Browser Wars

Following an antitrust dispute, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (I.E) has lost market share in major E.U. countries. Microsoft has started a Choice Screen to over 200 million new and old computers, in the form of a Microsoft update, where you can choose which browser to download and use.

Since the update, it has been reported that Internet Explorer’s market share has dropped 1% in Britain, 1.3% in Italy and 2.5% in France. This drop in IE market share on the other hand has increased the downloads of other browsers. A Mozilla spokesperson stated

We have significant growth in the number of new Firefox users as a result of the Ballot Choice screen. We expect these numbers to increase as the Ballot Choice screen fully rolls out across all countries.

Opera has reported its downloads have doubled in a month across Europe, and tripled in Italy, Spain and Poland. Although some of the user increases can be related to the release of Opera 10.5. this choice screen by Microsoft can be linked to a significant climb in numbers.

This update is also increasing the visibility of smaller browsers such as Avant, Maxthon and Flock. However, even with this increase, the smaller companies aren’t satisfied. Representatives from these firms registered a petition that protests that their browsers are only viewable when scrolled left in the browser Choice Screen.

The petition stated,

It is clear that the final Choice Screen design leaves the vast majority of users unaware that there are more than five browsers to choose from. This is inconsistent with the EU Commission’s stated goal for the Choice Screen—to provide European consumers with information on the 12 most widely used Web browsers and to allow users to easily download and install one or more of these Web browsers.

Although this is a small step forward for the little man, it is still a long journey out of the shadow of the Software Giant.

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