI and give him 5 minutes to do so. As mentioned in comments above, the fact that it gave no warning to being installed and that it clearly looked like malware and there was no choice to so “No Thanks” is not on.
    Not at all what one would expect from a giant such as MS. Tastelessly done……
    Mozilla all the way….

  17. Bob said on April 7, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Just goes to show what a complete bunch of cocks the european commission is annoying us with this useless screen.

    I didn’t want this splash screen in my face, I already made an educated choice about what browser I use.

    This has just made me hate FireFox,Chrome, Opera and the other browsers even more, passing a law deliberately annoy anyone using IE, it’s a disgrace

    Due to this I will never choose another browser other than IE, there rest can go **** themselves!

  18. "Noob" said on April 6, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    A bit frustrating but not difficult to remove. Right click on icon and go to file location, then right click on the file and go to properties – security – advanced – owner – edit, then change the owner to yourself and then close all those windows. Then reopen properties – security and click on administrators (ie: you) and change the permissions to full control, close the windows and delete the file and its desktop shortcut. I restarted my computer and no annoying browserchoice. Hope that was useful to somebody and not all the geeks just whingeing:)

  19. Sunshine Gerry said on April 4, 2010 at 10:35 am

    I thought this is was a virus first. Then I googled to find out by accident, that it is from Microsoft. First thing in my mind was, that they might try to avoid legal issues delivering a browser with the operating system and this tool helps. Anyhow, I want to get rid off it asap. Soon or later most of the application are hosted via internet and hardly anybody needs Microsoft products that much, it will be just a matter of next generations entering the scene.

    Gerry, Germany

  20. Joe said on April 3, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    However, if you really wanna be rid of it, navigate to %systemroot% and delete ‘browserchoice.exe’

    Then open regedit and navigate to:
    and delete the key with a value that ends in ‘browserchoice.exe’

  21. Joe said on April 3, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Please stop whining..

    It is not Microsoft’s fault; The EU forced it upon them.

    Oh, and for those saying it is illegal, if you use their OS, they can download whatever the fuck they want to to your PC.


  22. Steve Panting said on April 3, 2010 at 11:25 am

    It is not in Microsofts interests for people to use this ‘choice’ as the EU intended.
    To me it is obvious that Microsoft did it this way so that many people would circumvent it and not move away from IE, they probably spent more money on the best psychology to use than on actually developing the software.


  23. Steve said on March 26, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    It wasnt immediately clear this was a Microsoft imposed update, I thought it maybe some kind of scam or virus bearing trick. Checked it was ok then repinned the browser to the bar and deleted the unwanted short cut. Very poor way of doing something, but I guess Microsoft doesnt care about treating people with respect.

  24. jigg man said on March 20, 2010 at 3:05 pm


  25. Musso said on March 18, 2010 at 10:15 am

    One of the most annoying things Microsoft has come up with since Win ME :-) .
    I thought it was some malware.
    What people should do after things like this is look for someplace within EU bureaucracy or Microsoft to send an invoice to get payment for lost time to get rid of this annoyance. You have to hit them where it hurts, on the bottomline.

    1. YummyMummy said on March 24, 2010 at 11:04 am

      – me too :(

      Some of the worst they’ve ever done.
      I would have appreciated a message telling that the pop-up was part of the newly installed update – or at least some sign that the ‘disturbance’ was from Microsoft.

  26. Hietkamp said on March 17, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    I came here to make sure whether I had caught a virus or not. I don’t like it. I’m using Firefox, I set Internet Explorer as default browser (for some reason this leads to less pop-ups) and already removed the icons from my start bar.

  27. Coorjo said on March 17, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    When will this buffoon heads understand that people love Microsoft, because it WORKS! And they are very happy with it. They don’t care about your leftist agenda.
    I really really regret EU decision to enforce this crap on Microsoft. And regretting this way of enforcing those crap hobby browsers on users, and yes they are crap. This leftist agenda in EU make me sick! They are possessed of hating Microsoft up to their teeth, this out of merely jealousy. EU has always been a joke.
    To all those who do nothing then whining on Microsoft. Delete your pirate downloaded XP/Vista/windows 7 OS and stop complaining.

