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Microsoft's Windows update allows users to choose competitors to Internet Explorer

Choice screen doubles Opera downloads

Downloads of Opera’s latest browser in Europe have more than doubled since the introduction of the Windows ‘choice screen’.

Opera 10.50 has seen an 85 per cent rise in the UK since Microsoft offered users a choice of browsers on 1 March.

The highest rise of any country was seen in Poland, where downloads of the browser were up 328 per cent.

The choice screen is being rolled out across Europe as part of a Windows update, and allows users to select browsers other than the default Internet Explorer. Microsoft developed the scheme in response to the European Competition Commission’s ruling in December that by bundling its own browser with Windows the firm was violating competition laws.

According to Opera, more than half of the European downloads of its new browser come directly from the choice screen.

“This confirms that when users are given a real choice on how they choose the most important piece of software on their computer, the browser, they will try out alternatives,” said Håkon Wium Lie, chief technology officer of Opera Software. “A multitude of browsers will make the web more standardised and easier to browse.”

The roll out of the choice screen is set to continue into May for existing Windows computers and for five more years on new installations.

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