Opera: Microsoft's browser ballot has tripled our downloads

By on March 3, 2010, 2:54 PM
Opera has reportedly witnessed an influx of downloads since the introduction of Microsoft's browser ballot to Europe two days ago. After the rollout, Opera downloads more than tripled in major European countries, such as Belgium, France, Spain, Poland, and the UK, according to Rolf Assev, Opera's chief strategy officer.

Microsoft introduced the ballot to appease EU regulators after rival browser makers (including Opera and Google) complained that Redmond had an unfair advantage by preinstalling Internet Explorer on every Windows PC. The ballot randomly sorts the five most popular browsers (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and IE) and lets users pick which they want to install.


It's unclear whether other companies have also witnessed a rise in downloads, and it's worth noting that some of Opera's sudden traffic may stem from yesterday's major release of version 10.50. Hopefully Mozilla and others will step forward with some statistics in the near future.




User Comments: 38

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Didou Didou, Bowtie extraordinair!, said:

So when does one actually see the ballot screen ? After a fresh install ? At first bootup ?

Clrabbit said:

They show Opera, IE, FF, and Sarfair on the ballot screen screen shots all the time, I hope Lunascape, Maxthon, Advent, Kmelon, Flock, chome, SeaMonkey, Amaya, iRider, & Sleipnir

are getting just as much screen time as the Big 4.

Clrabbit said:

"the ballot randomly sorts the five most popular browsers"

Opps my bad, well I guess that means none of the other great lesser know browsers are getting any screen time... They should have at least added Sleipnir and Lunascape sense they're two of the most popular browsers in Japan.

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

clrabbit said:

They should have at least added Sleipnir and Lunascape sense they're two of the most popular browsers in Japan.

But this is for Europe... anyway I don't think any casual users would have heard of browsers other than those 5 main ones, and giving users too much choice will just confuse the hell out of them and they will probably just default to IE.

Clrabbit said:

I suppose... I always favorer more choice, maybe not have them in the BIG showcase but a drop down menu with show Top 5, Top 10, All.

That that way more adventurous users could at least see them, the ballot may give users the wrong idea that the top 5 are the only 5 worth using, and want venture out to find the others.

darkjeric said:

Meh, I'm not so convinced the Ballot Screen has much to do with it. I think it has more to do with them just releasing the newest version (10.50) and not making it available yet as update for existing users. I just downloaded and installed it manually on 4 computers today, so there's your triple numbers :-p

And yes I live in Europe and I saw the Ballot Screen. You wouldn't believe how many people have asked me 'what the hell is that?' or 'what the hell is a browser?'...

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

In the future when you turn on your new computer a ballot box will appear asking you which OS you would like you use...

Guest said:

What about apple computers their defualt browser is Safari! Are they just going against the big browser who has the most.

tengeta tengeta said:

Downloads tripled, fine. Will they stick with it?

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

darkjeric said:

And yes I live in Europe and I saw the Ballot Screen. You wouldn't believe how many people have asked me 'what the hell is that?' or 'what the hell is a browser?'...

In that case maybe the EU should have not included those browser logos... cuz most people will just click on the big blue "e" logo.

By the way, wasn't the ballot supposed to be in a random rather than alphabetical order? Or is that just an old screenshot

Clrabbit said:

tengeta said:

Downloads tripled, fine. Will they stick with it?

That's hard to say, sense Opera feels so much different then any other browser people use to IE or FF not willing to go though a learning curve will just move right back. Plus Downloads mean very little.

As somebody else said 10.5 dose not auto-update from 10.1 I had to grab a DL for it, and update all my systems manually as well that alone added 5 DL's from me alone, sense I didn't feel like finding a USB key for such a small DL.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Plus Downloads mean very little..

Firefox sure got a lot of press for some number of downloads a while ago. Agreed they don't mean much, but its only fair Opera gets a news story when FF was getting a ton, and Opera needs the attention.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Firefox sure got a lot of press for some number of downloads a while ago. Agreed they don't mean much, but its only fair Opera gets a news story when FF was getting a ton, and Opera needs the attention.

