Browser ballot hurts IE's European market share

By on March 22, 2010, 11:59 AM
Not that this should come as a big surprise, but one month after the browser ballot screen was implemented in all European versions of Windows it seems Microsoft's Internet Explorer is losing chunks of market share overseas. According to analytics firm Statcounter, the browser's share of all web surfing has dropped by 2.5% in France, 1.3% in Italy and 1% in the United Kingdom over the past month.

While this may not seem like much with IE's close to fifty percent lead of the market in Europe, these trends could foreshadow what's to come. Opera has already seen downloads more than double in Europe because of the browser choice option, while Mozilla says it has seen a surge in interest as well. Google hasn't commented on its gains, but it grew by 0.7 percent Europe-wide in the same time frame.

Smaller web browsers have seen much lower levels of growth and are concerned that they're being squeezed out of the picture -- you can take that literally since only the top five are always visible on the main screen, and only a scroll bar indicates that there are more options. You'd think that having Microsoft promote rival browsers in its own operating system was already a big enough leap, but some are still hoping to change the way options are presented.

The browser ballot screen is part of an antitrust settlement between Microsoft and the European Commission over the choice of web browsers in Windows. A full deployment of the browser ballot screen is still due in May.

User Comments: 13

Got something to say? Post a comment
bigclick said:

I've used all the PC based browsers. At any one time, each will have an edge in one place or the other. Smaller browsers are not on the list for geeky reasons.

fwilliams said:

I do not know where you get sixty some percent. You are certainly not looking here:


fwilliams said:

Oh, now I see. Back in November of 2006 they had sixty some percent of the market. Someone should update there stats more frequently.

mystic420 said:

I use Firefox. The only time I use IE is when another program opens it or when a particular site uses apps that only support IE. Other than that i would prefer NOT to use IE...

Jos Jos said:

@fwilliams - thanks for the heads up. The number actually refers to IE's market share in Europe, not worldwide. Even so I had the wrong figure and have updated the story with data from Statcounter:


tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

I was a big fan of Firefox, but way to many glitches in software and memory management. I've opted for Goggle Chrome. I can pretty much do everything that I had did in Firefox but better in Goggle Chrome and it's 100% quicker! IE 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 I've use prior still Microsoft needs to make it fast, have high security and more. But it seems to bloated for me to every switch back to it.

Guest said:

@ tipstir

Lol. Chrome has the worst memory management out of all the browsers. Where do YOU get the facts?

What chrome offers you is simply a placebo effect; while yes, its java script engine is quite fast, is currently not the fastest. Opera beats chrome by AEONS at that (you don't believe that, do you? then why is chrome supposedly so fast....).

So what makes it so "fast?" It's layout engine? Webkit is a great engine, don't get me wrong, but is has to sacrifice compatibility for speed.

Real life statistics around the web, prove that, overall, Firefox is the fastest, most stable and most compatible web browser out there.

By quicker I assume you are talking about the GUI. Yes, it is better designed, I personally am in love with chrome pure simplicity. Hopefully all the browsers will start doing the same (Opera did, Safari did a bit).

But of course, me saying this, has nothing to do with what browser you should use. That's why there are many for everyone to pick. But facts will always prevail. :)

compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Glad to see at least it has opened up some peoples eyes to the fact that there are other browers worth taking a look at.

flukeh said:

The simplicity and features of Chrome got me in the end. Firefox was EXTREMELY SLOW when trying to online bank... not sure why.

Puiu Puiu said:

I use Firefox for daily browsing, Opera when i am on a slow wireless connection and Chorme and IE only when i need them.

whiteandnerdy said:

so i guess no one has anything nice to say about safari? not that i care, i use firefox.

Guest said:

There you go 60% Long live IE

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.