  28. anonymous said on March 16, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    FFS we thought it was malware

  29. Richard Stevens said on March 15, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I am having users calling left right and centre thinking they have some kind of malware.

    Dumb & counterproductive EU move. No wonder they didnt give us a chance to vote on membership.

  30. edis said on March 12, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Why on earth user has to do something about making this additional popup go away permanently? Where is “No, thanks” button, please?

    If that is not new instance of Windows, user is very likely to have all set in place for his comfortable experience, and if really caring about alternative, he would have gone for it any minute without this permanent joke of design.

    Users have to have choice, that’s right, but this should come before settling on any default or set of browsers, not after. Update should have checked if there are alternate browsers present on OS, then not bother at all, if IE is not the only one there – no problem to address.

  31. David Gordon said on March 12, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    This is a menace. It looks like a virus and stinks like a virus and caused me a lot of cofusion on the day that it popped up. Leave me to choose my own browser for goodness sake! Worse, Microsoft have now fixed it so it cannot be removed by any of the methods so far posted on this and other websites. Get your filthy paws off my computer, Microsoft! There are some “updates” I just do not want.

  32. Stefan said on March 9, 2010 at 9:00 am

    The worst thing is that I ALREADY HAVE CHOSEN! … and even worse, I even confirmed my choice now my clicking on ‘Install Internet Explorer’ (just to be on the save side) – and still after next reboot the choice window comes up again!

    So now we have a buggy browser choice window … great.

  33. lee said on March 6, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    I thought it was malware. I can see I was not the first and will not be the last either.

  34. bigbo said on March 6, 2010 at 2:29 am

    Hello everyone
    I still think yhis is an illegal download. Yes I signed up for updates to my installed programs, yes I want protection against malware/viruses etc but I did not ask for new software to be downloaded to my machines. This is Illegal if I did the same to Microsofts machines I am sure I would end up in court!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. James Carter said on March 5, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    How do you remove the browser choice program.As i think it is a waste of time and disc space.Microsoft must be getting desperate for some thing to do.

  36. Per Christian said on March 3, 2010 at 5:20 am

    I’m a web designer, and I seriously hate Internet Explorer, especially IE6. I hate spending extra hours on tuning my code just so my websites will display properly in IE, and I know that those frustrations are very common among designers.

    And, since so many people use IE (even IE6), which is solely because it comes preinstalled with Windows, by the way, you really have to do all those fixes, and add all those Microsoft-specific solutions to your source code. Therefore, I welcome anything that will reduce IE’s huge usage share, or make IE interpret code in the same way as all the other browsers do.

    That being said, I have to say that I find this whole thing a little strange. Are they gonna do the same thing with Solitaire? Also, does Apple have to do this on their computers? Macs come with Safari preinstalled.

    If you don’t know what browser to pick, I recommend Google Chrome, which is what I use.

  37. Paul said on March 2, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    I do not know about other countries, but here in The Netherlands MS had some sort of awarness campain running the past few days. We had people from MS on tv news reports and current affairs programs telling about the browser choice screen and saying that it would be spread using the Windows Update system as a urgent update.

  38. Adam said on March 2, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I thought it was spyware so came on here to check for a resolution. This is a bad way of going about it.

  39. Peter said on March 2, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    I let Windows install all the urgent updates. When I found the Browser Choice icon on my desktop my reaction was, I didn’t install this, it must be a bit of spyware that got past my security software, I’m not going to click that!

    Microsoft should know that with the level or paranoia about spyware, viruses and identity theft these days putting a new icon on everyone’s desktop is a very stupid idea.

  40. Joshua Issac said on March 1, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    My older sister saw this screen on Vista and she thought it was a virus. Why is Microsoft sending users cruft over the update channels?

