Tuesday, 2 March 2010
An important choice to make: your browser, New update from Microsoft KB976002 is not very user friendly
"An important choice to make: your browser".
The window has a title of "Information Regarding Web Browsers".
It has an OK button to click on, if you click that then it shows the screen I have pasted in here, it also shows this if you click on the close button.
It shows a random selection of 9 choices of browsers.
Below each one are two buttons labelled "Install" and "Tell me more".
Apparently this update is something to do with Microsoft having to make people aware that they do have a choice as regards which web browser they wish to use, so the “Web browser choice screen” has been added to Internet Explorer users in Europe, its required by the European Commission.
This windows update is being rolled out in March 2010. So if you have not seen this yet then you will very soon (unless you have turned off Windows updates).
I think this browser choice screen is very badly thought out because there is NO option to click "I am happy to stay with my current browser choice, Ignore and don't remind of this again".
On my PC I have the latest versions IE8, Firefox, Opera and Chrome already installed yet as you can see the screen that shows does not say "Already installed" below those browsers.
Surely this is a fundamental error in the layout of this screen as its not very obvious what you need to do to ignore this Browser Choice screen.
If you click on the "Select Later" button then this just hides the Browser Choice window until you reboot next time.
On my Windows 7 machine, when you reboot after this update has installed you will notice that the shortcut to IE on your Quick launch taskbar has gone! I bet lots of people are going to google "My Internet Explorer icon has vanished on Windows 7" after this windows update has gone on.
You will notice as well as the IE8 icon vanishing from your quick launch bar that you now have a new icon on the desktop called "Browser Choice", if you run that then you will get the browser choice window.
I guess the idea of this is to force you to choose IE over other available browsers.
On my XP SP3 machines , when you reboot after this update has been installed it actually runs the Browser choice window without any interaction.
So what do you need to do?
Well if you are happy with what you already use and want to keep things as they were simply click OK on the first screen then close the second screen. Now delete the Browser Choice icon from your desktop.
Reboot and thats it back to normal. It won't bother asking you ever again.
Well if you are happy with what you already use and want to keep things as they were simply click OK on the first screen.
If you want to keep Internet Explorer goto the task bar and right click on Internet explorer and select "Pin to Task bar" then close the second screen. Now delete the Browser Choice icon from your desktop.
Reboot and thats it back to normal.
I do not have Vista any more so not sure how that behaves, perhaps someone can post a comment to say if its the same as Windows 7.
Hope this helps those people out there who are not sure.
The screen that shows when you click the OK button on the first screen takes you to this page :
For information about this Windows update :
There is also a shorcut icon on the desktop which runs :
If you goto Start - Run and type msconfig and then click on the startup tab you can see its set to run browserchoice every time your computer starts up.
One thing I also don't understand is the selection of browsers its has to offer, Everyone I'm sure will know all of the popular ones such as Firefox, Opera, Safari and Chrome but also listed are several browsers that I have never heard of, also some that have not been updated for ages such as Maxthon which seems to have been abandoned back in 2008.
As a web designer I have kept en eye on what browsers are popular as things change over the years. There is an upto date table month by month which shows which browsers are popular. See this here :
As you can see people KNOW they have a choice of web browser with Firefox being a clear winner these days.
People that only use Internet Explorer are most likely people that don't even know that there are different browsers available, so to suddenly offer a bewilldering range of browsers to these people is going to cause trouble.
I dare say in the days to follow this update will cause lots of chaos with PC users not knowing what to do.