Turns out the European Commission was right about browsers: users don’t necessarily find the Internet Explorer (IE) experience as integral to the overall Windows experience as Microsoft says it is. Given a choice, under the newly approved Windows browser ballot, some of the lesser known browser options are seeing a boost in adoption.
Opera, in particular, has been a beneficiary. Rolf Assev, chief strategy officer for Opera is reporting a tripling in its downloads, with big surges in the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Poland, and Spain. No word yet, however, on how other browsers in the ballot are doing
It’s fair to say that a tripling of Opera’s downloads may not amount to much, but it does suggest that, if given a legitimate choice, users will opt for something other than IE. And, in the overall scheme of things, it will be the lesser known browsers that will likely benefit.
Fans of IE should be happy with this. The more competition there is in the browser market, the more Microsoft’s feet will be held to the fire to keep IE up-to-date. Given that smaller market share apps tend to be innovators, it can’t hurt to keep them around, if for no other reason then for the big boys to prey upon the new features they introduce.