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Windows Thread, The 'Browser Ballot' is coming - for XP and Vista, as well as Windows 7 in Technical; The Browser Choice Screen for Europe: What to Expect, When to Expect It - Microsoft On The Issues In a ...
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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    The 'Browser Ballot' is coming - for XP and Vista, as well as Windows 7

    The Browser Choice Screen for Europe: What to Expect, When to Expect It - Microsoft On The Issues

    In a couple weeks time, Microsoft will roll out the much-talked-about 'browser ballot' in the EU, that will prompt users to choose which browser they want to use. Something I hadn't realised until reading the above post is that this will apply to Windows XP and Vista, as well as Windows 7, so unless you're an entirely non-Windows shop it WILL be something you're going to have to think about.

    It will be an automatic update (which I assume means not in the 'optional' category of Windows Update), with a phased roll-out across the EU from 1st March onwards - though the UK, Belgium, and France can manually install the update it as early as next week. No detail yet on the timeframe for publication via WSUS (which is sometimes different from the normal WU schedule) but I know Ray Fleming from Microsoft's education team is drafting a post about this for publication very soon.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    I hope Microsoft don't publish this to WSUS. Definitely one to decline ASAP and not have users asking "What does this mean?" or "What do I choose?"

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    rayfleming's Avatar
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    Yes, I'm drafting a blog post (which will go on our UK Schools blog) - and when I've got it finished, I'll pop a link here. It's likely to be next week. (Because of the sensitivities, I thought I'd better get some other people to check it for me first!)

    The browser ballot screen will be available through WSUS, but of course, you would probably choose not to deploy it, assuming that you don't want every student choosing their own browser

    There'll be other ways for you to manage it too, but the articles describing those aren't yet up on TechNet etc. As they are published, I'll drop a link here if others haven't already done so.

    The update will not be rolled out until March, and so there is time to get things sorted. Be aware though that it will normally automatically deploy to every Windows XP/Vista/7 computer, through Windows Update, not just new ones.

  4. 2 Thanks to rayfleming:

    AndyD (23rd February 2010), dhoward_westexetc (25th February 2010)

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    dhoward_westexetc's Avatar
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    Microsoft have published a KB article on this:

    KB2019411

    It contains the registry key to disable this. Could deploy using a policy preference? I'll give it a try later on.

  6. 5 Thanks to dhoward_westexetc:

    AngryTechnician (1st March 2010), diggory (2nd March 2010), ICT_GUY (19th March 2010), kearton (2nd March 2010), rvdmast (1st March 2010)

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    Interesting that they describe that registry key as for use in Volume Licensing environments. I wonder if that means it only works on VL activated installs, and not on, say, OEM activations? The update isn't showing up on my home machine yet so can't test myself.

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    Update: tried it, doesn't work for non-VL.

    My first choice would be to use Group Policy Preferences to delete the RunOnce entry that launches it from the registry, or failing that, use Software Restriction Policies to disallow C:\Windows\System32\browserchoice.exe

    Will do a more detailed writeup on my blog tomorrow. In the meantime, here's an interesting article about how MS messed up their randomisation algorithm, resulting in an order on the ballot where IE actually comes in 5th position about half the time, and Chrome is most likely to get the #1 slot.

  9. 2 Thanks to AngryTechnician:

    dhoward_westexetc (2nd March 2010), kearton (2nd March 2010)

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    dhoward_westexetc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryTechnician View Post
    Update: tried it, doesn't work for non-VL.

    My first choice would be to use Group Policy Preferences to delete the RunOnce entry that launches it from the registry, or failing that, use Software Restriction Policies to disallow C:\Windows\System32\browserchoice.exe

    Will do a more detailed writeup on my blog tomorrow. In the meantime, here's an interesting article about how MS messed up their randomisation algorithm, resulting in an order on the ballot where IE actually comes in 5th position about half the time, and Chrome is most likely to get the #1 slot.
    I may have to do that if my WSUS deny / policy preference for the registry doesn't work. I set my registry preference to update, so it will only do it if the browser choice screen is installed by mistake, but I will test this at a later time and update this post if I find I have to change this setting.

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    Code:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce]
    "KB976002-v5"=-
    
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\BrowserChoice]
    "Enable"=dword:00000000
    should take care of it (seems ok on xp downloaded and installed update)

  12. 4 Thanks to sted:

    AngryTechnician (2nd March 2010), dhoward_westexetc (2nd March 2010), kearton (2nd March 2010), rh91uk (7th April 2010)

  13. #9

    LeMarchand's Avatar
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    I've just remembered that 200+ laptops at one of my schools only have XP Home .

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    This was finally added to WSUS yesterday, as a new product category under Windows:



    If you don't check it, it won't sync to WSUS at all. If it does, just don't approve it.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    But why would any network want the option of including it?

    I suppose M$ had to do it.

  16. #12
    denon101's Avatar
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    I manually added it in to WSUS using the windows catalogue about a month ago. I then promptly declined it!

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