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Which web browser will you choose?

11:22 UK time, Monday, 1 March 2010

Microsoft is to ask millions of users across Europe if they want to use a web browser other than its own. Will you switch your web browser?

The move is part of a deal Microsoft struck with the European Commission.

It resolves a long-running case in which the software giant was accused of abusing its market position.

What do you think of the decision by Microsoft? Which browser do you think is the best? Is this good for competition? What will this mean for consumers?

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Comments

Page 1 of 5

  • Comment number 1.

    I don't suppose it will make much difference. Anyone who cares about which browser they use probably stopped using Internet Explorer years ago anyway. Anyone who doesn't care, pretty much by definition, will not care about this latest development.

  • Comment number 2.

    Micro-soft bully boys, At the end of the day is this another method of gaining more cash from folk who where duped into purchasing the software in the first place

  • Comment number 3.

    I will continue to use IE.

    If I had wanted to change, I would have changed years ago.

  • Comment number 4.

    I think I will give ''Gargle'' a try...

  • Comment number 5.

    Eh? How are they in a position to offer a choice? I already control what software is on my PC, thank you very much.

    Just because any given piece of software comes pre-installed on a new machine that doesn't mean it stays there if it does not meet my requirements. As it happens, my PC has 'evolved' over several years and bits of hardware and software are updated as the need arises, but I've reconfigured many a purchased machine to suit the user after purchase... including frequent upgrades from Vista to Windows XP :)

    As a web developer, its important to have a copy of Internet Explorer around as a lot of people will be using it to visit sites you write, so even if you detest the beast yourself, it is worth knowing how your sites appear in it.

  • Comment number 6.

    Firefox is my preferred choice, the ability to include add-ons such as Google Preview, WOT and Add Blocker as well as the ability to modify these add-ons as much as you want makes Firefox a great choice of web browser.

    An added advantage of not using IE is that most malware is designed to exploit the numerous weaknesses that are inherent to IE, switch to another browser and you're no longer bombarded with constant attacks on your system.

  • Comment number 7.

    The European Commision should have gone further and stopped Microsft from including anti-virus software in their operating system. Microsoft have a near monopoly on home computer technology that is preventing healthy competition. Other browsers are just as good.

  • Comment number 8.

    I agree with Mr Disgusted of Mitchsm. There's very little else to say apart from ranting about Microsoft. He's captured the debate in a nutshell.

  • Comment number 9.

    This popped up when I switched on my home computer over the weekend. There was no branding, either EU or Microsoft, or any reason given for the popup, no link to make me believe that the popup was official. I initially thought it was malware of some kind. I then found that it wasn't possible to disable this particular Windows update, either. I thought the whole thing was very invasive and very poorly presented. I don't like the precedent this sets for the EU interfering with my home computer use.

  • Comment number 10.

    I prefer Firefox but IE has got a little more user friendly in recent years. The usual Microsoft bashers will whine about their global dominance and how bloated the software is yet the majority of people really don't care about it.

    I see where the EU come from in their decision but, with Microsoft creating the operating system, I feel its unfair for them to be forced to advertise 'opposition' browsers in their own OS.

  • Comment number 11.

    Firefox all the way but since most have no idea about the differences and the massive vulnerabilities of IE they will just install it because "that's what we use at work and know no different".

  • Comment number 12.

    I normally use Firefox... explorer has been playing catch up to Mozilla for years. That apart I agree with #1 & #5. Anyone who cares will have used explorer to download something better the day they bought their PC but having a copy of explorer on the PC (even if you don't use it regularly) is handy as some sites work better on it than Mozilla or Chrome.

  • Comment number 13.

    As far as I can see, MS have done nothing to allow you to remove IE completely - it's still an integral part of Windows.

    So, in effect, what have they done? Provided users with a pretty screen asking them to do what they could do for themselves manually (ie, install new software) and "unpin" the IE icon. Also, I've not seen/read anywhere confirmation that file types are set to the selected browser

  • Comment number 14.

    I don't intend to ever buy microsoft products again !
    I have vista and when i last auto updated it tols me i was using a non microsoft version
    odd because i bought it at pc world and now i keep getting warnings flashing up as for browsers firefox is better anyway .

