Microsoft Tracking User Browser Choices In Browser Ballot Screen
By on March 4th, 2010

Microsoft has rolled out the Browser ballot screens in EU nations, using which users can choose which browser they want to install and use as default on their computers. However, Microsoft is also collecting information on where the users are headed through redirect links which go through go.microsoft.com.

microsoft_ballot_screen

The Ballot Screen, whose replica is available at BrowserChoice.eu, has links to download different browsers, however, all those links go through the redirect before ending up on the actual download site.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with it, many companies use redirects for outgoing links. However, one thing is sure, Microsoft will have the data for the browsers which are chosen by users.

Microsoft will  may never make this data public or share them with other companies, but it would definitely be interesting from an analysis standpoint to know which browsers were chosen by users.

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Author: Keith Dsouza Google Profile for Keith Dsouza
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  • http://www.pallab.net Pallab De

    Don’t be so sure that MS won’t use this data for patting its own back. Given that most users have only heard of IE and people generally resist change, undoubtedly majority will chose IE. Knowing MS, they may try to use this data to prove that users still think that IE is superior.

    • http://keithdsouza.com Keith Dsouza

      Sorry about that, I agree that "will" was much of an assumption here, I stand corrected and the post is updated :-)

  • http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=178591 MikePW

    http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=178591

    I personally am really annoyed about this. I installed the Msoft updates at shutdown last night but when I booted up today up pops an unbranded "Browser Choice" pod. So immediately I think it's a piece of malware. I clicked OK, let it generate it's URL then cut my WLAN. Lo and behold it's a microsoft URL (see above). Google this and, thankfully, techie-buzz is already on the ball (thank you). To my mind this is the secondd time Microsoft has hidden a significantly intrusive bit of monitoring software in its updates. First one was wga which I resisted for a long time but gave in due to its persistence. If Msoft keep doing this then I'm going to stop trusting them and maybe move to Open Source. I wish there was an immediate way we could worldwide respond to Msoft telling them to stop doing this. In the meantime I'm going to see if they have acustomer service feedback site I can post a "Stop doing this" to.

    Mike

  • http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=178591 MikePW

    I'm going to use this feedback box, forget the survey bit and just put "http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=178591 Browser survey – Stop doing this sort of thing. I believe you are collecting my behaviour and preferences which I don't want to share with you. If I lose trust in your products I will move away from them"

  • Indian Art

    Sneaky! ;)

 
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