    1. Paul said on March 2, 2010 at 9:55 am

      Plain and simple Joshua. MS was forced to do it like this by the EU. If they hadn’t done it like this, the EU would have given MS a multi-billion dollar fine and may even suspended sales of MS Windows in the entire EU.

  41. Dan said on March 1, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    This is rubbish – I wasted an hour gettingg rid of it and running a scan as I did not know what it was & suspected a virus. How stupid can Microsoft be to just put this on with now warnings or explanation.

  42. reggid said on March 1, 2010 at 3:26 am

    Thanks MS and EU – if it hadn’t been for your forcing a choice on me I wouild never have discovered this oasis of know-nothing gawks. Hardly a word of common-sense in this thread at all.

    The ONLY thing that’s wrong with the screen is the lack of a button that says “No thanks – I’m happy with the browser I’ve got”

  43. Terry S said on February 28, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    The first 3 times it appeared on startup I thought, Oh Oh! another computer hijacker, then I googled it and was amazed it was Microsoft themselves hijacking my PC!! This is totally out of order, I am sick of any program, legitimate or not trying to hijack my PC. but to think its MS doing it,
    ITS NOT ON Microsoft,!!

  44. rae said on February 28, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Thanks for all the comments here. I wold rate myself a reasonably savvy non-geek user. This window appeared and looks like a virus has hacked in. Have spent an hour trying to find an answer and thanks for these posts. I cannot believe that such a cheap looking, amateurish window with no information can be made to appear like this, yet is a product of the worlds largest software corporation.
    I would complain, but have no idea to whom, whether anything would happen and, frankly, do not want to waste any more of my time.
    …/browserchoice.htm is no better than email spam.
    If anyone knows where I can log a complaint please post.

    1. Niamh said on May 12, 2010 at 12:17 am

      Totally agree – when it popped up I thought “bugger, a virus”, followed by “a pretty crap one though, you’d think they’d at least try to make it look like the standard microsoft format”. I’m actually dumbfounded.

  45. bigbo said on February 27, 2010 at 4:42 am

    This is an invasion of my machines. I did not ask for this software to be downloaded therefore someone has hacked into my machine. If I did that I think there would be a knock on the door and a very quick court hearing.
    I have asked for legal advice, but suspect that little old me has no chance against the likes of M’soft and the EU.
    Another thought occurs is that I spend time and money on antivirus and antimalware protection only for M’soft to circumvent this. Auto update is now switched off, against my better judgement.

  46. Anonymous said on February 26, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    RE browserchoice exe
    Happyily using IE8 on vista for a while. Suddenly from nowhere today this screen pops up (not even obvious its from microsoft) no introduction or explaination. I thought it could be a hack virus so I searched on the net after using taskmanager to identify the exe. I am quite happy using IE8 and just want to keep it like that. There are no options to just keep things as they are? Ive clicked on the ‘install’ button for IE 8 as a forced choice, which just takes me to a random microsoft web page? What a farce! Do I have to see this screen every boot until Ive changed from IE? Am I being forced to change browser? Please make it go away. I am perfectly aware of the other browsers and even use some of them already on other machines

  47. ricipoohs said on February 26, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Ok I am not a techy,but like a lots of us peeps out there thought it was a ‘nasty’ until I Googled it,NOT thought out well at all….why when you click on certificate does it say it doesn’t have one & the properties tab gives you zero info….what are we supposed to think???
    Anyway I have a question…..if I decided to try say Firefox,would IE8 just disappear along with all my favs etc,or can I have both ???

    1. Firebrande said on February 26, 2010 at 2:23 pm

      Wow, all firefoxed up now, very impressed, much faster


  48. scherlen said on February 26, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    FYI, I could fix the problem on a XP PC by deleting the registry entry “BrowserChoice = “C:\WINDOWS\system32\browserchoice.exe” /run” located at “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run”.
    The bloody stuff no more pops up! :)

  49. Tony said on February 26, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    I had this yesterday and also spent ages checking it out to make sure it was genuine or if I had got a virus. I didn’t like the fact that I only had the option of installing browsers that I already have.