  • Comment number 15.

    I've been quite happy with Firefox as my preferred browser for some time. IE8 has nearly caught up with it, but I won't be switching.
    As a part time web developer I don't care what browser you use, just so long as it's a modern one! Please ditch IE6 and older versions. Currently we've got 7 Windows browsers plus a gizmo the gives us the equivalent of most versions of IE since 5.0.

  • Comment number 16.

    I'm sticking with Internet Explorer for now. I just try to make sure I have the latest version and updates. I laugh when I hear about people still using version 6.

  • Comment number 17.

    I changed to Firefox ages ago but Microsoft still insists the IE be used to access the Microsoft updates system. Of course one can download each update separately, always assuming you know they are available. Pity the EU did only half a job.

  • Comment number 18.

    I use Apple so this doesn't arise as I have always been able to use Firefox as well as Safari......... which I find superior to IE anyway.........

  • Comment number 19.

    I find this quite ironic due to the fact that about four of the browsers in that list actuarly use the internet explorer api anyway. For example Maxathon and Sleipnir are just IE with a custom GUI. This is clearly evident when you are browsing the web and you sign in to a website and it asks you if you would like internet explorer to save you password. This has also been a long time comming. Its not as if IE isnt already installed and you have to choose it or an alternative.

  • Comment number 20.

    Firefox running on OSX. Micro$oft is for mugs

  • Comment number 21.

    Not sure if this board is becoming an advert for Microsoft, Apple or Firefox in itself?

  • Comment number 22.

    I made my choice years ago... I use Firefox and sometimes Safari. Unless you come across one of those sites that "only supports IE". The real problem is you can chose what you like but if you get to a page that doesn't like your browser you usually have to go back to IE and that is a real pain!

  • Comment number 23.

    Although not a major fan of Microsoft, Does this mean Apple will have to do a similar thing for users of its computers which come with Safari preinstalled or maybe they could allow us IPhone users to get Apps from a different supplier ?

    No I didn't think so. Why is it free competition only seems to be directed at Mircosoft ?

  • Comment number 24.

    Speaking as someone who used to do Internet Banking using IE6, I am lucky I didn't get hacked - so I switched a long time ago. IE8 will always be there in the OS just in case a lazy web developer has only coded a site to look best in that one browser alone. However since the very first version I also had Netscape on my machine as well and Firefox spun itself off from that - I liked having the option of multiple browsers.

    So now Firefox is my main browser, and I use Opera for internet banking. there's no such thing as a perfectly safe browser but both these other firms fix the faults in their software, so much more quickly than once a month *all the time* - not just when it makes the news after six months - because otherwise they would go out of business. The only exception is Safari because Apple software on the PC (except Quicktime) tends to be bloated and slow - nearly 50Gb for a web browser is too big.

  • Comment number 25.

    "Country Jane wrote: Micro-soft bully boys, At the end of the day is this another method of gaining more cash from folk who where duped into purchasing the software in the first place"

    Erm...

    1) This step was required by the European Commission
    2) The software is free
    3) Do you know what you're talking about?

    What I'd love to know is, if you weren't provided with a free browser on your operating system - how on earth is Joe Public to download any alternative?!

  • Comment number 26.

    Maybe being a MAC user I should not be posting on this topic.
    I use Camino, Safari and sometimes Firefox.. I also use Thunderbird for Emails etc

  • Comment number 27.

    Firefox running on openSUSE 11.1 64-bit - all completely cash-free and virus-free. My copy of Windows operates via Sun's VirtualBox software (i.e. from within Linux) and even there, I use Firefox instead of IE.

    Starting to like the look of Opera 10 as well.

  • Comment number 28.

    Firefox and Opera are far better than IE. Purhaps Microsoft are doing a survey prior to making a charge for IE. Such a greedy company. Windows should be half the price

  • Comment number 29.

    Hello, Sally here. Thanks @Virtual Girl #9. Has anyone else had the pop-up message? What do you think about it?

  • Comment number 30.

    i use both IE8 and Firefox, but mainly IE8 till it starts acting up. so for me i'll stick to my system

  • Comment number 31.