I agree, I am not by any stretch of the imagination a fan of the 'ballot system' but Opera is a tremendous browser, and I cannot understand why it cant get any gription.

JudaZ said:

ok, so now 30 people use opera instead of 10?

its rediculous. downloads meen nothing, how many actually use it?

Guest said:

It's not because of the browser ballot. It's because of the new Opera 10,5 version that is really fast and good. Everyone is talking about it and that's all. I switched from Firefox to the new Opera because of the update and really fast work.

alexandrionel said:

To be honest, it is hard for me to understand why Opera has such a small market share because since version 10.00 it has been my favorite.

Now with version 10.5, it is really good.

LightHeart said:

Some Thoughts

Let's see, MS introduces a ballot in Win 7 and Opera releases a new version, which caused 3x more downloads. Do they have a way to track if the downloads came from someone clicking on the ballot or people with other OS's just downloading them. I'm sure many people are trying out the new release but in a month or so how many will continue to use it? One other note, wasn't Opera one of the big complainers that got the EU to force the ballot in the first place? If so, wouldn't they want to show that all the effort by the EU made sense and was justified?

windmill007 said:

If a browser is slow I say you need to upgrade your internet. I use firefox mainly and when I do use IE the difference in speed is very marginal. Sure if you have a slower computer/internet certain browsers maybe faster but come on..Were talkin milliseconds here and before long all browsers will be just as fast as each other. I love firefox because of all the ad-on. I can stop those nasty ads and alot more. IE would be great to if they had ad block. I hate IE just because I get all kinds of ads and virus pop-ups.

NeoFlux said:

ok, so now 30 people use opera instead of 10?

its rediculous. downloads meen nothing, how many actually use it?

Let's put it this way : I downloaded Opera one time and installed on 30 computers.

Numbers always mean something, given they interpreted correctly...

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

clrabbit said:

I suppose... I always favorer more choice, maybe not have them in the BIG showcase but a drop down menu with show Top 5, Top 10, All.

That that way more adventurous users could at least see them, the ballot may give users the wrong idea that the top 5 are the only 5 worth using, and want venture out to find the others.

Yah but your average user doesn't even know what a browser is. If someone knows enough to know about less common browsers, they probably know enough to try them out without having to be prompted at the browser selection screen.

What i wonder is if you select something non-IE, does it still have IE on the machine or is it gone completely??

Afroaggie said:

Well I have been an avid Opera user for a while now and think it is great that they are getting some of the browser attention.

buendia said:

If only Opera would create a plug-in system, similar to Chrome.

I really miss my Xmarks addon; my bookmarks are always synced and backed up.

Opera Link is only limited to, of course, Opera. When I add a bookmark in Opera I need to add it again to FF, so I will rather use FF.

AmpFeare said:

I'll always be a firefox guy until opera has a BUILT IN adblocker by default that will block the adds WITHOUT u having to manually do so.

JudaZ said:

and as an example I've downloaded firefox probably 200 times last year ... used it only, maybe, 20 times in total. .. virtual machines, testing purposes. .. to lazy to save the exe file .. so download again .. and so on. ... probably installed it more often then i've ever used it.

...and everytime time a new release comes out, thats yet another download. The only stats that really matters is how many active users there are. And since you can fake the header (often its good to fake as mozilla or opera)....that makes even those results unreliable. But at least it more interesting stats.

Guest said:

It appears that there's a horizontal scroll bar on the browser choice pane - how many others are off-screen to the right ?

Does the "randomiser" always ensure IE is in the first 5 :-)

Zenphic said:

AmpFeare said:

I'll always be a firefox guy until opera has a BUILT IN adblocker by default that will block the adds WITHOUT u having to manually do so.

You can try using this:

http://my.opera.com/Tamil/blog/ad-block

Not as flexible as the AdBlocker in FF, but it's an alternative.

jacob007 said:

This is exactly what consumers need... choices, i yhink if someone tries something different from IE, and find it better---and obviously they will--- then they¬'ll eventually realize there are many more choices out there and eventually try some more and stay at the end with the better one that fits their needs.....

Sad thing is that all of this is through lawsuits, antitrust cases, monopoly... etc.

