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"Ballot screen" coming to Office 2010, too

By Matthew ยท 31 replies
Aug 6, 2009
  1. On January 15, Microsoft was charged with seeking to hinder rivals by coupling its browser, Internet Explorer, with its Windows operating system. It was accused of abusing its market dominance by harming innovation and limiting consumer choice. After six-plus months of rope pulling, Microsoft gave in to European regulators and proposed a \"ballot screen\" solution which would prompt users to choose between several third party browsers on the system\'s first boot-up.

    Read the whole story
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Please explain what you mean by your challenge, "...Again, I ask you: Where is the damn line drawn?"
  3. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 5,313   +100

  4. Captain828

    Captain828 TS Guru Posts: 287   +10

    And some of tomorrow's news:
    - EU forces ballot screen for multimedia player in Windows 7
    - EU forces ballot screen for MS notepad
    - EU forces Antivirus ballot screen for MS Windows 7
    - EU forces ballot screen for ballot screen layout in next MS OSes
    - MS posts job offer for "Ballot Screen Specialist"
  5. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Exactly. There has to be a point where this stops or it becomes so obtrusive and confusing it actually *hurts* consumers.

    I can't wait for the EU to fine Microsoft for collusion with other major browsers because they didn't list K-meleon and Lynx.
  6. johnehoffman

    johnehoffman TS Enthusiast Posts: 26   +35

    This is all window dressing for ***** politicians and bureaucrats who are convinced that the public is as dumb and lazy as they are. In truth, most computer users are capable of downloading whichever browser they want and saving Office documents to whichever format they want. (Perhaps having a menu screen with a choice of browsers is helpful for the bureaucrats who can't spell Firefox, Safari, Chrome or Opera.)

    Government, by the mentally impaired, for the mentally impaired. That's what the 21st century has come to.
  7. fwilliams

    fwilliams TS Rookie Posts: 99

    To bad losers. Microsoft has used it's illegal criminal monopoly long enough. Now when someone actually makes them play fair you whine about it. Operating systems are meant to run programs, not just the programs your company stole from others.
  8. Algoz

    Algoz TS Rookie Posts: 20

    I'm not a great M$ lover, in fact I choose Cupertino over Redmond. But, I do believe that if a bunch of people create a product, develop it, market it to the level of market dominance, then hats off to them! They shouldn't be forced to compromise it by EU bureaucrats.

    Sure some users lack knowledge and sophistication to make an informed choice, but really, you don't see Ford being forced to offer a GM engine to consumers in the name of 'fairness'.

    No, I think the EU has got this wrong and found another way to generate tax revenue!
  9. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 5,313   +100

    @Algoz: Amen.
  10. tengeta

    tengeta TS Enthusiast Posts: 612

    And you people said I was stupid for saying these eballots would start showing up everywhere for even more dumb reasons.

  11. TJGeezer

    TJGeezer TS Enthusiast Posts: 385   +10

    How about a MS ballot on installation to set whether it installs Windows or Linux and if Linux, with Gnome or KDE. That way, Ford could be forced to sell Kia, so to speak. But I suppose MS might possibly consider that unfair.
  12. @ fwilliams

    Dude, just go n observe any OS, whether Ubuntu or Mac OS X or any other.....

    ALL come with the basic necessities installed to ensure a smooth usage ride. And if people have their preferences they do install stuff like Firefox. but for the other standard users, this entire thing is a bother. And it's only fair that MS provides its best to its consumers.

    (in Mac u got Itunes (which sucks), Safari (whose windows version sux on mem) and all apps beginning with i, AND i hear absolutely NO complaints!)
  13. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    socialists at their worst. And to think the USA is headed in the same direction.....
  14. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,223   +163

    and I think we are further down that road than a lot of people realize....
  15. What's so bad about these ballot screens? Its really annoying that Office 2007 saves in .docx that only Office07 can read! And who wants IE anyways? I love to have a choice and not having to uninstall tons of unwanted components from the OS, like IE.
  16. Where does it say the EU is forcing/requesting this for Office?
  17. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,419   +809

    Although not entirely similar, I find it extremely annoying to have IE presenting it's first time run dialogs so you can setup accelerators (IE8) but also a default search engine (there's the resemblance).