    Google Chrome - effective, free, fast and simple

  • Comment number 32.

    nope I won't change... I will stick with Safari on my iMac running Snow Leopard
    the best operating system in the market.

    Actually- I do not include Linux... only because its's free... beautiful operating system...

    When I use Slackware I tend to use Firefox...

    don't use 'winDoze'...

  • Comment number 33.

    When downloaded. It goes into your admin files and can never be removed..
    I have only one question which one is the safest??

  • Comment number 34.

    I wonder how much money the EU wasted to get to this point? The ability to access the internet would seem to me an essential feature for any modern operating system. Anyone who cares enough to get a different browser can do it easily enough. So now the EU feel they have to tell Microsoft to tell us there is a choice. They must think we're idiots. The only winners are bureaucrats and lawyers!

  • Comment number 35.

    Yes I had the pop-up and i would agree, It was incredibly badly designed. It didnt even adjust itself to the resolution of my monitor correctly and just left me to resize it in order to view all of the browser options. There was also no branding or a clear explanation asa to why it had appeared, tho i already knew what it was.

  • Comment number 36.

    I've been using Google Chrome since the day it was released and it rocks! It's light and zippy without the 'bloat' of IE6/7/8 or Firefox that slows it down with stuff you'll never use.

  • Comment number 37.

    I already avoid IE like the plague but am forced to use it at work - NHS seems only to use windblows products. I would think that most people who use computers regularly and who would want to try new software would already do so. People like my mother, who is almost IT illiterate, will continue as they always have done because it saves learning something new.

  • Comment number 38.

    There are two main issues I have with this browser choice screen. First is the issue of Microsoft being forced to provide this choice in the first place - Windows is their product and it should be up to them to decide what software to include - it is like forcing a car manufacturer to provide a choice of stereo manufacturer to each customer when they buy a car, its ridiculous.

    The second point is that there are literally hundreds of modern web browsers available today, and this choice screen cannot possibly represent them all - surely if the EU ruling is to even make the slightest bit of logical sense (and I am not saying it does) then every single modern browser in existence should be included on this screen?

  • Comment number 39.

    Firefox has been my browser of choice for many years, it has consistently proved itself to be far more reliable and stable than any MS product I've ever had the misfortune to use. So, no, it won't bother me in the slightest that I could be offered the choice to use something other than IE, I've been exercising my option in that direction for years!

  • Comment number 40.

    I've used IE since the beginning and see little reason to change.

  • Comment number 41.

    emcoluk complains "Windows should be half the price" - well I don't recall Microsoft ever charging for a browser, and each version of Windows gets updates and security patches installed automatically for free for many years. That's quite an achivement for the price; that kind of work used to require an IT department. Windows is just about the cheapest component in a new PC, costing roughly the same as a couple of car tyres.

  • Comment number 42.

    I switched to Firefox years ago and never looked back - as someone who hates advertising, especially the 'targetted' variety which misinterprets your surfing prefernces in order to bombard you with speed-sapping rubbish, I find AdBlock Plus absolutely invaluable. Far quicker than Chrome which sells itself on the basis of its speed but stil has to load all the annoying Flash ads that cover your screen and whatever you're trying to read. There are other useful little touches too like spellcheck in web comment forms and the ability to change privacy settings. As for Internet Exploder, I have to use it at work, but on my own machines where I have a choice of software I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole.

  • Comment number 43.

    I'll use the one I find easiest and has the best functionallity. Whether it is IE, Firefox, Chrome or something else doesn't really matter - I will just pick the one I find the most useful.

  • Comment number 44.

    Microsoft has to let us choose which browser we want to use, but Apple pre-install Safari onto their devices - where is the choice there?

    I personally can't see the issue with Microsoft pre-installing IE onto their Operating Systems. I'd welcome their anti-virus too, so long as it was free. Why not? We can all choose to uninstall it if we wish.

    PS I miss the old Have Your Say format - these comments lists are far too long.

  • Comment number 45.

    I'm probably in the unusual position that I use the following browsers on a regular basis: Chrome, Safari, Opera, Firefox, Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8. (Why?? I do a fair bit of web development, so I need to check things work in all browsers.)

