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IE8 Losing Popularity Contest in EU Browser Ballot

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 46 comments

Opera and Firefox gain at the expense of Microsoft Internet Explorer.

In accordance with the European Union, Microsoft had to do something to create more distance between Windows and Internet Explorer as well as give more room for competing web browsers. Now with the Browser Ballot screen up and running, tracking firms have already observed a decline in Internet Explorer's market share.

According to Reuters, reporting from statistics tracked by Statcounter, Internet Explorer's share in March dropped in France by 2.5 percentage points from February, in Britain by 1 percentage point and in Italy by 1.3 points.

Even though those are just small percentages off from Microsoft's share, it's resulted in doubling – and in some countries tripling – of downloads for the Opera browser. Mozilla, which holds second place in the browser popularity contest, said that it has seen strong growth of Firefox.

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  • 20 Hide
    nonxcarbonx , March 23, 2010 12:26 AM
    It's actually pretty amazing to think people were too lazy or too ignorant to simply download Firefox or Opera before the EU's decision. I recognize it's only a few percent, but still, that translates into a lot of people.
  • 15 Hide
    Abrahm , March 23, 2010 12:46 AM
    I'm still waiting for an EU browser ballot mandate on Apple's OS X, and every Linux distribution. Should probably get one on text editors too, that Notepad has had an undeserved monopoly for far too long!

    Doesn't matter if you like or hate Windows, Microsoft, or IE, forcing them to advertise their competitors is idiotic.
  • 13 Hide
    the_krasno , March 23, 2010 12:29 AM
    I would like to know what the numbers have to say about Google Chrome.
Other Comments
  • 20 Hide
    nonxcarbonx , March 23, 2010 12:26 AM
    It's actually pretty amazing to think people were too lazy or too ignorant to simply download Firefox or Opera before the EU's decision. I recognize it's only a few percent, but still, that translates into a lot of people.
  • 13 Hide
    the_krasno , March 23, 2010 12:29 AM
    I would like to know what the numbers have to say about Google Chrome.
  • 4 Hide
    victomofreality , March 23, 2010 12:35 AM
    SURPRISE... wait thats not it... ummm... EXPECTED! why would any one want Microsoft's buggy browser if it didn't come with the os?
  • 15 Hide
    Abrahm , March 23, 2010 12:46 AM
    I'm still waiting for an EU browser ballot mandate on Apple's OS X, and every Linux distribution. Should probably get one on text editors too, that Notepad has had an undeserved monopoly for far too long!

    Doesn't matter if you like or hate Windows, Microsoft, or IE, forcing them to advertise their competitors is idiotic.
  • -5 Hide
    joex444 , March 23, 2010 1:01 AM
    Really. "Opera browser 10 is Internet Browser innovation."

    That's the tagline that won these idiots over? It's the one with grammatical flaws. Say what you will... the correct use of our language is a sign of intelligence. The improper use is therefore a sign of shoddy programs.

    Also, what's with Opera's image compression nonsense? Sure, its faster. But the web never looked worse.
  • 5 Hide
    Camikazi , March 23, 2010 1:04 AM
    victomofrealitySURPRISE... wait thats not it... ummm... EXPECTED! why would any one want Microsoft's buggy browser if it didn't come with the os?

    Yea, I'm so relieved that I can now change my browser, thank god the EU came through and made that possible for the first time... o wait, never mind...
  • 8 Hide
    heffeque , March 23, 2010 1:09 AM
    It seems that joex444 doesn't know that the only countries in Europe that speak English as a mother language are the UK and Ireland.
  • 3 Hide
    math1337 , March 23, 2010 1:10 AM
    Weeks later the shares are almost the the same on all of the browsers because people pick randomly.
  • 1 Hide
    buwish , March 23, 2010 1:16 AM
    Eh, it's all a matter of preference when it comes down to it. I prefer Opera myself, but generally out of habit, i.e. I'm used to it. Others prefer Chrome, Firefox, etc... Just a matter of choice really.
  • 8 Hide
    jhansonxi , March 23, 2010 1:18 AM
    AbrahmI'm still waiting for an EU browser ballot mandate on Apple's OS X, and every Linux distribution. Should probably get one on text editors too, that Notepad has had an undeserved monopoly for far too long!Doesn't matter if you like or hate Windows, Microsoft, or IE, forcing them to advertise their competitors is idiotic.
    That's the price they pay for a de facto monopoly OS market share of 90%+. If Apple OS X achieves that market share then it will be their turn for a browser ballot. If the EU didn't act to limit the power of monopolies that threaten free-market efficiency then they would be accused of being corrupt or bribed.
  • 4 Hide
    pojih , March 23, 2010 1:39 AM
    Just doesn't make sense to me...

