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Microsoft's browser choice hits IE users today

Software distributed by Windows Update system

Internet Explorer users will from today be given the choice of which browser they want to surf the web with.

Microsoft will distribute its browser choice software will via its Windows Update system, which is used to distribute security patches, to Windows 7, Vista and XP users that have IE as their default browser and have Windows automatic updates turned on.

However, those already using a browser other than IE, such Google's Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Apple Safari, will not be offered the software.

The 'web browser' choice screen' is part of a proposal by the software developer to help settle the EU's antitrust investigation, which was sparked by a complaint filed by Norwegian browser developer Opera in December 2007.

The browser choice software asks users to ensure they have an internet connection in place and then offers them 12 different browsers, along with more information on each and an install button.

As well as Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer and Opera, web users will also be offered less well-known browsers such as Sleipnir, Green Browser, Maxthon, Avant, Flock, K-meleon and Slim.

All of the browsers are presented in a random order, in keeping with the company's agreement with the European Commission.

Web users can choose to postpone selecting a browser. In this case a shortcut will appear on the desktop to allow them to make their choice when convenient for them.

See also: EU approves Microsoft ballot screen


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