Opera is in the news quite a bit in the last couple of days. First they manage to rush out the final release of Opera 10.50 in less time than some companies need to provide a patch for their application, and then they are the first to release figures on the impact of the browser ballot screen in Europe.
As you may recall, Microsoft added a so-called browser ballot screen to Windows versions in Europe to give Europeans options in regards to the browser on the system.
So, instead of shipping Windows with Internet Explorer directly, users in Europe can select other browsers instead that they want to use as the main browser. While that's also possible by downloading browsers manually and installing them, the new screen hopes the EU will make things easier for users.
According to a Computer World article Opera downloads tripled after the browser ballot screen went live in Europe on March 1. The article fails to list absolute numbers and it is not clear how the recent release of Opera 10.50 affected the increase.
Opera did compare the numbers with previous releases of their web browser, and analyzed the traffic coming from the web browser itself. The conclusion was that the browser ballot screen was indeed responsible for much of the increase in downloads of the Opera browser.
The Browser Choice screen,
which can also be accessed online, had to be created by Microsoft after they came to an agreement with the European Union.
It displays a list of web browsers to the user if Internet Explorer is the default browser on the computer system and if the operating system is used in the EU. Users can then download alternative web browsers directly using the screen which will redirect them to the homepage of the selected web browser.
The increase in Opera downloads suggests that the other web browser developers are also seeing an increase in downloads. It would be really interesting if Microsoft and other companies would reveal how the browser ballot screen affected their downloads.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.