The European Browser Ballot


Photo by Phillie Casablanca

It’s been a year since the EU mandated browser ballot in Windows has been in place. PC Pro has an excellent article summarizing the results so far and they are interesting. Some of the smaller browsers have seen bumps in their usage, but they were so small to begin with that it wouldn’t take much of a push to see bigger numbers. Looking at the “big 5” it’s clear that the ballot had very little of an effect. There does appear to be a small drop in IE and boost in Firefox immediately after the ballot’s release, but then the original trends continued. 

I was never a fan of the anti-trust cases against IE in the first place, as they seemed to be “fighting the last war.” Microsoft’s dominance was more due to competitor screw ups as it was to Microsoft’s malfeasance. Their monopoly was going to crack as soon as they slipped up and we all knew they would. Firefox and Chrome are starting to eat IE’s lunch and is going to start on its dinner in the not-to-distant future. This is happening even without any of the anti-trust cases making any real difference.

If the goal of the ballot was to end Microsoft’s dominance in browsers then it seems to be a big bust. At least for the 7 smaller browsers that were left off of the first page of the ballot and certainly for the other browsers that didn’t get in the list at all. What about them?