USERS OF MICROSOFT Windows in Europe will no longer be asked to make a choice about which browser they want to use.
The Browser Ballot page was enforced by the European Union five years ago in an attempt to break the monopoly held by Internet Explorer, which comes bundled with the Windows package.
Windows users creating a profile for the first time were given a summary and download links for a range of browsers, including Firefox, Opera, Safari, Chrome and more obscure players such as Maxathon.
However, times have changed, and the market has fragmented to the point where the EU has opted not to renew the obligation, despite giving Microsoft a ticking off two years ago for not complying.
A message on the browser choice page reads: "This website was created by Microsoft in accordance with a decision issued by the European Commission in December 2009.
"The obligations imposed by the decision have now expired and Microsoft will no longer maintain this website.
"Microsoft encourages customers who want more information about web browsers or want to download another browser to do so by visiting the websites of web browser vendors directly."
Figures from Net Applications' Netmarketshare show only a nine percent drop in IE's dominance to 58.24 percent for the year to date, compared with 67.57 percent in 2009.
The real winner has been Google's Chrome which now holds 18.84 percent, compared with just 2.67 percent in 2009.
Firefox stands at 15.97 (23.53), Safari has gone up slightly to 5.48 (3.52) and Opera has halved to 1.06 (2.15).
We will be watching closely in 2015 to see whether Internet Explorer's share creeps back up, although it does seem that most people are a lot more familiar with the concept of browser choice, meaning that the campaign could be regarded as a success. µ
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