Firefox spread much faster in Europe than in US

Interesting bit of info from a Clickz article, Firefox Adoption Shows Signs of Cooling:

“Firefox’s U.S. market share across all operating systems reached 5.69 percent as of February 18, 2005.
Internationally, the pace of Firefox adoption appears to be by no means homogenous. In Germany, for example, the Mozilla browser has gained an 18.82 percent stake of the market across all operating systems, with Internet Explorer penetration measured at 73.01 percent.”

I am wondering why the difference is so big. The only reason that comes to my mind right now, is that in Europe the press is always full of anti-Microsoft things like the EU lawsuits against the company, and there are a lot of stories of various EU institutions adopting open-source software, so people are probably more aware of the possibility of going open source.

Or, is Microsoft’s brand image really that much worse in Europe than in the US? In Hungary it is (i think), but is it in Germany, France, etc?

Maybe such a market climate – that is not very fond of Microsoft – helps initiatives like Firefox in spreading faster virally?

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