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.