Opera Wins on Microsoft Browser Choice Screen
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When Microsoft agreed to add a feature to its Windows Update service offering users the option to choose browsers other than its default Internet Explorer, European regulators felt it would go a long way toward addressing the anti-competitive concerns expressed by Microsoft's smaller rivals, particularly the Norwegian firm Opera. It looks like they may have been right.
Microsoft has only recently begun delivering its so-called "choice screen" for browser selection to consumers in Europe, but it's apparently already producing the hoped for effect, at least for one small browser maker.
Norway-based Opera Software announced Thursday that since Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) began sending the choice screen out earlier this month, downloads of its Opera 10.50 browser in Europe have doubled.
"After the choice screen launch in early March, on average, more than half of the European downloads of Opera's latest browser come directly from the choice screen," Opera said in a statement.
Microsoft began preliminary testing of the choice screen in mid-February in the U.K., Belgium and France, followed by the beginning of full-scale deployment of the choice screen in March.