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Safari given prominent position in European Windows?

updated 01:00 pm EDT, Fri October 16, 2009

Draws fire from Mozilla designer

Apple's Safari browser may occupy too central position in upcoming European versions of Windows, critics say. Users should soon be presented with a special browser ballot, explaining what web browsers are, and more crucially offering a choice of apps beyond Internet Explorer. The feature comes as a result of pressure from the European Commission, which has accused Microsoft of hampering competition by bundling IE with Windows, forcing developers to design for it and potentially limit their innovation.

A designer of Mozilla's Firefox browser, Jenny Boriss, has complained about the proposed ballot's arrangement however, arguing that it gives a "disproportionate advantage" to Safari. The Apple software is presented at the beginning of an alphabetic list, which Boriss suggests could make it the default alternative for most people. In conventional elections, the designer claims, candidates can have their votes boosted by as much as 50 percent if they are the first name on a ballot.

Safari is too Mac-centric, Boriss continues, and represents only a small fraction of current Windows marketshare at 2.6 percent. A suggested alternative to alphabetical order is a randomization of the top five browsers, or else probability ordering, ranked by share. The latter would like put IE in the first position however, followed by Firefox, which is used on 22.75 percent of all Internet-connected computers.

Beginning on October 22nd, European PC vendors will themselves have the option of choosing which browser to install for Windows 7.

by MacNN Staff



  1. c4rlob

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Stupid argument

    This literally is a stupid argument either way you look at it. First of all, the ballot does a reasonable job of presenting the list horizontally; it's not as if they're listed vertically and Safari is ON TOP. And the argument could be made that Windows IE has the dominant position by being in the center of the page - from a layout design perspective it's a fallacy to suggest that people always put emphasis from left to right when viewing a webpage.
    So go ahead stupid! Put Safari third in the row right in the center of the page.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Oh god!

    So he whines that users didn't have a built-in option. Then MS gives the user an option, and a fair one (alphabetic, what's fairer than that), and now Mozilla idiot is whining because they didn't think to call themselves AAA-zilla.

    In conventional elections, the designer claims, candidates can have their votes boosted by as much as 50 percent if they are the first name on a ballot.

    Sure, in 'conventional' elections. But what are those for? Leader of your country, head of the city, etc. Completely unimportant stuff. Of course no one would pay attention to who they're voting for there. But this is a browser on a computer. That's much more important than elected officials or anything. Let's have more discussions and field testing on the ballot layout.

    So let's make it random. So that way users will randomly get stuck with a browser that don't want but are too stupid to figure out how to change (Oh, god, they could end up with Opera!).

  1. cal6n

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Looks fine to me.

    It's alphabetical order:

    Apple, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla & Opera.

    Coincidently, it's pretty close to my order of preference with browsers...

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