Internet Explorer losing market share from EU browser ballot

According to Reuters Canada, last month's implementation of the European Union browser ballot isn't exactly helping Internet Explorer's overseas market share. Then again, that was the entire purpose of it--to give people other options. The browser ballot was added to Microsoft's European version of Windows 7 as per an antitrust case with the EU.

Statcounter statistics show that, in France, IE's market share has dropped 2.5% since last month. In Britain, it has dropped 1%, and in Italy, 1.3%. While this may not seem like much in comparison to the sixty-something percent piece of the pie that IE holds in the European market, these trends could foreshadow what's to come. If Microsoft continues to lose a percent or two a month, it won't be long before their dominance becomes a thing of the past. The study also notes that Opera and Firefox are seeing significantly more downloads in Europe than they've been accustomed to. Mozilla expects this trend to continue.

In July 2009, Microsoft proposed a ballot screen to allow users to pick their default browser in Windows XP, Vista and 7. The European Commission accepted Microsoft's plans in December 2009 after the software giant agreed to randomize the ballot screen due to several complaints from rival software companies. The agreement marked the end of the "browser wars" after Opera originally filed a complaint with the EU in 2007. The European Union originally accused Microsoft of anti-trust violations back in January 2009.

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Hm... Well, it will be interesting if this continues... This could be some people trying a new browser, only to end up going back to IE... So I think it's a little premature to draw conclusions...

Now, I'm going to fill a complaint on the EU for unfair competition from Ubuntu and Mac.
Hopefully in the next updates they will be forced on a solution to their default browser.
I mean, we want to be fair, right?

Ruixituh said,
Now, I'm going to fill a complaint on the EU for unfair competition from Ubuntu and Mac.
Hopefully in the next updates they will be forced on a solution to their default browser.
I mean, we want to be fair, right?
Neither are the dominant desktop OS. So no.

Kirkburn said,
Neither are the dominant desktop OS. So no.

Still, at least Apple, bundles it's own browser with its OS. So, how fair is that? Microsoft was doing the same and it was obligated to do something about it.
So should Apple. Rules apply to everyone, not just the larger companies.

Ruixituh said,
Still, at least Apple, bundles it's own browser with its OS. So, how fair is that? Microsoft was doing the same and it was obligated to do something about it.
So should Apple. Rules apply to everyone, not just the larger companies.
Again: OS X is not the dominant desktop OS. Windows is. This is why it is treated differently.

Edited by Kirkburn, Mar 22 2010, 10:52pm :

Kirkburn said,
Again: OS X is not the dominant desktop OS. Windows is. This is why it is treated differently.

I stil don't think it's fair.

that's a good thing really. if they lag behind enough they might step up their game so developers don't need to bend over to support IE.

I don't despite IE necessarily. What I don't like is when a web designer makes a page that only works in IE such as all of the business apps at work . Lowering the market of IE will help rectify this in the future, and it isn't near as bad as it was even 5 years ago.

ie's death has been coming for along time and finaly ie can die as you are finaly given a choice in what to use. go alternative browsers even the black horrible disgusting safari...

Wouldn't it be nice if this were true with every industry. I'd like to go purchase a vehicle, and see a ballot screen on the factory sticker informing me of the competitors' options so I could make an informed decision.

Either way, I'm in Canada, and as a result have to rely on my own wits for product choices. If only I were in one of the EU countries...

Well I can't say that this bothers me in any way. I'm using FF for now, and waiting for IE9. No offense to the "fans", but Opera, for me, is by far the crappiest browser on the market today. If we're talking about the mobile browser, that's a different story.

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but they'd only see that message if they have Windows updates on, and if they do, they're already on IE8, so that's not a reason for this.

Ruler of the Interwebs said,
I love the descriptions in the boxes for each browser. I wonder who writes them. Chrome ftw.
Each vendor was asked to submit them in about twenty languages. Same with the icon.

