Mozilla: Firefox Lost 6-9 Million Downloads Because Of Microsoft’s Browser Choice ‘Glitch’

Mozilla’s VP of business affairs and general counsel Harvey Anderson has blogged that Firefox lost millions of downloads because of the “browser choice” screen glitch for Windows users in Europe.

He gave the following stats,

  • Daily Firefox downloads decreased by 63% to a low of 20,000 just prior to the fix;
  • After the fix, Firefox downloads increased 150% to approximately 50,000 per day; and
  • Cumulatively 6 to 9 million Firefox browser downloads were lost during this period.

Microsoft agreed to present the browser choice screen to Windows users as part of the deal with EC. A serious technical glitch made the browser choice screen not presented to users for no.of months. And even EC sent a statement of objections to Microsoft regarding this matter.

While none of the OS providers present any browser choice screen, Should Microsoft alone do this in Windows? What do you think?

Source: Lockshot via: ZDnet

  • just

    I don’t think Apple gives you browser choices on their own OS. Why MS should do it either!

    • TonyFinlay

      Apple don’t have a monopoly in the OS market

      • Krinos

        Depending on how device classifications go forward MS doesn’t either. MS operating systems are arriving on tablets, which are competing directly against IOS equipped ipads and Android equipped tablets. Android transformers are also functionally laptops when docked. Once ipads and android tablets are grouped together with desktops and laptops, MS will no longer have a monopoly on the OS market.

        • TonyFinlay

          Perhaps, but it’s not the case at the moment, hence why there is a case. All together Apple only have about 10% if you combine OSX and IOS. MS have about 85+% of the market across all of their OS versions.

      • Smity Smiter

        so, are they giving any browser choice on iPads?

        • rsgx

          Exactly. The hypocrisy is astounding.

          • Tips_y


        • TonyFinlay

          No, but Apple only has about 50-55% share of the tablet market, hardly a monopoly.

          • duk3togo

            They have more like 90% you are giving google to much credit on their tablet effort.

          • TonyFinlay

            Where are you getting your statistics from? I take it that it’s just hearsay or you’re just buying into the market perception propagated by online tech blogs.

            Look at cold hard stats from technology analysts like Gartner or even stats websites that pull from a multitude of different areas. They all put Apple’s tablet market share around 60% and falling.

            Even at that, it’s 60% of a mobile OS market which holds about 12% of the overall computer market vs 88% desktop market.

            People are getting Apple’s wealth and market coverage confused, they make so much money because they sell premium products.

          • GG002

            You should learn the definition ‘monopoly’, though. I’ll helpa ya:


            exclusive control of a commodity or service in a particular market, or a control that makes possible the manipulation of prices.


            an exclusive privilege to carry on a business, traffic, or service, granted by a government.


            the exclusive possession or control of something.

          • TonyFinlay

            Oh we’re doing the patronising thing, here’s another definition of monopoly:

            “A situation in which a single company owns all or nearly all of the market for a given type of product or service. This would happen in the case that there is a barrier to entry into the industry that allows the single company to operate without competition (for example, vast economies of scale, barriers to entry, or governmental regulation). In such an industry structure, the producer will often produce a volume
            that is less than the amount which would maximize social welfare.”

            It’s multi-faceted as I said below, it’s not just a single element.

          • koenshaku

            It is still ridiculous considering IE is not sold nor are other browsers. Whats next a link to use Notepad+?

      • Agha

        Nor has MS a monopoly. Monopoly means 1 single firm. MS have 90% of the pc market. So does Apple on the tablet market (around 70% as far as I know). So that means Apple should provide a browser choice too. Oh wait, that wouldnt happen, cos the you find most of the i-Idiots around the court I remember that court decision on Samsung in UK. A judge finds Samsung not as cool as apple, so they dont copy apple. wtf?

        • TonyFinlay

          The definition of monopoly:

          “A situation in which a single company owns all or nearly all of the market for a given type of product or service. This would happen in the case that there is a barrier to entry into the industry that allows the single company to operate without competition (for example, vast economies of scale, barriers to entry, or governmental regulation). In such an industry structure, the producer will often produce a volume that is less than the amount which would maximize social welfare.”

          I’d say 90% marketshare is nearly all of the market.

          I’m a MS fan, I like them as a company as they seem to be up front and learned a lot from anti-trust. I also like Firefox, but half the people I know only use IE because it’s there, that gains MS an unfair advantage, by offering alternatives this weakens that advantage.

          Take the MS fanboy glasses off and rationalise a little.

          • Zicoz

            The thing is that Windows or any other software does not fall within that definition since anyone can sit down and write a program or operating system, so there isn’t a barrier to enter the industry.

            Examples of industries where there has been real monopolies is flight and telecom. These are markets that you need a lot of money to get into.

          • TonyFinlay

            But that’s only one part of what’s considered a monopoly. Monopolies are multi-faceted, where MS are/were going wrong was only pushing their wares and winning due to the fact that customers tend to stick with what they know.

            It’s nearly the same with what Google are doing by pushing their Browser via the front page of their search engine, in fact I think they are now being investigated for it.