    And my conclusion. All browsers have their flaws, none are fully secure or completely standards compliant, but Internet Explorer (even the latest version) really is the worst on all counts, and is a disgrace to the entire Internet. The fact it is the most popular is bizarre.

  • Comment number 46.

    I switched to the original Mozilla when version 1 was launched a few years ago, and now I always use Firefox (now version 3.5.8) when online.

    The only annoying aspect of Firefox, which started with version 3, is the fact that whenever I save anything, the browser always performs a virus scan. Up to six months ago, I was using an Emachines laptop (256 MB of RAM) that I bought in 2004, and the virus scans took an eternity on that.



  • Comment number 47.

    Definitely sticking with Firefox!, have been using it for years. Who still uses internet explorer!!!

  • Comment number 48.

    I like OE 6 and IE 6, they work fine for me.

  • Comment number 49.

    The cynic in me says it's bit of a farce. I can imagine that they will distort the results to justify their actions to date.

    There is absolutely no reason to use microsoft's browers if you don't want to and by highlighting alternatives they may lose some people but they aren't actually increasing the choice.

  • Comment number 50.

    I use Safari as my main browser, and occasionally Firefox for those sites where they were too lazy or incompetent to code for alternatives. Both these browsers are standards-compliant, unlike IE. If a site won't display properly in my browsers, I don't go there again. It's like going to a shop and finding it always closed: you just do your shopping elsewhere in future.

  • Comment number 51.

    I love the implication that optimising a website for use in one browser makes the developer lazy somehow. In fact, the growing requirement to optimise websites for a variety of browsers, including all of the incremental testing time required to do so must be driving development costs through the roof!

    All these browser elitists extolling the virtues of their chosen alternative browser (although in fact many tend to use Firefox because it is deemed cool to do so more than anything - personally, I find IE much better...), yet conceding that said browser can't actually cope with IEs bread and butter.

    Also, I do wonder how many of the people complaining about microsoft own Apple products (iTunes and Appstore anyone?)...

  • Comment number 52.

    Of course MS are going to bundle IE in with windows. What makes me smile is that the competitors do absolutely no advertising whatsoever to offer themselves as a credible alternative.

    For the computer experts out there theres a myriad of faults with the microsoft suite of products but for average joe at home its a superb, easy to understand, easy to use product that appeals to the mass market and THAT is why its so successful.

    If other browsers really want to get out there and get themselves used they should go out and tell the public WHY, instead of just saying "we are better but you can't find out because microsoft are big nasty bullies"

    Seems like sour grapes to me.

  • Comment number 53.

    Have used Chrome mainly since it was released because it was recommended as a better option. I still have IE as my default browser but this is just because I've little reason to change that.

    IMHO most people who are anti-MS have very little real reason to be so. There are alternatives out there to MS software but I've carved out a quite good career being an expert in certain MS products and wouldn't change that.

  • Comment number 54.

    Google Chrome is the best browser at present. About three times the speed of IE8, looks better, easier to use, and efficient.

    I've been using it for about a year now and wouldn't switch back.

  • Comment number 55.

    On the whole I use IE followed by firefox. If it really matters to you then you have had a choice for years. If you didn't know that then your probably not that bothered.

    People complain about security etc with IE, but if Chrome (or any other for that matter) was the dominant browser than they would be the one with the security flaws. If you are looking for browser loopholes to enable you to infiltrate a machine then you obviously target the most popular one.

    As for Microsoft including anti virus software on their OS, since when? Microsoft do provide a basic antivirus software it's not included with the OS (or at least wasn't when I bought windows 7) it has very basic function but does the job and it's free. When all these browsers are free to download and use anyway what is the issue. Revenue for the company by getting you to download countless toolbars that you dont really need or want?

    My Browser ranking;

    1. IE & Firfox, both equally good.
    2. Chrome (good but not used enough to judge)
    3. Opera (it works)
    4. Safari (like the gallery page but thats about it)
    (It's my personal opinion)

    If you don't like Microsoft and are that bothered use Linux it out there for free. Franlkly I'm quite happy with Microsoft although I await chrome OS for my netbook, Windows versions that are out there are too overloaded for it.

  • Comment number 56.

    Firefox is by far the fastest,safest,the most feature filled and the most reliable and useful of all the browsers. There is no other choice!

