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EU browser ballot issues rumbles on and on...

Choosing how to get online has never been so complicated

If you were wondering if the long-running European 'browser ballot' issue that has Microsoft pitted against other browser makers could get any more ridiculous, then rest assured that it just has.

The latest development saw Opera complaining to the European Commission that the idea of presenting Windows users with an alphabetical list of browsers available for download would unfairly favour Apple's Safari, as it features first on the so-called ballot screen.

Random list

As a result, Microsoft has agreed to present the browser list in a random order, meaning everyone has a theoretically equal chance of being picked for the playground rounders team, sorry... picked as the default internet browser within Windows, we mean.

The browser ballot, which is likely to come into effect next year, is an attempt to avoid antitrust action against Microsoft if it doesn't offer Windows users something other than Internet Explorer.

The facts that Firefox is already fast catching up on I.E.'s market share in Europe and that it's a simple matter of going to a website to get any other browser is, it seems, neither here nor there for the Commission.