Another Windows N anybody?
While this solution seems reasonable on the surface there are a number of legal liability issues to consider, some that leave the EC open to lawsuits itself.
1. Who decides *which* browsers get on the ballot?
2. If controlled by individual OEMs doesn't that mean IE will always be included, Opera maybe never? If so how is it any different than now?
3. If the EC controls the ballot (since it's obvious MS never should) then what happens when a new browser comes out? Is there a mechanism in place to petition a place on the ballot? If not can the new browser maker sue the EC for exclusionary collusion?
4. There are *lots* of browsers out there. If a user is given a list of 2 dozen browers, which one should they pick? Will they even know?
5. Will the ballot have a default setting? Can you change your mind after installation? If there is a default what should it be?
6. Mechanically, how will this work? Who creates the ballot screen software? If each OEM has to do it then that places additional load on third parties--making this solution illegal. Courts can't impose a solution on uninvolved third parties. If MS does it, then how can you secure the software against hackers?
7. If the the individual browser makers are responsible for their own browser download bandwidth (which seems reasonable) and the ballot is nothing more than a list of download URLs then it should be simple to hack. Remember you would have to secure *every* OEM...
8. What about the infrastructure that goes with IE? Not the trivial front end, the actual Trident rendering engine? Remember a large number of third party software requires Trident to be present. If MS is forced to pull Trident out then the EC is directly responsible for breaking existing software and third parties could rightly sue the EC for interfering in third party business affairs.
9. If you leave Trident in, how have you really done anything at all? Isn't that even *less* effective than Windows N? Are you telling me the (tiny) front end that is IExplorer.exe is worth the billions of dollars wasted on this farce? (Fines, the time governement employees spent on it, the reams of dead trees, the *printer ink* and *toner* costs? :))
10. Finally, remember we are talking about programs that are FREE to the user! What sane person invests billions to tell someone else which free program they get to use?
I think the EC is pointing a massive cannon at their own heads. Neelie-burgers, anyone?