We should always be given a choice.

Guest said:

So, they tripled their downloads... But 1 x3 is still only 3. And everyone who downloaded it uninstalled it within the next 24 hours, if they knew how.

I'm not an IE fanboi, Opera is just a poor excuse for a browser. I'd rather user Firefox. Oh wait, I AM!

bearspencer said:

Concerning Opera popularity:

part of its a "chicken & egg" issue

O still doesn't play well with a lot of sites (particularly banking) and until it does many won't play with it.

Until more use it, a lot of sites (particularly financial) won't accomodate it.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

I'll always be a firefox guy until opera has a BUILT IN adblocker by default that will block the adds WITHOUT u having to manually do so.

Thats kind of a poor excuse, it takes 30 seconds to go get a custom urlfilter.ini and drop it in the right folder (depends on your OS), then you have ads blocked without any further manual intervention.

megrawab said:

Many downloaded Opera maybe because its their first time to know about the browser (they're curious when they saw Opera in the browser ballot) so they tried it. The release of the current version may also be a factor. I saw a lot of articles about this current versions on the net so maybe they are persuaded to try. Another point from the previous comments: the new version cannot be updated that's why even the current users, having no choice, were forced to download to have the current version.

But Opera is really impressive not only in terms of performance but also on the user's feeling and comfort while using the browser. Opera allows a lot of customizations for its users. This is the good side so I will not wonder if lots of web surfers would download Opera browser. I'm a proud Opera user too. Of course it has also weaknesses at some point but I believe that soon, everything will be solved as other issues may arise. (I feel like I'm having a speech! lol)....

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

I don't think that it can't be upgraded to from 10.1, its just that it doesn't seem to automatically update like earlier 10 versions did. I was able to download and install 10.5 on my netbook (over 10.1?) and it kept all my settings, bookmarks, speed dial things.

It might not be able to be upgraded on OS X/Linux though. Last time I did an upgrade from 10.00beta to the full version on OS X it wiped out all my settings.

Not sure it is even out for OS X, because just last week they had a beta available for it, and that wasn't available for ppc Macs.

RockandRepublic said:

I'm sticking with Mozilla Firefox.

zyodei said:

I can't think of any company I want to win more than Opera.

They introduced so many key features...tabbed browsing, the super bar, etc. that we just take for granted now.

And their "tab memory" works better than any firefox extension - close the browser, open it, everything is where it was before, 100% of the time.

I still primarily use FF in Linux. But in windows, I really only use Opera. It just seems to work better - faster, less memory glitches, etc. It's the perfect browser.

FTW, Opera. FTW

Guest said:

Tripled downloads or not - Opera is still a piece of junk.

Guest said:

I totally agree with you zyodei! Opera has been a pioneer when talking browser.

The thing that got me to permanently switch to Opera about 5-6 years ago, was the mouse gestures. Thats a really simple little feature, you don't even notice it, but if you have to browse without them, it's a pain in the ***... And to them who say they don't use opera due to the lack of a built in ad-blocker, firefox on the other hand doesn't have built in mouse gestures.

Today we have two quite equally strong browsers in my opinion (Firefox and Opera), both with their own pros and cons. I still prefer opera, mainly because it has been my primary browser for so long, and also because I don't see any need to change. If Firefox or any other browsers comes with any new revolutionary feature i would probably think seriously about changing.

inflatabadge said:

and as an example I've downloaded firefox probably 200 times last year ... used it only, maybe, 20 times in total. .. virtual machines, testing purposes. .. to lazy to save the exe file .. so download again .. and so on. ... probably installed it more often then i've ever used it.

...and everytime time a new release comes out, thats yet another download.

Yeah, but that's the case for all versions. This is about how downloads have tripled compared to normal. So I'm not sure how your comment is relevant.

The only stats that really matters is how many active users there are.

Yeah, Opera just reached 50 million active desktop users, just four years after they removed the ads.

inflatabadge said:

I'll always be a firefox guy until opera has a BUILT IN adblocker by default that will block the adds WITHOUT u having to manually do so.

So Firefos has a built in ad blocker by default?

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