Ruler of the Interwebs said,
I love the descriptions in the boxes for each browser. I wonder who writes them. Chrome ftw.

I love them. They all are trying so hard to get that attention from anyone who doesn't know anything about computers/internet in hopes that they believe them. Chrome is the only one that isn't pushing so hard.

What happened to "Correlation is not causation"? IE's market share has been dropping before this ballot was introduced.

Athernar said,
What happened to "Correlation is not causation"? IE's market share has been dropping before this ballot was introduced.
I believe it is larger drops than normal.

I just did a week-on-week analysis of UK browser use from statcounter and there's a trough (from the 6th to 8th of March) in IE7 and IE8 use. IE6 doesn't seem to have been affected by the ballot.

DonC said,
I just did a week-on-week analysis of UK browser use from statcounter and there's a trough (from the 6th to 8th of March) in IE7 and IE8 use. IE6 doesn't seem to have been affected by the ballot.

That is probably because IE6 is mostly used by businesses and the government where the people using the computer don't actually have control of it. The software company I work for has a customer base that is primarily military and 90-93% of our users are on IE6. The rest are commercial users, most of which are on FF.

That ballot screen is terrible. There should be an option to say "I'm happy with my current browser". Also why it must load up everytime you start windows I don't know.

I have the opposite "problem". I installed the update in Win7 and XP and have yet to see the ballot screen. Even after reboots. I'm happy with Firefox but I wanted to see the screen in action.

protocol7 said,
I have the opposite "problem". I installed the update in Win7 and XP and have yet to see the ballot screen. Even after reboots. I'm happy with Firefox but I wanted to see the screen in action.

I think it only appears if you have IE set as your default browser.

protocol7 said,
I have the opposite "problem". I installed the update in Win7 and XP and have yet to see the ballot screen. Even after reboots. I'm happy with Firefox but I wanted to see the screen in action.

Check it out at : http://www.browserchoice.eu/Br...Choice/browserchoice_en.htm

I find it funny that it does actually load with IE first, THEN it randomly shifts. Subliminal idea maybe? They could have had it just load randomly. Had to be some reason behind that.

protocol7 said,
I have the opposite "problem". I installed the update in Win7 and XP and have yet to see the ballot screen. Even after reboots. I'm happy with Firefox but I wanted to see the screen in action.

You need to either set IE as your default or put IE on the taskbar, mate.

WelshBluebird said,

I think it only appears if you have IE set as your default browser.


It is in XP. I never got around to installing Firefox there.

fourinjuly4ij said,

I find it funny that it does actually load with IE first, THEN it randomly shifts. Subliminal idea maybe? They could have had it just load randomly. Had to be some reason behind that.
JS generally runs once a page has loaded - having said that though, they could have coded it better.

duneworld said,

You need to either set IE as your default or put IE on the taskbar, mate.

Ive got IE set as my default and on my taskbar (win 7 64) and it only came up as an option on my windows update so i promptly hid it. stupid eu.

fourinjuly4ij said,

Check it out at : http://www.browserchoice.eu/Br...Choice/browserchoice_en.htm

I find it funny that it does actually load with IE first, THEN it randomly shifts. Subliminal idea maybe? They could have had it just load randomly. Had to be some reason behind that.

For me, I had to hit refresh 10 times before it put IE in the first spot. It had it in the 5th spot for the first 5 refreshes with Opera in the 1st spot 4 times. I'm in Canada just using that link above to see what order they come in at. I love the descriptions of the browsers as if each of them are the best thing ever except Chrome. My post here is pretty much pointless except that IE only landed in the first spot on my 10th refresh and that's when I stopped.

dogmai said,

For me, I had to hit refresh 10 times before it put IE in the first spot. It had it in the 5th spot for the first 5 refreshes with Opera in the 1st spot 4 times. I'm in Canada just using that link above to see what order they come in at. I love the descriptions of the browsers as if each of them are the best thing ever except Chrome. My post here is pretty much pointless except that IE only landed in the first spot on my 10th refresh and that's when I stopped.

