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Uh-Oh, Trouble on the Ballot Screen Front

Opera is complaining (again) to the EC that sometimes the ballot screen is hidden by a set of IE configuration screens

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Three weeks ago Opera was beside itself because its downloads had more than doubled and in some European countries tripled, a factor laid mostly to the advent of the antitrust-required Microsoft ballot screen that's forcing choice on European IE users.

Now it's complaining (again) to the European Commission (and the Register) that sometimes the ballot screen is hidden by a set of IE configuration screens.

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Microsoft told the Reg the only time that's likely to happen is if the user is opening IE for the very first time and said, "This scenario is very easy to reproduce in a test lab, but would occur only in unusual cases in the real world."

Opera has yet to decide - what are the odds - whether it's going to make a big stink over the issue with the EC and spark another investigation and possibly more fines.

StatCounter reckoned last month that the new ballot screen, which just started up March 1, had already cost IE 2.5% of the French market, 1.3% of the Italian market and 1% of the UK market. Quantcast figured Microsoft could have lost 5% in Europe overall and took Firefox for the primary beneficiary, while StatCounter figured IE's overall share in Europe was holding steady.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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