Microsoft browser ballot screen, which was launched this month in response to the European Commission's antitrust charges, has already started bearing fruits for the company's competitors, it has emerged.
Two of the Internet Explorer's main rivals, Mozilla Firefox and Opera, claimed to have being benefited from the browser ballot screen that was distributed among European Windows users.
While Mozilla purported to have added more than 50,000 new users through Microsoft's choice ballot, Opera said its download count had more than tripled in some of the major European countries, including France, Spain, Belgium, Poland, and the UK, since the ballot screen was launched.
Though the software giant has said it wouldn't be able to roll out the choice ballot screen until May, the move has apparently begun making the things smoother for its rivals.
Ars Technica quoted a Mozilla spokesperson as saying, "We expect these numbers will increase as the Ballot Choice rolls out in additional countries and will share updated metrics as they become available".
While Apple and Google have declined to share stats, it is believed that the two also have seen a significant rise in terms of number of browser downloads. The browser ballot screen will be made available on Windows PCs across the EU at least for the next five years.
Microsoft competitors are already pushing for making the browser choice option available outside the EU. Now that would be a great idea but it will be interesting to see what happens over the next few months as browser statistics emerge. One thing though that the browser ballot could bring forth is the reduction of the marketshare of IE6.
(The New York Times)