Mozilla designer suggests Windows 'browser ballot' is preferential to Apple

Windows 7 logoIn a blog post yesterday first noticed by Computerworld's Gregg Keizer, a member of Mozilla's user experience team -- stating she was not writing on behalf of Mozilla, as the organization allows -- suggested that Microsoft's revised proposal for a Web browser selection screen for European Windows users still isn't fair enough to the browser market.

Because more computer users are accustomed to the typical ways to install software, states Mozilla UX team member Jenny Boriss, they may assume that the first choice that appears in a list is the preferred choice. In Microsoft's original proposal, Internet Explorer 8 appeared in the leftmost column. But in the company's more neutral alternative as proposed last March, it placed browsers in columns sorted in alphabetical order by their manufacturer. As a result, Apple Safari fell first.

"Aside from being unfair to the other browsers, the problem is that past consumer choice has shown that Safari does not provide an ideal browsing experience on Windows," Boriss writes. "Taking IE out of the equation because of its advantage as the bundled browser, the free market really does show what Windows users prefer. Safari has the smallest market share of the five other browsers at 2.6%. Frankly, Safari is a good browser for Apple computers, but Apple hasn't put much effort to make it competitive on Windows. It's just not their priority. So, by listing Safari first, the ballot is presenting as the recommended item the browser that is least likely to be the one the user wants. This leads to users having a bad experience using the Web, and ultimately hurts the user and the market."

One alternative Boriss suggests is for browser order to be arranged randomly, and a second would organize browsers by market share order -- like Microsoft had it the first time. But that second solution would place IE first most of the time, which may not be a better solution than placing Apple first. So Boriss suggests a third option: adjusting the random probability in the browser juggling order, so that the first slot is given to each browser in accordance with its assessed usage share.

As Boriss projects it, "Mozilla would be first about 50% of the time, Chrome would be first 30% of the time, Opera 15%, and Safari 5%. This allows for the market forces to have some weigh over placement, but doesn't consistently benefit one browser. The problem is, it still puts some users at a disadvantage who randomly get a less popular browser as the first on the ballot."

According to the latest live statistics from analytics firm NetApplications, all active versions of Firefox combined make up 23.75% of all active Web browsers online, while all active versions of IE make up just under two-thirds. Those numbers are subject to flux over time, although conceivably, a ballot screen mechanism that uses usage share as its baseline could update its numbers live through NetApplications, as we just did.

Mozilla is one of the "interested third parties" whose opinions are being sought by the European Commission during a comments period, before it issues its recommendations on Microsoft's proposal. Boriss' comments may not be officially recognized as coming from Mozilla or the Mozilla Foundation; on the other hand, a prototype recently proposed by Google was not intended to be an "official" comment either.

Source: Betanews

Tags: Apple, browsers, Microsoft, Mozilla, Windows 7

Comments
Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
or
Your comment:


Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party


Last news

 
Consumer group recommends iPhone 8 over anniversary model
 
LTE connections wherever you go and instant waking should come to regular PCs, too
 
That fiction is slowly becoming a reality
 
The Snapdragon 845 octa-core SoC includes the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem
 
Human moderators can help make YouTube a safer place for everyone
 
Google says Progressive Web Apps are the future of app-like webpages
 
All 2018 models to sport the 'notch'
 
The biggest exchange in South Korea, where the BTC/KRW pair is at $14,700 now
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
The evolution of the successful smartphone, now with a waterproof body and USB Type-C
February 7, 2017 /
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /
 
 

News Archive

 
 
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      




Poll

Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments (4)