With Microsoft fulfilling the regulatory stipulation of “choice screen” for Internet browsers in Europe this month, facilitating the European users of the Windows OS to switch to rival browsers, the competitors of Internet Explorer (IE) say that the move has affected their total downloads.
The “choice screen” initiative, resulting from a long-standing legal predicament between Microsoft and the European Union (EU), largely addresses the EU’s detection that Microsoft illegally bundled its market-leading IE with its Windows operating system, which is used on a large majority of PCs round the globe; thereby thwarting competition to gain an unfair dominance over users’ Web access.
With the debut of the “choice screen” pop-up on the Windows-equipped computers in Europe, the users now have screen displays that pertain to a number of browsers – including, other than the IE itself, browsers like Opera, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Apple’s Safari.
Already, ever since the “choice screen” started appearing, Mozilla has reported over 50,000 downloads of its Firefox browser; while Opera has reported a three-fold increase in the number of its browser downloads in the UK, Belgium, France, Spain, and Poland.
Noting that the “choice screen” initiative will promote greater browser choice, encouraging users to try out a new browser, Forrester Research analyst Sheri McLeish said: “While browser choice is nothing new, a lot of people have paid little attention to browsers until now.”