Camen Design

c share + remix

Spam, Egg, Spam, Spam Bacon and Spam

So, it’s really good to see that Microsoft have thrust choice in front of users whether they like it or not, and if we discount the fact that it’s impossible for a user to choose a product without actually using it first—if they even know what a browser is to begin with—and that users are already exercising choice perfectly well before the browser ballot came along, with IE falling below 50% usage in numerous countries.

Windows is known for being a little pushy with Internet Explorer. You tell it to go away, and it just keeps coming back. Rearing its ugly head. Pestering you with questions you really couldn’t care about. You keep swatting it, but it just won’t die. The browser ballot, besides asking people to click on the logo they find the prettiest, is also designed to uphold that choice. Let’s see how well it’s doing, shall we?


A customer managed to trash their system, so I had to wipe the computer clean and re-install Vista. After getting the drivers, I ran Windows update to force through the updates, including installing IE8 and the EU browser choice update.

Upon restarting, I’m greeted by this:

Screenshot of the IE8 set up screen interrupting the browser ballot
Internet Explorer 8 interrupting the browser ballot

Of course, if you click through, the default settings are to put IE as the default browser—before the user has even had the chance to choose a browser, because the IE8 twenty questions dialogue is modal. Whatever you do, be it use defaults, use your own settings and don’t set it as default, or even tell it to ask you later, you get this:

Screenshot of Internet Explorer 8 interrupting the browser ballot
Your choice has been tucked behind Internet Explorer for your convenience

I close IE, get back to the browser choice window, now with the IE8 logo emblazoned in my mind. For some reason, despite making a choice and getting a download, the “Browser Choice” desktop icon stays there. Something’s gone a bit wonky here. The machine is restarted to see if it sticks around.

On the next boot, I’m presented with this:

Screenshot of Internet Explorer asking to be your default browser—in front of the browser ballot screen!
Are you really sure you chose correctly? I think you need to choose again

Seems like Internet Explorer is on the plate, no matter what meal you choose.