Browser Choice – What’s That About
In December 2009 the European Union obliged Microsoft to offer a choice of browsers to their European customers when they installed new versions of Windows. This browser choice was also delivered in updates to Windows and so the Browser Choice screen was born and has been with us ever since. See my featured image of Microsoft’s browser choice screen offering Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Mozilla Firefox and the Opera browsers amongst others.
Browser Choice Ends
It turns out that this requirement by the EU had a time limit of five years which has now expired. Consequently Microsoft have quietly withdrawn the option to choose other browsers and returned to providing Internet Explorer alone. People can of course continue to use other browsers with Windows as they see fit but Internet Explorer is now what comes out of the box.
While updating software on a friend’s Windows 8.1 PC he remarked that he could no longer see the Norton Safe Web (NSW) icons in his search results. He was using Internet Explorer with Google as his home page and search engine. He had Norton Internet Security (NIS) installed and the Norton Toolbar was present in his browser. At the time I couldn’t find a solution to his problem so I came home and conducted tests on my Windows 7 PC which also uses NIS.
The featured image at the top of the page shows how it looks when it works OK and an NSW icon is selected.
There is a vulnerability (flaw) which allows targeted attacks via Internet Explorer versions 6 through 11 to be made on MS Windows PC’s.
The attack seems complex to me and probably not easily made against the masses. The ultimate goal of an attacker would be to encourage a PC user to visit dangerous websites.
Microsoft plan to fix the problem with updates distributed in their normal way, i.e. monthly updates.
If you want to find out more you can visit ITPRO here. Some PC’s will be more vulnerable than others depending on what version of Windows is used and whether Outlook, Outlook Express or Windows Mail are viewing an HTML document.
Or you could visit Microsoft here and read Microsoft Security Advisory 2963983, Published: April 26, 2014.
I don’t necessarily want Internet Explorer Suggested Sites on my Favourites Bar in Internet Explorer. I just want My Favourites. Yes, I’m talking about the Suggested Sites shortcut which appears on the Favourites Bar and defies all attempts to remove it permanently. Deleting the shortcut from the Favourites Bar does not prevent it from returning.