    Fortunately I was able to find a link with a way to prevent this popup from recurring without having to take any action. This is a set of screen prints that show how to do this.

  50. Firebrande said on February 26, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Well being a non techy that likes to keep things up to date and simple, i hadnt heard about this so thought this was a virus of some sorts, i had tried chrome but not as easy for me to use as IE, thanks for the info all of ya, i will try Firefox now.

    I know loadsa peeps that will click whatever is put in front of them though, lol

    Thanks again all

  51. F*ck yourself Micr*soft said on February 26, 2010 at 2:50 am

    Cheers Floydy I’ll consult a grown up…

    I’d say that MS hasn’t realised that the EU are not idiots and will see this attempt as “Bad faith” and look to hammer them with some more fines.

  52. Floydy said on February 26, 2010 at 2:34 am

    You can avoid installing it by choosing Don’t Show This Update Again on the Microsoft Update website (or on Automatic Updates when it appears, if you have it set not to Automatically Install).

    If you’ve already installed it, you can disable it by searching for and deleting the ‘browserchoice entry from the Run folder in the registry (if you don’t know what this means, ask a grownup who does ;)).

  53. F*ck yourself Micr*soft said on February 26, 2010 at 12:37 am

    Absolute friggin bollocks if you ask me.


    Micr*soft has made the popup look so SPAMMY that most users will think it is SPYWARE. AND NOT FOLLOW IT.


  54. scherlen said on February 25, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Me too, IE8 and latest FireFox release. Let’s wait virus protection software to identify this as a trojan and to get rid of it! :)

  55. John Bendix said on February 25, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    This whole thing is incredibly patronising. I know what browsers are available and have those I want installed.

    I have two browsers – my own choice – the latest versions of IE and Firefox. I don’t want to change anything, but can’t get this bloody thing to go away. Very annoying.

  56. scherlen said on February 25, 2010 at 2:34 am

    How can I remove this bloody stuff? :(((

  57. Robert said on February 24, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    My first impression … MALWARE! KILL IT NOW!!

    It’s a web browser popup.

    The fact it didn’t die when I closed the window only reinforced the impression.

    I was about 30 seconds from reimaging the PC but I hit Google frst.

  58. Tartaruga said on February 24, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    I got the message this morning and immediately suspected an attack. It didn’t take long to track down this explanation, but the message itself appears unannounced as an exe and with no provenance. A very por way to introduce something imo,

  59. Natanael L said on February 24, 2010 at 12:42 am

    Yes it is, because that’s how they almost killed Netscape (saing “almost”, ‘cuz it turned into Mozilla and it’s Firefox).
    “This site is best viewed in Internet Explorer”. Ever seen that?

  60. Mike J said on February 23, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    You may have a good point there, Natanael L, but the marketplace could sort that out–or not. I isn’t really relevant to the issue of whether this is a monopolistic act in restraint of trade.

  61. Noob said on February 23, 2010 at 6:36 pm
  62. Natanael L said on February 23, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    @Mike J: That’s exactly the point – “it just works”, so people keep the default.
    And then the person who is making the default can start ignoring the standards and make up their own, which is what Microsoft *HAS DONE* and got away with for a long time.

    But now, finally, most of the internet sites is becoming standards compliant again, and HTML5 is bringing a lot of attention to things them (thanks to tags like video and audio).

  63. Hyst said on February 23, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    my english is poor but noob is a newbie :D

  64. Mike J said on February 23, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    I am no MS apologist but I have not figured out what the governmental problem is with what Microsoft is doing, going back to the original DOJ suit. MS gives away a browser, & all the other browser makers whine. It’s like Saab sells a car & throws in a tank of petrol, & BP complains it is losing sales.This sort of “remedy” is likely to confuse a lot of ordinary PC users.I have tried to interest friends her in the U.S. in Firefox & it is no-go. They have something that works & are happy with it.That is their choice.
    BTW–what is a “noob”??

