After a complaint was filed with the European Commission by Opera Software company, Microsoft was forced to present its European users of Internet Explorer web browser with a ballot box that allows them a chance to replace IE with Firefox, Opera, Safari or any other browser on the list.
However, the ballot box, which was launched on 1st March 2010, has drawn criticism from several users who believe they are not being presented with a wide selection of browsers as they are lead to believe.
Richard Quick, a Europe based web developer told the BBC that many lesser known web browsers which were offered in the ballot box, were based on a page rendering technology which was designed and maintained by Microsoft itself.
Avant, Maxthon, Slim and Green Browser along with Internet Explorer, use the Trident engine in order to render web pages on a browser.
Explaining the functionality of a rendering system, Mr. Quick told the BBC that “The aspect of a browser that decides what bit to put where on the page, that's the rendering engine.”
According to the web developer, there are 12 browsers available for download, of which five browsers run on Microsoft’s Trident rendering engine, two use WebKit technology, three are based on Mozilla's Gecko rendering system and only one uses Opera's Presto.
There's not much really that Microsoft can do here. Maxthon and the likes of Netcaptor have been using Internet Explorer's rendering engine for years now and have attracted quite a following. Maxthon for example has more than 300 million downloads to date.