Opera, Firefox Lose Millions of Users Due to Microsoft’s IE Fiasco

Opera representatives confirm that downloads increased after Microsoft fixed the issue

While the Redmond-based technology company is currently investigated by the European Union and could face a new fine after it failed to provide users with a browser choice screen, the other companies in this market come out and attack Microsoft.

After Mozilla publicly revealed last week that it had lost nearly 9 million downloads due to Microsoft’s failure to offer European users a choice screen, Opera confirms that the entire Internet Explorer case affected its overall number of users too.

“We checked monthly ballot downloads three months during the period Microsoft didn't fulfill their agreement and three months after the glitch was fixed, and we saw a 100% increase in monthly downloads of Opera's desktop browser after Microsoft fixed the problem,” Opera told ComputerWorld.

The whole problem is a lot more dramatic in Mozilla’s case, as daily Firefox downloads decreased by 63 percent to a low of 20,000 just prior to the fix, according to official stats.

Microsoft is yet to issue a comment on the matter, but the company is currently working with EU antitrust regulators on a resolution.

Joaquin Almunia, the EU's head antitrust official, said two weeks ago that Windows 8, Microsoft’s brand new operating system, could violate the EU competition rules once again, so he urged the Redmond officials to create a browser choice screen for the new OS.

Microsoft reacted pretty quickly and promised to offer an update before the official debut of Windows 8 on October 26.

Windows RT on the other hand, the version that’s currently installed on tablets and Microsoft’s very own Surface, is yet to become the subject of an antitrust investigation, Almunia said recently. Consumers buying these tablets however have no other option than to use Internet Explorer in either “Metro” or desktop mode.

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