Microsoft has offered customers a chance to try out its browser ballot page, as the company seeks to put an end to wranglings with European regulators.
Dave Heiner, vice president and deputy general counsel at Microsoft, outlined details of the ballot page in a blog post, saying that the firm intends to roll out the feature over the next month, ahead of expected European schedules.
"Over the next few weeks, Microsoft will begin offering a 'web browser choice screen' to Internet Explorer users in Europe, as required by the European Commission," he said.
"Internal testing of the choice screen is underway now. We'll begin a limited rollout externally next week, and expect that a full scale rollout will begin around 1 March, a couple of weeks ahead of schedule."
The European Commission ruled in December that Microsoft must allow greater competition by providing computer users with a choice of browsers.
"Microsoft agreed to use Windows Update to provide a browser choice screen to Windows users in Europe who are running Internet Explorer as their default browser," said Heiner.
"This browser choice screen will present a list of browsers, with links to learn more about them and install them. The design and operation of this choice screen was worked out in the course of extensive discussions with the European Commission and is reflected in the commitment that Microsoft made.
"Users who get the choice screen will be free to choose any browser or stick with the browser they have, as they prefer."
External testing starts in the UK, France and Belgium, after which Microsoft will roll out the option screen across the continent in the first week of March.
The browser choice screen software update will be offered as an automatic download through Windows Update for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. Options are Chrome, IE, Safari, Firefox and Opera.
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