Last month, I blogged about Microsoft finally unveiling their new browser choice screen – users of Microsoft’s web browser Internet Explorer would be faced with an official pop-up screen, informing users about other browsers that are available and the benefits of using them. The other web browser companies have commented on how much this would contribute to the competition and rivalry and give them the opportunity to increase their market share. The move came after the European Commission said that, to restrict the automatic dominance of Microsoft and to keep people informed about other browsers available, they must offer the ability to change browsers whilst in Internet Explorer.

Some of the browsers advertised on the screen include Opera, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari. However, the screen actually shows twelve different browsers, but users have to scroll to the right in order to see the others which aren’t listed first. Other browsers shown include Avant, Flock, Maxthon, Green Browser and Slim. Six of these browser companies have now signed a petition to be sent to the EU, which complain about the fact that their browsers can’t be seen initially, claiming that it leaves “the vast majority of users unaware that there are more than five browsers to choose from”.

The companies say that all they want is “a small addition” of text or a small graphic which would indicate to users that there are more browsers listed by scrolling to the right. While some of the browsers listed first say that they are seeing their market share increasing, there have been no similar reports from those that are listed later on.

If I’m honest, I think that it wouldn’t be too harmful for Microsoft to add a small piece of text or graphic which would satisfy the other companies. I think it’s quite obvious that the biggest, most popular browsers have been listed first, and I don’t have a problem with that, but because those people who aren’t aware of other browsers are the computer novices, they may also not know that you can scroll right or left on a page, and therefore will be missing out on the information. I think, to keep things fairer, it should be more obvious that there are other browsers listed, or they should all be displayed at once. Many people will either disregard the screen altogether, or look at the first few and won’t look at the ones listed last on screen. Maybe a fairer way of doing this would be in alphabetical order, or would you agree that it should still be in the order of popularity?

Which browser do you use? Are you happy with your browsers? Even though Microsoft is complying with the regulations, do you think they could grant the wishes of the other companies? Do you think this is fair or unfair? Let us know, in a comment.

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