Microsoft's IE Losing Market Share Thanks to Browser Ballot

Lora Bentley

As part of an antitrust settlement with the European Union last year, Microsoft agreed to allow Windows users to choose from 12 of the most popular Web browsers via a "browser ballot" rather than automatically installing the latest version of Internet Explorer by default.


That ballot debuted at the beginning of this month, and immediately, IBM's Rob Weir had a problem with it. According to Computerworld, Weir said Microsoft failed to use a random shuffle algorithm. He said: "This was a rookie mistake. [It] is more in the nature of a 'naive algorithm,' like the bubble sort, that inexperienced programmers inevitably will fall upon when solving a given problem. I bet if we gave this same problem to 100 freshmen computer science majors, at least one of them would make the same mistake."


Now, nearly a month into the ballot's use, Microsoft may be feeling just a little ill about it, too. Ars Technica reports the latest statistics from StatCounter show that Internet Explorer is slowly losing market share to the others. Writer Peter Bright says:

In France, IE usage has dropped by 2.5 percent, Italy by 1.3 percent, and the UK by 1 percent. Browser developers Opera and Mozilla have reported strong growth within Europe, with Opera claiming that downloads have doubled since the ballot was introduced, and a Mozilla spokesperson claiming, "We have seen significant growth in the number of new Firefox users as a result of the Ballot Screen."

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