Opera downloads "tripled" since launch of browser ballot

Windows browser ballot has led to a surge in downloads of the Opera browser, makers claim

Barry Collins Reuters
4 Mar 2010

Opera claims it's seen a surge in downloads of its browser after the launch of the Windows browser ballot.

The ballot screen is being rolled out on new PCs and existing Windows machines where Internet Explorer is currently set as the default browser. It gives users the choice to download the five leading browsers - including Opera - with a further seven browsers available if users scroll the screen to the right.

"Since the browser choice screen rollout, Opera downloads have more than tripled in major European countries, such as Belgium, France, Spain, Poland and the UK," said Rolf Assev, Opera's chief strategy officer.

Opera launched a new version of its browser this week, to take full advantage of the browser ballot.

The early results appear to vindicate Opera's decision to pursue its case with the European authorities. It was Opera's complaint that sparked an EU investigation into the bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows, which resulted in the browser ballot settlement.

However, the browser ballot hasn't appeased all of Microsoft's rivals. Makers of the minority browsers have complained that there is no indication, other than a horizontal scroll bar, that there are more choices other than the first five browsers shown.

"Frankly, nobody knows there are more than five options. We see this as unfair," said Shawn Hardin, chief executive of Flock, Europe's sixth largest browser.

Microsoft said the screen was in compliance with the European Commission's decision.

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