It does randomize it. I just noticed it loads the list with IE first and quickly refreshes the list as random.

And Kirkburn...I know JS runs after the page loads and I agree with you completely.

WelshBluebird said,

I think it only appears if you have IE set as your default browser.

Funny you should say that but I have IE set as the default, can't be bothered to change it, and I haven't seen it at all.

Edited by neo158, Mar 22 2010, 5:02pm :

neo158 said,

Funny you should say that but I have IE set as the default, can't be bothered to change it, and I haven't seen it at all.

Have you installed the update though?

nifke said,
Now I want a ballot screen in FireFox and Chrome(OS) and Safari...

Stupid EU!


That doesn't make any sense. Firefox is not an OS and neither is Safari. Perhaps you meant you want a ballot screen in Chrome OS and OSX, which I would agree with.

nifke said,
Now I want a ballot screen in FireFox and Chrome(OS) and Safari...

Stupid EU!


Why would Firefox need to give a Ballot? If they have it then they purposely installed it. I do wonder how long it will take for Apple to be made to do a similar thing though.

Shaun_ said,

Why would Firefox need to give a Ballot? If they have it then they purposely installed it. I do wonder how long it will take for Apple to be made to do a similar thing though.

I don't see why Apple would need a ballot screen, they haven't been breaking the law have they?

James Riske said,

I don't see why Apple would need a ballot screen, they haven't been breaking the law have they?

they are bundling safari in OSX same way as MS bundling IE in windows

Ci7 said,

they are bundling safari in OSX same way as MS bundling IE in windows

How many times does it have to be said?

Apple does not dominate the desktop OS marketplace. MS does. Thus MS receives different treatment. This is as it should be.

Edited by Kirkburn, Mar 22 2010, 3:59pm :

Ci7 said,

they are bundling safari in OSX same way as MS bundling IE in windows

I understand that part but does MAC os dominate the desktop market?
I do believe mac os needs a ballot scene purely for choice but of they are not currently breaking any laws such as microsoft seems to love doing then it shouldn't be an issue.

Kirkburn said,
How many times does it have to be said?

Apple does not dominate the desktop OS marketplace. MS does. Thus MS receives different treatment. This is as it should be.

I don't care how much market share they have. They should all live under the same rules. If Microsoft is being made to produce this ballot screen, every other company producting OS's should too. Yes implement it because of Microsoft's size and share of the market but everyone else gets the same treatment too though.

Kirkburn said,
How many times does it have to be said?

Apple does not dominate the desktop OS marketplace. MS does. Thus MS receives different treatment. This is as it should be.

ya this. We live in a time where if your good you have to allow the crap to force its way in. Do people really think hard work is rewarded anymore?

dogmai said,

I don't care how much market share they have. They should all live under the same rules. If Microsoft is being made to produce this ballot screen, every other company producting OS's should too. Yes implement it because of Microsoft's size and share of the market but everyone else gets the same treatment too though.

Like I said, it's because MS has a near monopoly. Monopolies are almost inevitably a *bad thing*. See IE6 for example. So governments use the powers (that they intentionally have) in order to help prevent the bad things that can result from a monopoly, such as stagnation and bad products.

tablet_user, try not to view it with an emotional eye. Even if an awesome product reaches 100% by just being awesome, it has to satisfy some pretty strict criteria to be able to stay their without governments stepping in to preserve competition. It might be awesome now, but soon the other vendors will have to shut down, and their will be little incentive to improve upon the product.

Edited by Kirkburn, Mar 22 2010, 4:38pm :

tablet_user said,

ya this. We live in a time where if your good you have to allow the crap to force its way in. Do people really think hard work is rewarded anymore?