  • Comment number 57.

    I've been using non Microsoft browsers for years, and had incident/virus free surfing. I thought I'd try MS IE again a few months back. I installed it and it crashed my PC, which required a rebuild to resolve the problem. Nice one Microsoft, I see you still peddle third rate flakey applications that dont work.

  • Comment number 58.

    Mozilla Firefox is my web browser of choice. It's fast, reliable and I feel safer from malware and all sorts of other nasty things than I ever did when using Microsoft Internet Explorer.

  • Comment number 59.

    I change my browser nearly as often as I change my underwear- however I have never gone back to Internet Explorer since I left it 6 years ago. Other than to download a different browser to my new pc.

    I'm using Google Chrome at the minute, as even Firefox is becoming too bloated and suffering from the same problems I had with IE all those years ago.

    And in response to how "unfair" it is that people are picking on Microsoft... this company pretty has a monopoly on every interaction a person has with technology. While initially innovative, they have squeezed out competition whilst putting their prices up. Which is unfair for everyone.

    I will look on at Ubuntu and Google Chrome OS with particular interest.

  • Comment number 60.

    This is great news and should really help drive browser development. We have now reached a point where the browser is almost the computer (operating system), and opening things up can only be good as it will drive development and encourage support for Internet standards.

  • Comment number 61.

    I have been using Opera for some years and think it beats the other hands down. I suggest all readers try it.
    Usually Opera has new features before Firefox and IE.
    All we need to do now is to stop (some) web designers coding their sites to work only with IE, but instead persuade them to write fully standards compliant websites so that they work properly with all browsers

  • Comment number 62.

    SR4Z wrote:
    emcoluk complains "Windows should be half the price" - well I don't recall Microsoft ever charging for a browser, and each version of Windows gets updates and security patches installed automatically for free for many years.


    If you buy a new PC with a version of Windows pre-installed on it then you have paid for your browser and Microsoft have been paid for it too, you just didn't get asked if it was something you wanted and more importantly something you wanted to pay for.

    Microsoft don't do free, unfortunately they rarely do direct sales to end users either, they prefer to do deals with manufacturers or retailers so that the end user has no choice but to pay for their products, even if they never use them.
    Some major high street retailers won’t sell you a PC unless it comes with Windows, this may not be an issue for those people who know about computers but your average Joe doesn’t know any better and ends up paying for an OS when they had no need to.
    This is the real reason for Microsoft’s dominance, most people are having their choices made for them and they have no idea there was ever a choice to be made.

  • Comment number 63.

    I have never used MS Internet Explorer. Started with Firfox but switched to the better and faster Opera some 5 years ago.

  • Comment number 64.

    I'll stick with flipping around the four browsers I have installed depending what I'm doing and how I feel.

    The choice screen seems quite well implemented however Microsoft seem to have got one over on the EU as this was agreed to in advance of Windows 7 launching yet W7 comes with Internet Explorer installed and the default browser with no options screen.

    I don't understand why I have to have MS Windows if I buy a retail PC from 99% of outlets or why the EU allows that situation to prevail, but at least this choice screen should give some competition boost in browsers.

  • Comment number 65.

    #25 "What I'd love to know is, if you weren't provided with a free browser on your operating system - how on earth is Joe Public to download any alternative?!"

    EXACTLY! The only alternative would be to either have to BUY a web browser when you buy the computer or for people like Mozilla to have to send out free CD's like AOL used to. Its extremely convenient with a new computer to fire up IE8 and download something better.

    I agree with #23 that anti-competitiveness prosecutions only seem to be targeting MS too. Apple are no better... for years you could only use an Ipod with Itunes. Whats the difference? Also why do people say things like 'Windows should be half the price' yet never say 'Porsche should sell their cars at half the price'?

  • Comment number 66.

    I wasn't aware I couldn't have changed browsers any time I wanted anyway. I don't sufficiently care, but I was considering changing to firefox because the online stuff at my uni doesn't work that well with IE.

  • Comment number 67.

    On the BBC website it says “The browser choice software will be delivered from Monday as part of the Windows Update system Microsoft usually uses to distribute security patches.”


    Quite by chance I was updating one of my computers on Saturday night and got this choice then, so it had already been delivered before Monday (today).


