Microsoft Offers Rival Web Browsers in Europe

Millions of web users across Europe are being asked by Microsoft if they want to continue using its Internet Explorer or change to another browser. The move by the US software giant is part of a deal struck with the European Commission to resolve competition concerns.

Microsoft IE is currently used by around 62% of Web users worldwide, followed by Firefox which has a 24% market share, according to Net Applications.

Starting this week, a pop-up window will prompt users to choose one of 12 different browsers or stay with Internet Explorer. The browser choice software will be delivered as part of the Windows Update system, which Microsoft usually uses to distribute security patches.

Users of Windows XP, Vista or 7 will get it -- but users of non-IE browsers such as Opera, Safari, Chrome or Firefox will not see it.

The software will give the user the prompt "An important choice to make: your browser" leading to a screen with the list of the 12 web browsers available. Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari and Internet Explorer will be randomly ordered on the first section.

Seven less well-known browsers -- Avant, Flock, Green Browser, K-meleon, Maxthon, Sleipnir and Slim -- will be randomly ordered on the rest of the screen.

Each listing contains some information on the particular browser and a download button. The choice screen will keep appearing until a user has selected their preferred browser.

For more on this story, see the full article at