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The EU - Microsoft browser ballot fight is over. For now.

EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes had some big news this morning. At long last, a deal has been worked out that will see Microsoft implement a browser ballot screen which allows users to choose something other than Internet Explorer.

So, what are the major changes which finally allowed the two sides to see eye-to-eye?
  • The screen will be presented in a "neutralized window" rather than a full Internet Explorer window. I'm guessing this means the window title and taskbar icon will be free of Microsoft and IE branding.
  • Browsers will be presented in random order.
  • The ballot screen's design has been de-cluttered.
  • Microsoft provide a status report to the Commission within six months - and then on an annual basis.
  • Microsoft will be required to make changes to the ballot upon the Commission's request.
This could be a big win for Google Chrome. I'm not sure how things are in Europe, but many of my customers already think Google is their web browser - even though it's really Internet Explorer. Even with Firefox, Opera, and other options available, the ballot race could well come down to two ponies - Microsoft and Google.

Tags: ballot, browser, competition, eu, internet explorer, InternetExplorer, monopoly