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Article

Little Guys Complain about Ballot Screen Placement

Random shuffling of the order of top browsers became an issue after Slovakian tech site ran some hypothetical tests

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Microsoft only started distributing its newfangled Ballot Screen last week to give Europeans an antitrust-correcting choice of browsers when Opera claimed it was already seeing a tripling of its downloads in western Europe and Poland because of the thing and then Mozilla told the New York Times over the weekend that Firefox was up 50,000+ because of it.

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However, Opera and Firefox, like IE, Chrome and Safari, are clearly visible on the screen. To see the half-dozen little-know choices the user has to scroll sideways and Avant, Flock, Green, Maxthon, Slim and Sleipnir have now complained to the European Commission about their second-class share of the real estate.

The Ballot Screen's random shuffling of the order of the top five browsers became an issue after a Slovakian tech site ran some hypothetical tests and figured the pot wasn't stirred enough, giving Chrome an edge.

Microsoft has since tweaked its algorithm.

See http://www.robweir.com/blog/2010/03/new-microsoft-shuffle.html for an exhausting, er, exhaustive discussion of the situation.

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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