    ..my grandparents downloaded firefox themselves, after looking at reviews, and they are no-where near tech-savvy.

    Not that hard to download an .exe on windows and let it automatically install for you.

  • 0 Hide
    dinamic , March 23, 2010 1:45 AM
    too late
  • 2 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , March 23, 2010 2:20 AM
    AbrahmI'm still waiting for an EU browser ballot mandate on Apple's OS X, and every Linux distribution. Should probably get one on text editors too, that Notepad has had an undeserved monopoly for far too long!

    Yeah, everyone knows that text editors affect the global economy like the web does! Also Apple and Linux both have 90+% of the PC OS market and use that to inflate the adoption of their integrated browsers! Everybody codes pages that only work in Safari or Epiphany or Firefox, and IE never gets any love from web designers!

    Or maybe you don't know quite what you're talking about. This isn't about random product coming bundled with random other product in a healthy, competitive market. Bundling isn't the issue. Abuse of monopoly in one market to establish dominance in another market is the issue.

    At least I got here before the car analogies started.
  • 3 Hide
    SAL-e , March 23, 2010 2:52 AM
    AbrahmI'm still waiting for an EU browser ballot mandate on Apple's OS X, and every Linux distribution. Should probably get one on text editors too, that Notepad has had an undeserved monopoly for far too long!Doesn't matter if you like or hate Windows, Microsoft, or IE, forcing them to advertise their competitors is idiotic.

    I don't know about Apple's OS-X, but last time I check most of Linux distributions came with package managers and repository with at least 3 other web browsers. Heck most of KDE based distributions came with 2 web browsers pre-installed. So next time before you comment please check your facts first.
    Oh. One more thing, the ballot screen is MS solution, EU wanted to un-bundle the IE. MS decided this is better solution for them.
  • -9 Hide
    p05esto , March 23, 2010 2:59 AM
    I'm a web developer of 15 years and highly prefer IE over other browsers. Seems the fastest, is proven the most secure and loads the fastest thanks to being woven into the OS. The UI is the best as well, perfectly matching Windows, updates with Windows Update, very easy for most people.

    Each to his own, nothing wrong with other browsers. Just saying M$ kiddie basher dorks get tired after a while, find something else to bitch about. You don't even know what you talk about...yea, end rant
  • -2 Hide
    blue shift , March 23, 2010 3:01 AM
    Bundling a crappy free product with an expensive, high-quality good is anticompetitive? This. Changes. Everything.

    In all reality, this is only a problem BECAUSE Windows is, well, ubiquitous. Since all of these browsers are free, why does it really matter that much? If people care about having a high-quality browser, they'll download one.

    As an Opera user who remembers being excited about Opera 8, I approve of this messave
  • 3 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , March 23, 2010 3:42 AM
    This may sound crazy but is it possible the EU simply got a little carried away with freedom of choice? Could it be they just wanted to make sure everyone knew they really and truly had the freedom to choose a web browser?
  • 2 Hide
    ta152h , March 23, 2010 5:00 AM
    I first used Opera when I was fixing someone's computer with Windows ME on it several months ago. They could either struggle with IE 6, or get something modern. Firefox? Nope. Chrome? That doesn't even support Windows 2000, and neither does IE after 6. Safari? Same thing. Opera actually supports Windows ME with their latest browser. So, I put it on. After using it a bit, it kind of grew on me, and I won't use anything else now. It's not a lot better than Firefox, except for the memory leak, but I never went back to Firefox since I started using it. It's fast, easy to use, and doesn't have the memory leak that plagues Firefox. I like it.
  • -6 Hide
    ossie , March 23, 2010 5:37 AM
    What a "shocker", that when people have a possibility to choose, they'll even use it (not that the EU is famous for offering too much choice, on the contrary).

    Now the collective lament of the wintarded micro$uxx fankiddie herd will start, at the tune of it's monopolistic convicted master's tune...

    There's almost futility into bringing any sense into the herd's narrow minded prefabricated consensus, but:
    - it was m$'s unforced choice to bring up the ballot screen (thanks SAL-e), the EU's competition commission asked only for the unbundling of exploder
    - m$ is the de facto, and only, monopolist in the OS market (thanks jhansonxi - there could be objections, that the games/drm loader isn't actually an OS), so anti-monopolistic measures don't apply to the rotten fruit, or other (not flying) birds
    - the argument of not being capable of downloading anything, without a browser, is one of the lamest ones to date
    pojihmy grandparents downloaded firefox themselves, after looking at reviews, and they are no-where near tech-savvy.

    The quest for knowledge is an appanage of intelligence, tech-savviness is merely a measure of training.
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