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Maxthon International today announced its Windows browser has gained a greater market share than Apple’s Safari for Windows, which had long been considered the fifth most-used Windows browser, and has kept that gain for more than a year.
“This is an important milestone for Maxthon,” said Jeff Chen, CEO of Maxthon. “Passing, and staying ahead of Apple is noteworthy for any team. We would like to use this anniversary to ask the European Council to fix the error it made (and persists making) on the browser ballot page.”
“How does the phrase go? There is no greater failure than embarking on a great endeavor than leaving it half done?'” says Karl Mattson, GM of Maxthon International. “’A’ for the idea. ‘C’ for execution.”
The browser ballot screen’s purpose is to level the playing field for browsers in the Windows operating system pc market. But the EC is counting Apple Safari users on Apple operating systems to determine position and placement on the Windows browser ballot screen.
Say what? Yes, the EC is using Apple OS users to determine which browsers Windows users might choose (and ignoring the guidance it orginally agreed upon, to boot.)
Paragraph 11 of the “Commitments” document written by Microsoft addresses how Microsoft will comply with the European Council’s orders: “The Choice Screen will be populated with the 12 most widely-used web browsers that run on Windows 7 according to a ranking based on usage share…”
Of the three tracking tools used by the EC to assess market share only one  – NetMarketShare – differentiates between Apple Safari usage on Windows or Apple OS. NetMarketShare consistently puts Maxthon ahead of Apple on Windows, and has for a while. One of the other two, GlobalStats does not distinguish between the Windows and Safari operating systems. The other, comScore, separates between Safari and Windows usage by by hours used but not by market share.
“The EC ended up creating unfair advantage in a tool deliberately designed to reduce unfair advantage.” says Mattson. “The fix is easy: remove Apple Safari share from Apple OS from the data used to determine ballot screen positioning.”
[Note to editors: The following information is supported by the supplementary materials found by clicking hereFeel free to reach out for more data and background on the EU ballot screen and the various audience measurement practices of comScore, GlobalStats and NetMarket Share.]