    Although not a major issue it shows what is reported is not 100% accurate. Whether Microsoft didn’t give correct information out or the BBC jumped to conclusions doesn't matter.


    Did anyone get it earlier - I would like to know.

  • Comment number 68.

    Since the upgrade from IE6 to IE8 is not straight forward for XP users, involving something called "Search 4" and a complete rebuild of the hard disc index, I am abandoning IE, and am now using Firefox, which is apparently the preferred browser in the rest of Western Europe. Whilst it appears OK, all is not what it seems, folks, as there are significant differences and incompatibilities with some web page designs which can prevent key aspects - like commit buttons and size of pages for printing from displaying correctly or at all.

  • Comment number 69.

    I mostly use internet explorer as I find it the most reliable and most useful (Yes I actually like and use Microsoft products) I occasionally use Firefox (can be faster than IE) But I still find IE works on the vast majority of sites with little rendering problems.

    And those who think Microsoft is a big evil company ~ then all the other software houses must be little evil companies.

  • Comment number 70.

    I've tried most browsers and they all have strengths and weaknesses. The best thing is to find what suits the individual. Download and try. It's really nothing to do with Microsoft which browser we use, but obviously they have told us IE is the best, quite naturally. They offered me a selection the other day, but I will stick with the one that suits me - IE, by the way!

  • Comment number 71.

    I use Firefox (FF) as I like the flexibility of all the add-ons and extensions available, one of the very useful ones is IE tab, this allows FF to render a page using IE if it doesn't display properly on FF, so no switching of browsers needed.

  • Comment number 72.

    This is simply a demonstration of the way in which Government agencies 'Invent' a problem. As others have pointed out, those who care have already changed their browser, the rest don't care.
    Nobody forced me to buy a Microsoft product, I chose it of my own free will. Many people when shopping for a computer do not want the bother of the multiple choices available, they simply want to by a plug and play system. The dominance of Microsoft has more to do with selling a product people want to buy than any misuse of market position.
    Maybe the Government dept involved should go in for downsizing whether in Brussels or London.

  • Comment number 73.

    Well, I don't imagine other operating systems like Apple's and Linux flavours will be compelled to offer the same choice, will they?

  • Comment number 74.

    I started with Netscape and Mosaic in the early days and have tried IE, Firefox, Opera and Chrome recently.

    I feel that open source is best and always seem to go back to Firefox. Like many I worry about the hackability of IE and Opera has trouble with one of my websites.

    I am glad that MS has to make this announcement but I doubt if it will make a lot of difference.

  • Comment number 75.

    I've had Firefox on my PC for a couple of years now. Ever since the spate of bugs and security failures that IE displayed, I haven't looked back.
    I just wish that Linux was a bit more widespread and popular than it is - I'd dump Windows as well!

  • Comment number 76.

    Have been a Firefox user for sometime but as soon Chrome came out I jumped ship, best decision ever. Simple, fast, secure - what more do people want?

    Chrome is also only one of two browsers that fully pass the Acid3 Tests (http://acid3.acidtests.org/%29 - another big reason to jump ship.

  • Comment number 77.

    Whichever one comes pre-installed on the next PC that I buy. Unless it causes me a problem I do have the inclination, or the time to waste finding out which is best

    if it works it is good enough for me,

  • Comment number 78.

    I use Firefox. But it's not because I hate Microsoft, I use their OS. The attacks on MS are basically people who don't like them, therefore these young naive people jeopardise everyone elses machines by creating viruses and other malicious software to make their lives a misery because they are using MS products.

    This could be, I suppose, likened to such an example of anarchy; such as people taking down certain electricity pylons that are owned/used by huge energy companies who dominate the markets. Or pulling down mobile phone masts that are not wanted.

    Both comparable and perhaps some what hypothetical examples, but still kind of the same principles of anarchy. Though, it seems physical destruction, compared to 'virtual' destruction have different perceptions in some peoples eyes and those who set laws.

  • Comment number 79.

    Like 1 in 9 people I use Chrome which is far more responsive than IE. The fact that over 1 in 3 use IE when it's so bad demonstrates why MS should be forced to do something to weaken their marketing position.

