Following through on promises made to the European Commission’s competition regulators, Microsoft last month rolled out an on-screen ballot for Windows users enabling them to pick a Web browser of their choice rather then be saddled with Internet Explorer…and according to StatCounter, Internet Explorer has seen a drop in its market share in Europe, while other browser makers report significant upticks in the number of users downloading their software.
According to StatCounter, during March 2010 Internet Explorer’s cumulative share of Web traffic has dropped by 2.5 in France, by 1.3 in Italy, and 1 percent in Britain. Opera Software has claimed its downloads have more than doubled since the introduction of the browser choice ballot screen. Mozilla also says it has seen a significant increase in Firefox downloads since the introduction of the ballot screen, and that it expected that trend to continue as the ballot rolled out to more markets.
The browser ballot screen is intended to give users a choice of up to a dozen Web browsers to set up as their default, with Internet Explorer offered as one of the choices. The options are presented in random order—so no one browser benefits overmuch from being on the first screen of choices—but the ballot has been criticized by many for not making it more obvious that additional choices are available by side-scrolling.