Windows 7 Browser – You Now Have A Choice February 25th, 2010
After the requirement of the European Commission for Microsoft to offer a choice of browsers to its users (See Article), I noticed that Windows Update has today downloaded a small update which finally gives me the choice (not that I or anyone else of course could not have already manually changed browsers beforehand) as to which browser I prefer to use with Windows 7.
The update in question is KB976002 – Microsoft Browser Choice Screen Update for EEA Users of Windows 7.
Once downloaded and applied, the update adds an icon to your desktop (appropriately named Browser Choice) which when clicked, opens up Internet Explorer and continues to offer you a selection of alternative browsers for you to take a look at or download (the download links and appropriate links to the relevant vendor sites for information are included for convenience). The current options are:
- Internet Explorer
- Mozilla Firefox
- Google Chrome
By clicking the Browser Choice icon and running through the options, you’ll notice that Internet Explorer is automatically unpinned from the taskbar but that it is not uninstalled (of course Internet Explorer forms an integral part of the OS and can never be fully uninstalled), although it is possible to further remove all reference to it by un-checking the Internet Explorer option by going to Control Panel > Programs and Features > Turn Windows features on or off.
I think the inclusion of this choice is a step in the right direction but I would have liked to have seen it taken a step further. It would have been great to have seen an option to not only choose additional browsers, but the ability to define your default browser and remove reference to Internet Explorer (if that’s what you choose to do of course) all in one place.
Personally I still use Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 3.6 and Google Chrome 4 so this update has not changed anything for me but I am sure that it will have an impact on the browser trends within Europe over the coming years as more and more people come to realise that they have a choice; perhaps then Microsoft will start developing further releases of Internet Explorer to the same set of standards as other vendors in the hope that its popularity increases once again.
Mozilla Officially Release Firefox 3.6 January 21st, 2010
Finally, after all of the recent testing Mozilla has released the much anticipated Firefox 3.6, the latest version of what many consider the de-facto browser.
So what’s changed from Firefox 3.5?