  • Comment number 80.

    Here we go again with people ranting about Microsoft, including one poster who boasts about upgrading peoples PCs from Windows Vista to XP. This shows real computer ignorance as Vista and now Windows 7 are both far supperior to XP both in interface and security. Vista long got a bad rap that it never deserved. As for browsers, what is the point, there are only really two browsers worth using, IE and Firefox. I prefer Firefox but not because I hate Microsoft, but simply because it is faster and I prefer the interface. I have tried Chrome and Safari and just do not like the interface on either. As others have said this is a typical example of EU interference. Anyone who cares about which browser they use will already know how to get alternatives to IE.

  • Comment number 81.

    I changed to Firefox and I am much happier with the performance and the absence of adds, pop-ups and viruses.
    I downloaded a FREE anti-virus software programme; AVG and now I'm a little better off moneywise and very happy with the service.
    Microsoft should perhaps take note.

  • Comment number 82.

    Does this now mean that Apple will also be forced to allow browers other than Safari on the iPhone and iPod touch so they are not stiffling competition in the same way? No probably not since people like to bash Microsoft before realising that other companies are doing the same. I am not particularly pro-Microsoft I am just not narrow minded enough to simply join the Microsoft bashing wagon without looking at the facts.

  • Comment number 83.

    To be honest it doesn't really matter. I use IE occasionally but i flip between Chrome, Firefox, Opera and other depending on what i need or want. Those that no a little about computers can change browsers whenever they want, and those that don't know much about computer at all are happy that everything is supplied. And for those complaining about "we don't have the choice with Microsoft, they just force it onto us", for 1, you do, there are other OS if you want and plenty of non-microsoft options out there, and for 2, Apple did the very same thing with a iTunes download a while back where safari was added to the download with most people not noticing. It's not just a Microsoft thing.

  • Comment number 84.

    I find IE more than adequate for my needs along with Outlook Express for e-mails.

    It's a pain having put Win7 on my laptop I now have to go looking how to get at my e-mails. I may well remove Win7 and put XP on, at least I'll know where everything is.

    I cannot understand why there seems to be so much animosity toward MS and Bill Gates. If it hadn't been them who cornered the market it would have been someone else. I am sure for the majority they've made computing easier

  • Comment number 85.

    As someone else has (quite rightly) pointed out, MS have been charging people for the priviledge of having an insecure browser (IE) installed by default on their systems for years, so it's about time their monopoly on this was ended. I do, however, find it both hilarious and entirely typical of MS that their 'alternatives' consist on browsers that all require IE to back-end bits to be there to run properly - quite a canny ploy all things considered.

    I haven't run IE since the late 1990s and there's not enough money in the world that anyone could pay me to go back to it now.

    At work I run Firefox and Chrome - Chrome is wonderfully zippy when it comes to following links within emails and such and Firefox can be customised to fit my needs and amp up the security a little bit.

    At home I run Firefox on 3 Linux machines and if Google ever get around to releasing a properly Linux compatible version of Chrome will probably add that too.

    I think people need to open their eyes and ears a bit to the fact that there's a whole world of free software, browsers & operating systems out there which not only give them same functionality as MS stuff but are more secure and better maintained. My only computer-related regret at the moment is the fact that work won't let me install Linux on to my machine here, otherwise I'd be as far from anything MS-related as possible.

  • Comment number 86.

    18. At 12:30pm on 01 Mar 2010, Annispice wrote:
    I use Apple so this doesn't arise as I have always been able to use Firefox as well as Safari......... which I find superior to IE anyway.........

    I'll second that, and I'll even go on to say that Mac OS X Snow Leopard is by far a more superior system and platform to work on, too.

  • Comment number 87.

    Switched browser years ago. Firefox with add-ons where you don't see the majority of web adverts makes the internet more usable. I can't believe how many adverts some sites have on their screens when viewed using IE.

  • Comment number 88.

    25. What I'd love to know is, if you weren't provided with a free browser on your operating system - how on earth is Joe Public to download any alternative?!

    Surely you'd just ftp to the site of your choice and download it like that. Instructions can be printed in manuals you know.

  • Comment number 89.

