22 March 2010

Making choice visible

Engadget published an interesting snippet today, reporting on the impact of European anti-trust laws on uptake of Internet Explorer. Since 1 March, Microsoft have been obliged to offer European customers the option of selecting their browser, rather than defaulting to IE, when they set up a new Windows 7 computer. And this has already had an (albeit small) impact on uptake of IE.

Of course the choice has always been there, but never made quite so explicit. A nice lesson on how a little handholding can help typically cautious users personalise their system. One wouldn't want to make this choice for every application at set up, or it would become tedious. But you could see the point of a general 'show me alternatives' option for any application. A bit like uSwitch for your desktop.

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