Complaint Was Worth it: Opera Gets 3x Increase in European Downloads
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Specifically, Opera saw three times as many downloads in France, Spain, Belgium, Poland, and the UK. The company launched a blazing fast new version of its browser earlier this week, but the company says that's probably not the only reason for the jump in downloads. They compared this week's download results with previous releases and none of the prior launches produced a 300% increase in downloads. Opera says a lot of its traffic is coming from the ballot screen.
Credit: Brenton Currie
Obviously, Opera was pleased with the effects of the new browser ballot in Europe. The Norwegians cunningly planned their 10.5 release for the week of the ballot screen's debut, and it seems like the well-timed release along with their complaint two years ago has really payed off. The company believes that more people will now become aware of the choices they have for browsing the internet.
One IBM architect criticized the randomization feature in the ballot screen, saying his tests showed that Chrome was getting the preferred spots more often than other browsers. In previous versions of the ballot screen, the browsers were listed alphabetically, but then Microsoft added a randomizing feature to shuffle the order of the top five browsers every time the screen is accessed.
The European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS) believes that the ballot page is a step in the right direction, but the group has recently encouraged other antitrust organizations to ask Microsoft for a ballot screen as well. The group, which includes Opera, IBM, and Oracle, wants the ballot screen to be implemented globally, not just in Europe. 90% of the world's computers run Windows, so there are many more internet users globally that don't know about the other browser options (alternatives to IE) that exist.