How is IE a good Web browser and the others are all "crap"?
IE has always been one of the worst pieces of software made by Microsoft, in terms of security, usability, (...) when compared to other solutions. This thing has crippled the Web as it didn't even knew how to follow Web standards. So, using yours words, a big piece of crap. Your post makes no sense.

Kirkburn said,

Like I said, it's because MS has a near monopoly. Monopolies are almost inevitably a *bad thing*. See IE6 for example. So governments use the powers (that they intentionally have) in order to help prevent the bad things that can result from a monopoly, such as stagnation and bad products.

tablet_user, try not to view it with an emotional eye. Even if an awesome product reaches 100% by just being awesome, it has to satisfy some pretty strict criteria to be able to stay their without governments stepping in to preserve competition. It might be awesome now, but soon the other vendors will have to shut down, and their will be little incentive to improve upon the product.

Well then, why not stamp out monopolies altogether, that would solve the problem.

I know that this is different to Apples monopoly of the MP3 Player market, but, I think that Apple should be forced to include support for other MP3 players in iTunes.

Edited by neo158, Mar 22 2010, 5:17pm :

Kirkburn said,
How many times does it have to be said?

Apple does not dominate the desktop OS marketplace. MS does. Thus MS receives different treatment. This is as it should be.

Apple's lack of desire or ability to compete isn't MS's fault. Apple has always been a competitor (thus, there is no monopoly), and it is it's only business model that keeps them at 3-5% globally.

Kirkburn said,
How many times does it have to be said?

Apple does not dominate the desktop OS marketplace. MS does. Thus MS receives different treatment. This is as it should be.

Maybe Apple does not dominate the desktop OS but they sure as hell dominate the digital music front wtih iTunes and the iDevices. At any time any competitor can come up and say that Apple has an unfair advantage because of the close integration between iTunes and iDevices and ask that the EC investigate to see if Apple does infact have an advantage and that would be the beginning of an entirely new fight.

Edited by NPGMBR, Mar 22 2010, 6:39pm :

Kirkburn said,
How many times does it have to be said?

Apple does not dominate the desktop OS marketplace. MS does. Thus MS receives different treatment. This is as it should be.

It's still anti-competitive on their platform... Mac and Windows are too removed from eachother to be compared like they're the same. It's like comparing apples and oranges (lol)... Just because Windows exists, does not make what Apple is doing on their platform any less anti-competitive...

neo158 said,
Well then, why not stamp out monopolies altogether, that would solve the problem.

I know that this is different to Apples monopoly of the MP3 Player market, but, I think that Apple should be forced to include support for other MP3 players in iTunes.

Action is taken against monopolies when they are found to be abusive. Regarding iTunes, while it is tending towards that point, it isn't there yet.

rtk said,

Apple's lack of desire or ability to compete isn't MS's fault. Apple has always been a competitor (thus, there is no monopoly), and it is it's only business model that keeps them at 3-5% globally.
It is nothing to do with a "lack of desire". Besides, of course they desire it.

You misunderstand my use of the word monopoly: it doesn't require 100%.

NPGMBR said,

Maybe Apple does not dominate the desktop OS but they sure as hell dominate the digital music front wtih iTunes and the iDevices. At any time any competitor can come up and say that Apple has an unfair advantage because of the close integration between iTunes and iDevices and ask that the EC investigate to see if Apple does infact have an advantage and that would be the beginning of an entirely new fight.

Nowhere near to the extent of Windows, though as mentioned, it is tending that way. For now, however, there is still reasonably healthy competition there.

Edited by Kirkburn, Mar 22 2010, 7:21pm :

M_Lyons10 said,
It's still anti-competitive on their platform... Mac and Windows are too removed from eachother to be compared like they're the same. It's like comparing apples and oranges (lol)... Just because Windows exists, does not make what Apple is doing on their platform any less anti-competitive...
Yes it does, because the market in question is the desktop OS market (and partially the browser market). Apple has no dominant position in either market.

