More on Flock and the Choice Screen Petition
Article by George Norman
On 08 Mar 2010
We recently reported that the team behind Firefox-based, socially-oriented Flock browser was very happy to be a part of Microsoft’s choice screen. To be more precise, CEO Shawn Harding said “Flock is thrilled to have been selected as one of the top twelve browsers. The fact that millions of users can now choose a browser that fits their needs is the good news.”

It is estimated that some 200 million Windows users in Europe will get to see the choice screen (only those who have Internet Explorer set as the default browser). The catch is that most of these users will assume the choice screen presents only 5 browsers (see image at the bottom) – when there are in fact 12 browsers to choose from. Flock and 5 other companies submitted a petition to the European Commission in which they ask the Commission to implement a few changes that would make it obvious to computer users that the choice screen presents more than 5 browsers.


“As you can see in the petition, what we’re fighting for on behalf of users is very straightforward. We want them to know about the wide range of choices they have when they select a browser. Whether they need a social browser, such as Flock or any of the other eleven options. We can all agree that everyone deserves the opportunity to make the most informed choice possible,” commented Shawn Hardin.

The European Commission, responded to the petition case in an email sent to CNet’s Stephen Shankland. Here is what spokesperson Amelia Torres said: “"The elements of the Choice Screen were published on the Internet and attention was drawn to them both through a press release and a notice in the EU's Official Journal, in all the languages of the Union. Two of the signatories made submissions in response to this market test, but did not raise the suggestions they advance now. Nor did any other market participant. The elements in question therefore remained unchanged when the final commitments were made binding on Microsoft by the Commission's decision of 16 December 2009.”

When contacted by Download Squad’s Grant Robertson, Flock’s CEO Shawn Hardin had this to say: “Microsoft informed us on 12/16/09 that Flock had been selected for inclusion. This was the first time Flock received any official information about a decision that Flock would be participating in the program. Prior to this, Flock was never identified or invited as an "interested party" by the European Commission.”

And that’s the story so far. We’ll keep you posted on further developments.

If you would like to get
Flock 2.5, the latest version of the browser, you can download it here.

Tags: Flock, Browser, Microsoft, Choice Screen, EU, Europe, European Commission
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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