    Instead I'd rather get a straight quick loading browser that I can use from scratch and download Firefox or any other alternative if I wished to do so. Adding a less intrusive way to inform users would at least be better.
  18. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,212   +174

    The only ballot screen that I need is the one that says, "Would you ever like Windows to display a ballot screen? Y/N"

    Of course 'N' would be the correct answer.

    What's up with the free world EU? You make us Colonialists look like we're the ones with all the freedom now. We don't have this non-sense in our Operating Systems, and I'm proud of it! We get the product as the designers envisioned - the way that it should be.
  19. You can "save" a document in older version formats. You don't "have" to save in docx format. OMG I hate lazy users... LOL
  20. "...Again, I ask you: Where is the damn line drawn?"

    Blurring editorial content with a (supposedly) journalistic article is amaturish and sloppy. If this is the news section of the site, it should contain a reporting-of-the-facts and just that, not opinion pieces. Unless you're Fox News that is.
  21. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,223   +163

    :haha: OH pleeeaasse unidentified guest, try....try not to be absurd. could you be a little more transparent in your intellectual dis ingenuousness ? and you know what I mean. if Matt had come down on your side, nary a word would have been uttered (anonymously) and he would not have been
    your comment about fox news was very revealing....try not to worry unidentified guest, 78% of the press openly admits to being liberal....so you have three quarters of the all important fourth estate on your side.
    by the way... you misspelled amateurish (i rather think that's sloppy and amateurish)
  22. TJGeezer

    TJGeezer TS Enthusiast Posts: 385   +10

    Good lord. Kindly source it or admit it's bullshit. And are you including Fox? Geez. You don't seem to understand the dynamics of journalism at all. Publishers set editorial policy, editors enforce it, reporters want a paycheck and mostly go along to get along no matter how they vote, and the day 78% of publishers in any media are "liberals" (whatever that means these days) hell's gonna need to issue ice skates.

    That said, an informal blog-style news center like this has no obligation at all to pretend to objectivity. That's just ridiculous.
  23. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 5,313   +100

    While we try and keep things clean and professional, this is not a mainstream ("journalistic") news outlet. Admittedly, I am not a journalist - simply a literate tech enthusiast.

    If anything, our front page is (in my opinion) closer to what you'd find on a tech blog than on CNN. I'm sorry if that's just not your taste, but it is what it is - and isn't what it isn't, for that matter.

    No matter how harsh, I appreciate the criticism, so feel free to tear in - I'm not about to cry myself to sleep.


  24. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,223   +163

    TJ...are you actually serious!? do you realize what you said? ...lets have a gander

    Im not sure what rock you have been under, but the media has been rather open about the fact that they are liberal for quite a long time.

    not often you good lord and bull**** in the same sentence, very creative

    RATS! ya got me! see i was hoping that in my calculating methodology, you would not notice that from the tens of thousands of journalists, newsrooms,editors, publishers, etc etc across America, i could get away with excluding the Fox newsroom from the study, and it it would skew the numbers in my favor.....that's some solid thinking right there.
    ummm yeah...kind of the basis of my assertion, if you you have a liberal publisher and editor, it would be okay for a liberal journalist to hand in a ?????....come on you can get it! ......liberal story!! yay very good. take a Tawana Brawley out of petty cash.

    Uhh, this is my favorite of your uttering's. If you do not know what the crux of my argument even is......how can you disagree with me?? we might be on the same side!

    I do agree with this however,

    As Matthew so eloquently put it.....Bingo

    here are your sources, and there are plenty more where these come from. of course the best source would be to just open your eyes and pay attention.

  25. To those that said Office 2007 requires you to save in DOC/DOCX format, is untrue (which has already been stated, but let me continue). If you so desire, you, as a user, can set the default "SAVE AS" type in the application's settings screen.

    It is slightly different in each Office application, and I believe one of them may not have the option available, but here's how to do it in Microsoft Word 2007:

    1. Click on the new "Orb" (File) menu button.
    2. At the bottom right of the menu's "window" is a button labelled "Word Options" - click it.
    3. Click on the "Save" selection on the left.
    4. The very first option is "Save files in this format".

    We use this at work so that staff members save (by default, they can override it) in *.DOC (Word 97-2003 format). RTF, ODT, TXT, and XML file versions (as well as WPS) are also available. The main difference this article is stating is the option will be much more visible (i.e.: in your face), and will include more formats. However, when an option exists in a GUI method (i.e.: not the registry or some convoluted shell hack like some OSX apps), it is simply either UX designer or user negligence to blame.
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