It's absurd to say OS X and Windows are like apples and oranges. They perform the same functions, and they run a lot of the same software.

Edited by Kirkburn, Mar 22 2010, 7:18pm :

Kirkburn said,
It is nothing to do with a "lack of desire". Besides, of course they desire it.

You misunderstand my use of the word monopoly: it doesn't require 100%.

Do they? By keeping their margins at 40%+, they've failed to gain more than 3-5% of the market. How should MS and the OEM's react?

It's crystal clear Apple doesn't care about market share, but in not doing so, they've managed to convince people that MS is a monopoly.

rtk said,

Do they? By keeping their margins at 40%+, they've failed to gain more than 3-5% of the market. How should MS and the OEM's react?

It's crystal clear Apple doesn't care about market share, but in not doing so, they've managed to convince people that MS is a monopoly.

So the Mac vs PC ads were what, exactly?

While Apple is interested in the high end of the market, that is still part of the market as a whole.

Kirkburn said,
So the Mac vs PC ads were what, exactly?

Signs of competition, in disagreement with the claims that there was an oppressive monopoly in place.

While Apple is interested in the high end of the market, that is still part of the market as a whole.

So because Apple is only interested in the high end, MS has a monopoly on the entire market?

I'll reword the statement:

Apple's lack of desire or ability to compete in anything but the top end isn't MS's fault

rtk said,

Signs of competition, in disagreement with the claims that there was an oppressive monopoly in place.
Again monopoly =/= no competition. It's just the term used when someone is near that point. It is basically impossible to have a 100% monopoly.

Edited by Kirkburn, Mar 23 2010, 1:39pm :

Kirkburn said,
Again monopoly =/= no competition. It's just the term used when someone is near that point. It is basically impossible to have a 100% monopoly.

If there's functional competition, there's no monopoly. Apple's *choice* to limit their marketshare to only the highest end proves MS is not a monopoly

Yes, Microsoft being forced to advertise for it's competitors is increasing it's competitor's usage. I don't think it'll be the death-blow of IE that people seem so desperate for it to be, but of course it's going to work. It's getting their icon and file in front of more eyes then they could ever afford to advertise to.

AgentGray said,
Yes, Microsoft being forced to advertise for it's competitors is increasing it's competitor's usage. I don't think it'll be the death-blow of IE that people seem so desperate for it to be, but of course it's going to work. It's getting their icon and file in front of more eyes then they could ever afford to advertise to.

It's not advertising for its competitors.

MS is just forced to do what they would actually do in a competitive market.

MS has no problem advertising GTA IV and FF13. Do you know why ? Because the console market is competitive and if MS doesn't advertise 3rd party product then people will buy the PS3 instead. MS goes as far as paying for 3rd party support.

Windows is an OS. It's not an internet browser or a media player. It's perfectly normal for an OS maker in a competitive market to advertise popular 3rd party products made for its OS.

LaP said,

It's not advertising for its competitors.

MS is just forced to do what they would actually do in a competitive market.

MS has no problem advertising GTA IV and FF13. Do you know why ? Because the console market is competitive and if MS doesn't advertise 3rd party product then people will buy the PS3 instead. MS goes as far as paying for 3rd party support.

Windows is an OS. It's not an internet browser or a media player. It's perfectly normal for an OS maker in a competitive market to advertise popular 3rd party products made for its OS.

I think he was referring to the ballot, which would never be the product of a competitive market... Microsoft wouldn't have a ballot like this SO THAT they could compete... That would be silly...

LaP said,
It's not advertising for its competitors.

MS is just forced to do what they would actually do in a competitive market.

MS has no problem advertising GTA IV and FF13. Do you know why ? Because the console market is competitive and if MS doesn't advertise 3rd party product then people will buy the PS3 instead. MS goes as far as paying for 3rd party support.

Windows is an OS. It's not an internet browser or a media player. It's perfectly normal for an OS maker in a competitive market to advertise popular 3rd party products made for its OS.