    I've had a look at Safari, Google Chrome, Netscape and Firefox, but the familiarity and ease of navigation make Internet Explorer the standard, the one to beat.
    The world rails against the monopolistic position of Microsoft, but Bill Gates is the world's richest man because his baby is simply the best - well, in the world of the personal computer, at any rate.

  • Comment number 90.

    @Wreck-O-Mend #67: "Did anyone get it earlier - I would like to know."

    Yes, mine popped up first thing Saturday morning (running Win XP, automatic updates).

  • Comment number 91.

    Experimented with many browsers and have settled on Chrome. Firefox being a close second. IE is way down the list with opera

  • Comment number 92.

    " 77. At 2:37pm on 01 Mar 2010, Simon Heathwood wrote:

    Whichever one comes pre-installed on the next PC that I buy. Unless it causes me a problem I do have the inclination, or the time to waste finding out which is best

    if it works it is good enough for me, "

    Really?????

    Gas lighting works... most of us use electricity though. Internet explorer 8 is pretty good but previous versions had security flaws that would let any hacker hoover your bank account dry. This isn't about minor performance differences but really major security issues.

    Incidentally do you bother finding out which PC is best or just pick the first one you see off the shelf at PC world? They all work, but the differences in cost v performance are pretty staggering.

  • Comment number 93.

    Given that 99.99% of us never pay directly for a browser, the main considerations are that it should require minimal configuration, work well, be unobtrusive and free from advertising. For general convenience, ease of web-design Etc. it would probably be helpful if all of us used the same browser. Theoretical squabbles about "markets" "competition" and "It's not fair" are only of relevance to those who make a (very good)living from promoting quarrels.

  • Comment number 94.

    They're not offering a choice of using a browser other than their own, only as well as. IE is still there and can't be got rid of, so quite what the purpose of this is beyond me. What are they offering that I couldn't have done before? It's paying lip service to the ruling.

  • Comment number 95.

    Chrome is by far and away my favourite browser. Slimline, clean-looking and easily the fastest out there, even if it is lacking for add-ons. Wouldn't trade it for the world. Firefox is basically just IE8 but the cluttered display comes in different colours and with tons more add-ons.

    Opera is pretty decent, but it's mobile version is far more worthy of praise than the big cheese itself. Still, it's fast, even more customisable than Firefox and looks great. Can't comment on Safari 4, since I don't have a Mac and don't want to even pretend to have a Mac. IE is bug-ridden, crash-prone and riddled with security holes like you wouldn't believe. All other offerings are superior to it, so hopefully people will at least try one of the other four browsers out there.

  • Comment number 96.

    From a browser I want speed and reliability (security, etc, should be a given). As such Opera is my first choice. Chrome seems to struggle on low spec machines but is fast on higher spec machines. Firefox isn't bad. IE is pretty slow and only used when I need to check something works in it.
    Giving me a choice as part of a windows update won't change anything. Although I suppose I might get tempted to check some other alternatives.

  • Comment number 97.

    It's a silly question. Microsoft lost an anti-trust action after "bolting" IE4 to Windows back in the mid-nineties, but have continued to force feed Internet Explorer despite its reputation.

    Most IT savvy people would argue that Microsoft have not produced a decent web-browser in its lifetime and the current incarnation is not an exception. There is plenty of choice and anyone who values their security will look elsewhere.

    But why does this question even appear here? Wouldn't be anything to do with "board members" would it? Is the BBC biased?

  • Comment number 98.

    Well considering the inadequacies of IE I'll be sticking to Firefox(Fx). I agree with this ruling but it doesn't go far enough. IE is still pre-installed and cannot be uninstalled (at least not without massive trouble). Most users do not understand the differences and will likely stick with IE which is a pity as they are being presented with choices far superior to the dreadful IE

  • Comment number 99.

    The big problem is that computers are sold with windows preinstalled. The user should have the right to choose the OS of his/her choice.

    Why should I pay for windows with my new PC or laptop when I'm going to wipe it out and install Fedora?

    Then I'd use firefox (which, ironically, is preinstalled!)

  • Comment number 100.

    Seriously, does it even matter? Just go on the web and just get on with it, the broswer the use don't make any difference.

    I got IE, Firefox and Chrome

 

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