Page last updated at 15:38 GMT, Thursday, 18 March 2010

Microsoft Choice screen boosts Opera browser

Browser choice screen, Microsoft
Opera has 100m active users worldwide.

Web browser Opera says that downloads of its software have doubled since Microsoft introduced browser choice to Windows users on 1 March.

Microsoft now offers customers a choice of 12 browsers rather than installing its own Internet Explorer browser as a default.

A screen offering users the chance to switch browser is rolling out across Europe as part of a Windows update.

Opera says that in Poland 77% of downloads have come from the screen.

The number of copies downloaded in Poland were up by 328% on normal levels in the three days Opera analysed, between 12 and 14 March.

The screen has also made a big impact on Opera downloads in Spain, Italy and Denmark where downloads have doubled and over 60% of traffic is coming from the screen.

"This confirms that when users are given a real choice on how they choose the browser, they will try out alternatives," said Hakon Wium Lie of Opera Software.

While the Norway-based company has focused on the European market, according to StatCounter GlobalStats in March 2010 Opera was the biggest browser in Russia with a market share of 32.76%, beating Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari.

Microsoft agreed to offer users browser choice in Europe as part of a settlement following a 10 year dispute with the European Commission over competition regulation.

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