Firefox and Opera open the champagne

Internet browsers Firefox and Opera have seen a huge spike in downloads since the security flaw in Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) was exposed.

Big Cheeses in the Mozzarella Foundation claim they have experienced more than 300,000 extra downloads for their Firebadger product over a four-day period in Germany.

Opera sings that Germans have downloaded more than 18,000 in a day over last weekend.

FirefoxGoogle would not comment on whether or not it had experienced a surge in Chrome downloads.

The reaction follows the  Federal Office for Information and Security in Germany and French government owned Certa telling the great unwashed to use an alternative browser until Microsoft could issue a fix for the security problem.

Microsoft will be releasing a security update soon to help conquer the problem, but in the meantime its advising IE6 and IE7 customers to upgrade to IE8.

However the damage might be done.  One of the biggest difficulties the likes of Firefox and Opera had was getting people to try their browsers.  System admins once installing Firefox across a company are also less likely to want to install something else.