  65. Natanael L said on February 23, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    I think they should attempt to detect the presence of alternate browsers – if they find out that I have Firefox, Chrome and Opera installed, then why, man, why would they force that screen upon me? :)

    Seriously, they will just ennoy half the european Windows users for no valid reason.

    1. surveyork said on February 23, 2010 at 12:51 pm

      The ballot screen is presented only if IE is the default browser. Users with Fx, Chrome, Opera or whatever browser as default won’t see the ballot screen.

  66. Saurabh said on February 23, 2010 at 9:47 am

    The browser choice page is here:
    afaik this is the page that is going to go live.
    So you can see which browsers are there.

  67. Rarst said on February 23, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Anything that gets users off IE6 is good. Even if their monitor has to bite and chew them for that. :)

  68. Robert Palmar said on February 23, 2010 at 3:15 am

    Anyone who needs a browser ballot screen
    to install their browser of choice is by definition clueless.
    Dumbing-down the whole process is therefore entirely appropriate.

    1. Dragon said on February 27, 2010 at 4:44 pm

      Totally agree. I am sick of being treated like a dummy. Let MS make a “dummy” version of everything and let the rest of us make up our own minds please.

  69. dhwang said on February 23, 2010 at 2:49 am

    Give me a break. Their “Internet” is gone? There’s just as many Firefox users in Europe as IE users. Installing an alternative browser is nothing new to Europeans. They even warn their citizens about the danger of IE insecurity. So, Maybe the average Americans are clueless but give a little more credit to the european users.

    1. Rowan said on April 30, 2010 at 11:07 am

      You’re obviously the ignorant one here mate. Assuming that people will be more knowledgeable just because they live over here…

      Yes. Many people will think the internet is gone. You obviously don’t associate yourself with many average people if you dont realise that

  70. Hyst said on February 22, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    This is not only about brows, but about monopol and all 3rd parties apps. Openoffice ODT were added in any countries as national authorities standard. There was a windows version without media player (Windows N i thing). If there will be not version without media center, EU will be attacked MS again for monopol activity…

  71. Morian said on February 22, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    I like the idea of “non-tech-savvy” users all over europe beeing forced to aquire knowledge what a browser is. Maybe that means 10 minutes without internet for millions of noobs (while talking to their children or firends to figure out why “my internet is gone”). But afterwards, maybe some of those will remember what a browser is. And this knowledge is needed to understand news about security on the net. You can`t understand why it`s better to use IE8 than IE6, when you dont even know what`s meant by “browser”. The same is true for applying security patches, turning off plugins with exploits or privacy harming features. Even if only a few percent of those noobs will be smarter after the patch, that`s a good thing for the net.

  72. Hyst said on February 22, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    This isnt bad for users. There are 2 main reasons: MS is monopol here and noob and business users uses it. In a facts 3 year ago IE has about 7/10 people, at now 4.5/10+-. Experienced and geek users uses firefox, chrome or opera. Mac-safari is about 1 percent (linux too). Second reason is security, IE is bugy, Germany government recommended do not use it because many worms are using it and many people still uses old IE6 on XP !
    sry for eng

  73. Angelo R. said on February 22, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    As to the first point I believe that the update is required to be forced upon users as per the terms of the agreement that they came to with the EU.

    Secondly, most business will most likely be running WSUS and SHOULD be managing their updates to ensure that nothing breaks. Chances are if it does interrupt their system due to a lack of using WSUS the company should be small enough that notifying employees of what action to take should be simple enough.

  74. paulus said on February 22, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Not a ferry elegant way the do things (at all) i think its much better to not uninstall the MS IE 9 (or IE8/IE7, etc.) direct (after reboot) and than give the user a choice, or he/she wants to uninstall MS IE9 (or IE8/IE7, etc.). And all main tweaked settings will be gone to. Terrible way the do things if i may say so or may i say a really Microsoft way to do things (again.)

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