WP Remix


Picture of initial page of browser ballotEveryone in Europe who is currently using Internet Explorer as their main internet browsing program is powering on their computer to find a screen like this appearing on their screen. Without going into the details, this is the culmination of a dispute between the EU and Microsoft over its dominant position in internet browsing software. The outcome is that all of us here in Europe are being forced to choose a browser for our PC, even though most of us don’t really care that much as long as we can see our web pages.

The first annoying thing that this “Browser Ballot” does is remove Internet Explorer from the “quick launch” area of your screen right beside the start button. Don’t worry, the program itself is still there, they’re just making it harder for you to find it. Once you click OK on the initial screen, you’ll be brought to a screen similar to the second screen shown here. This is the “Browser Ballot” Proper and is where you need to choose which internet browser you wish to use going forward.  Your version of this screen will look somewhat different because the order that the browsers are shown in is random.

Browser Selection in Browser Ballot

The Second Stage – Selecting Your Browser

This is where giving advice gets a bit tricky. My own opinion is that although Internet Explorer is neither the fastest nor the most flexible browser on the market, for the vast majority of people it is the most familiar. If you follow this logic then I think most people should just stick with what they know rather than going to the trouble of having to learn something new and, potentially, add confusion and wasted time to their browsing experience.

Of course, if your feeling a bit more adventurous, why not try another browser. Google Chrome, for example, is much faster at rendering internet pages than Internet Explorer while Mozilla Firefox has gained 25% of the internet browsing market through having over 5000 handy add-ons as well as the ability to personalise it which can make browsing much easier for you, the user.

One clear piece of advice that I’d give all but the technically literate is to avoid the niche browsers that are also shown in the selection. There has been a lot of controvery about the number of choices that are available on the browser ballot.

Niche Browsers on the Browser Ballot - GreenBrowser, Maxthon, Flash Peak, K-Meleon, Avant Browser

Some Niche Browsers on the Browser Ballot

In particular, when an IT professional such as myself hasn’t heard of some of the browsers on offer, you know they must be pretty obscure. My opinion here is that most people are better plumping for a well tried and well tested browser rather than something which is very niche and unknown.

Once you’ve made you choice, clicking the “install” button underneath it and following the prompts will allow you to complete the process and get on with your life.  Whichever browser you choose should ultimately end up in your quick launch area right beside the start button on the bottom left of the screen.

Another victory for the EU? You tell me…

If you have any problems with these steps or any other problems please don’t hesitate to call one of our qualified engineers and technicians and we will be delighted to perform the required steps to deal with your problem.

| Lo-Call 1890 219 219 (Ireland) | Freefone 0808-CALHELP (UK) |

| Business Hours: Monday – Friday 9:45 to 6:30 & Saturday 9:00 to 12:00

Category : Articles

3 Responses to “An important choice to make: your browser”

Hello, Simon…

Your piece about the Choice Screen was clear and well thought out, up to a point. That point is when you called the browsers that are hiddrn off to the right of the main ballot “niche browsers” and then dismissed them because you hadn’t heard of them. I’ll agree some are pretty obscure, and a couple are niche products, such as Safari, which owes its continued existence to the Apple niche. But browsers such as Maxthon, Flock, and Avant are not obscure, although Flock is aimed at the Twitterers and Facebookers. When the ballot began. Maxthon was 1/20th of one percent behind Opera. Opera’s lead has since then expanded, possibly because it just released a new version, and because any browsers hidden offscreen with nothing to let users know they’re there must suffer in this ballot.. I’m sure you realize that popularity is rarely an indicator of quality. I urge you and your readers to try Maxthon to see what I mean.

Ron White
Maxthon International

Simon Martin March 14, 2010

Thank you for your comment Ron.

I completely agree that popularity not the same as quality. I have downloaded Maxthon and am giving it a test drive today.


DG, Dublin April 22, 2010

I saw this ‘browser choice’ screen pop up today as I logged on to Windows and I have to say I x’ed out of it as I’m skeptical of many pop up boxes that pop up. It looked as if the code was written in bog standard HTML like many internet scams or a potential virus.

It was only as I did a search for the ‘browser choice’ screen that I came upon this site to see what potential virus I had and how to remove it. I was never to know that the ‘browser choice’ screen was potentially valid.