You've put it better than anyone could.

LaP said,

It's not advertising for its competitors.

MS is just forced to do what they would actually do in a competitive market.

MS has no problem advertising GTA IV and FF13. Do you know why ? Because the console market is competitive and if MS doesn't advertise 3rd party product then people will buy the PS3 instead. MS goes as far as paying for 3rd party support.

Windows is an OS. It's not an Internet browser or a media player. It's perfectly normal for an OS maker in a competitive market to advertise popular 3rd party products made for its OS.

FF13 and GTA IV are products that helped MS sell its system right?
Why should Microsoft be forced to show other browsers on their system? Its like if Mozilla Made an OS and instead of adding their flagship browser they were forced to add a screen showing every browser. HOW STUPID! Its Microsofts product, They don't have to advertise other products into their's they should be able to add any free software in MS and no one should be able to tell them no. Oh god whats next, Microsoft Paint?

Biglo said,
Not surprising, I cant wait for IE 9 to be released tho, so far it seems pretty good.

yea lately msft has only been releasing good products when they HAVE to... 7 after vista, mp7 after wm, now ie9 after, well, a lot of horrible versions of ie.

It's weird seeing IE8 ads on TV. Haven't see a Chrome one yet, just billboards and paper ones.

Will be interesting to see if IE9 can bring it all together.

Firefox with add ons has been enough for me over the years.

WooHoo!!! said,
It's weird seeing IE8 ads on TV. Haven't see a Chrome one yet, just billboards and paper ones.

Will be interesting to see if IE9 can bring it all together.

Firefox with add ons has been enough for me over the years.

Yeah, Firefox has been my browser of choice for years too...

WooHoo!!! said,
It's weird seeing IE8 ads on TV. Haven't see a Chrome one yet, just billboards and paper ones.

Will be interesting to see if IE9 can bring it all together.

Firefox with add ons has been enough for me over the years.

I have never really gotten into FireFox but every time I have used it I have not been disappointed. Just never really saw a reason to switch. Having said that IE 8 seems to be doing pretty well. I know more than a few people who have been long time FireFox users who are switching back to IE 8 (plenty more who are not)

Purify said,

Have to agree. Nice to see Opera get some recognition.

sure. I mean of course the other browsers had to beg and force thier way in but ya sure i guess some people prefer to be on top because of begging then hard work.

Tanoru said,
Good to see! I really despise IE

Yea sure is good to see...

But I still hate this stupid ballot screen...
Why don't they force apple to do the same on macs? Why not force everyone to do it with all kinds of OSs? And why stop at browser why not remove every piece of program in the OS and just put one long ballot screen so you can choose everything...

MS is doing an OS and it might just be me but i want my OS to complete with all features and programs needed to operate my system and MS does that, if a user then is not satisfied with the program they supply they should be free to change but MS should not be force to put this **** in...

Leonick said,

Yea sure is good to see...

But I still hate this stupid ballot screen...
Why don't they force apple to do the same on macs? Why not force everyone to do it with all kinds of OSs? And why stop at browser why not remove every piece of program in the OS and just put one long ballot screen so you can choose everything...

MS is doing an OS and it might just be me but i want my OS to complete with all features and programs needed to operate my system and MS does that, if a user then is not satisfied with the program they supply they should be free to change but MS should not be force to put this **** in...

excactly, because of bs like this, in near future new windows OS will ship with just start menu and windows explorer.

nekrosoft13 said,

excactly, because of bs like this, in near future new windows OS will ship with just start menu and windows explorer.

Sad but true I think. It seems the EU counts have basically drawn a line in the sand, Windows 95 and what it included was fine, but anything else MS tries to add they get taken to court over. We saw it with IE and Windows Media Player so far. I think that is why you now see things offered as free downloads from MS instead of included with the OS (Windows Security Essentials for example).