Opera downloads triple after browser ballot screen debut
The numbers prove the ballot idea is working, says Opera exec
Computerworld - Opera Software today said that it has seen a three-fold increase in downloads of its browser since Microsoft started pushing a ballot screen to European who run Windows.
"It varies from country to country, but yes, in several major countries, Opera downloads have tripled since the ballot screen appeared," said Rolf Assev, the chief strategy officer for the Norwegian browser maker. Opera specifically cited surges in downloads in Belgium, France, Spain, Poland and the U.K.
Assev said the swell of downloads was above and beyond the increase caused by the final release of Opera 10.5 for Windows yesterday. "We compared the downloads against previous launches, such as Opera 10.0, 10.10 and 9.5, and the tripling is above what we would normally expect with a new version launch," he said.
Microsoft began serving up the ballot via Windows Update on Monday. The ballot was mandated by an agreement Microsoft reached last year with European Union antitrust regulators, nearly two years after Opera filed a formal complaint that accused its rival of stifling competition by bundling Internet Explorer (IE) with Windows.
The ballot appears on Windows PCs where Internet Explorer (IE) is set as the default, and lets users download and install major and minor browsers from competitors including Apple, Google, Mozilla, Opera and others.
Based on the preliminary results, Assev agreed that the ballot is doing what it was designed to do. "Absolutely, because people are now more aware of the choices they have," he said. "We are getting a lot of [download] traffic coming from the ballot screen."
Antitrust regulators in Brussels also voiced their satisfaction over the ballot rollout. "Giving consumers the possibility to switch or try a browser other than that included in Windows will bring more competition and innovation in this important area to the benefit of European internet users," Joaquin Almunia, the head of the EU's competition commission, said in a statement Tuesday.
Other browser makers, including Google and Mozilla, did not respond to questions about whether they have seen similar download increases in Europe.
Not everyone is happy with the ballot, however. Yesterday, a lobbying group whose members include some of Microsoft's fiercest rivals -- IBM and Oracle, to name just two -- urged antitrust officials worldwide to pressure Microsoft into offering a browser ballot screen to everyone, not just to Europeans. Opera is also a member of the group, the European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS).
On Monday, an IBM software architect criticized the ballot's shuffling, saying that his tests showed Google's Chrome was the most likely to get the preferred spots. According to the agreement Microsoft struck with EU officials, the ballot screen is to scramble the order of the top five browsers, a change from an earlier Microsoft idea that browser order would be alphabetical by maker.
Assev, who wasn't aware of the randomization flaw, said Opera would look into the claims.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Workarounds to purge search bar from Firefox's new tab page are available
- Mozilla ships Firefox 31, adds search to new tab page
- Microsoft's IE steps back from the brink of irrelevance
- Firefox falters, falls to record low in overall browser share
- Firefox risks user backlash by adding search box to new tab page
- Google unseats Microsoft as the U.S. browser powerhouse
- Safari, Chrome push to mask URLs
- Chrome on Windows champs at the 64-bit
- Google pulls trigger, cripples some Chrome add-ons
- Microsoft shoots to shorten Internet Explorer's long tail
Read more about Web Apps in Computerworld's Web Apps Topic Center.
This pilot fish is a contractor at a military base, working on some very cool fire-control systems for tanks. But when he spots something obviously wrong during a live-fire test, he can't get the firing-range commander's attention.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Reduce federal infrastructure risk with compliance management and situational awareness
- IBM continuous monitoring and management solutions deliver real-time situational awareness to help federal agencies understand vulnerabilities, and protect the infrastructure.
- SANS: Next-Generation Datacenters = Next-Generation Security
- This whitepaper takes a look at some new technology that may allow security teams to implement more flexible and capable protection models in...
- SANS: Protecting Virtual Endpoints with McAfee Server Security Suite Essentials
- SANS review of McAfees Server Security Suite Essentials that address some of the emerging challenges of securing virtual platforms and cloud environments.
- Safeguarding the Next-Generation Data Center
- Use of virtual and cloud servers has exploded. Unfortunately, security often lags behind. McAfee recommends looking at innovative solutions in order to erect...
- Aberdeen: Securing the Evolving Datacenter
- This report highlights ways security technologies and services are evolving to provide the visibility and control needed to deploy workloads flexibly in the... All Government IT White Papers
- Is SQL Server AlwaysOn really as powerful? Tips and Tricks from the field With the introduction of AlwaysOn, Windows Clustering Services is now more critical than ever.
- What Does it Take to Deliver a Superior Customer Experience? The Two Top-Rated Online Retailers, B&H Photo and Crutchfield Electronics, Share Their Secrets Discuss practical CX tools and service methods such as contact center agents and the use of realtime speech analytics to help contact center...
- Keep Servers Up and Running and Attackers in the Dark An SSL/TLS handshake requires at least 10 times more processing power on a server than on the client. SSL renegotiation attacks can readily...
- On Demand: Mastering the Art of Mobile Content Management Mobile device usage in the enterprise has skyrocketed, and it continues to escalate. IT must answer to users who demand access to their...
- DevOps with PureApplication System: Reduce cost and speed delivery with an integrated IBM Cloud solution Join this webcast to hear what ING Netherlands has been able to achieve while deploying DevOps tools from IBM Rational. An ING executive...
- All Government IT Webcasts