I think the most significant line in the slashdot article is this:
"But having the option to install Firefox, say, is useless unless people know what it is."
But Glyn then goes on to suggest some kind of publicity campaign, which misses the point of this entire inane EU process. Because if a publicity campaign were useful, it should be done regardless of this ruling.
The average user does not, and continues to not, care. For those of us who do care, we know how to install Firefox and don't need Microsoft or the European governments to hand-hold us through the process. This EU process been one big, fat waste of time.
Even if Microsoft offers a version of Windows that lets users choose explicitly to install IE or Firefox (and I guess, what, Opera as well? Safari? Chrome?), I bet you good money that most users will choose "Microsoft Internet Explorer" because it has Microsoft in the title. As in, faced with this bogus non-option, an ignorant user will choose the program that was written by the operating system vendor.
And I mean this bet literally, because when I write web browser plugins I make sure they support IE first. It's the browser most people have because most people don't care. Until and unless the EU makes Microsoft bundle Firefox to the exclusion of IE---a move that hardly seems fair by any rational metric---most users will still use the most convenient option, because most users simply don't care. End of story.
An advertising campaign that would sell Firefox needs to begin by making people care about their web browser as an application, then explain why Firefox is a better application for browsing the web. History suggests it's an uphill battle.
Incidentally, the fortune file entry at the bottom of my article listing right now is "bureaucracy, n: A method for transforming energy into solid waste." How appropriate.