          • jimski27

            Every Windows computer includes Paint, but that doesn’t mean I have to use it to edit photos. We all have choices. As long as an OEM does not “prevent” you from using an alternative its all good. If you don’t like IE, go find an alternative. Why will giving me a choice screen be any better. If I am a noob, might as well play eni, meni, mine, mo when making a browser selection, possibly winding up with an inferior option and ultimately blaming Microsoft for that.

          • TonyFinlay

            I’m sure if someone complained about Paint it would become an issue, but they’ve haven’t so your point is moot. As I said before it’s not just about it being there it’s about relevance and importance too, too many on here oversimplifying things.

          • guest

            If there was a competitor to Paint before MS included it with the operating system, then yes it would be an issue that including it would be an abuse of monopoly to stifle the competition.

          • GG002

            If people wanted Firefox, they would go get it themselves. Nobody is coming to my door or calling me to tell me about the tablet choices I have, so please take YOUR fanboy glasses off and realise that the EU was just bored and had to do something fun with their power.

          • TonyFinlay

            I’m in no way displaying any fan boy characteristics, that comment made no sense what so ever.

            People who attend this site probably represent less than 20% of the entire consumer PC market, the other 80% probably haven’t even heard of Firefox, with Internet Explorer already being there on the machine it already has an advantage, surely you can’t be so blind to see my point?

  • Pierre Venescar

    shoot, they want people to download their browser then they’d bette go make their owne OS

  • fwaits

    I love Firefox, but please stop whining.

  • Yehuda Lauer

    No Mozilla lost millions of downloads because in the past 3 years firefox has become insanely slow…

  • Brian

    What a load of BULLS***

  • ustudio

    people who don’t know how to download a browser shouldn’t use the internet

    • Tips_y

      LOL! You actually have a point. The “browser choice screen” was not an absolute necessity to be able to download Firefox!

      • Zicoz

        The funny part is that IE had it’s biggest fall in market share before the ballot launched.

  • Kitab

    No, not fair. All OS’es should be treated equally. Microsoft should demand equal treatment, or else…

  • Mark Matheson

    So, is there a browser choice on vanilla OSX or Chrome machines? They could have a few more downloads if Apple and Google were forced to use the same rules.

    I don’t see the point in forcing a rule for one OS manufacturer and not all – no matter which has the majority share.

    This just sounds like Mozilla want to stick it to the hand that has fed them all these years. Will they complain about browser choice not being available on Android? It’s the most popular mobile OS now but I bet not!

  • tkadrum

    How pathetic! Stop whining like an idiot Firefox! IE is better, just accept it!

  • Neo

    Firefox can suck my balls!

  • stevejobs

    clarification – iPAD is not sanitary pad

  • FXi

    Other companies do not have to make such a thing available. There is no end to “articles” about browsers out there. If someone is interested they can go find out. Or else you make it lawful that every single OS needs to show users a choice of all available browsers and never install the native browser without the users permission. This has been an unfairly applied decision by the courts for YEARS. And Apple has billions in the bank to show for it, along with a carefree attitude regarding legal sanctions against it. The very concept that they even force MS to do this, let alone are considering fining MS for a violation while other gigantic corporations are allowed to freely violate the concept of browser choice is exactly why no one respects the legal system anymore. It’s clearly unfair. But the courts carry on as if there weren’t now several big browsers, Safari and Chrome backed by other giants who have none of the legal restrictions of MS.

  • Agha

    Shut up Mozilla. Those who decide about browser are clearly those who know how to downlad by the own. Those who dont know how download mozilla, dont care about which browser they use. They want a browser thats all..And by the way (and sorry for being rude): F+*k you European Union.

  • mog0

    And of course the post-fix figures would in no way have been artificially inflated by the fact that everyone who had missed out on the screen suddenly got it over a very short period of time…
    Sounds like an oversimplified calculation to me. I would imagine that most people who would have changed after being given a prompt would have still changed when prompted a few months late. I suspect the number of lost downloads would be quite small, Mozilla would have lost “hours” of use from these users though and thus lost google money from not having as many people search through the mozilla search box.

  • sudeesh

    Successfully uninstalled firefox with a word will never touch in life time.

  • Rikkirik Contrera

    Next the EC will be telling Microsoft that computers cannot be delivered with windows preinstalled, but that other companies and consumers should have more choice and be able to use other operating systems like the MAC OS, Linux etc..

    • Agrippa

      Whoa dude… “most browsers are not as secure as IE.”

      Whatever this magic LaLa drug you’re on is, I would like it too. IE has made a lot of headway in IE9. But if you think for one second that it holds a flame to Firefox and Chrome, you’re mistaken. It’s more secure than Safari, that’s for sure. But someone with AIDS in the middle of an Ebola outbreak is more secure than Safari. So that doesn’t say much.

  • sm

    European governments are known to have wierd behaviours. Look how they are forcing Apple to lick Samsung’s a$$ in the UK. I think that they should make MS provide browser choice even on RT tablets as there is no difference between a tablet and a PC really speaking. And MS will capture over 80% of that market very soon anyway, so they should do it proactively.

    • Agrippa

      They can’t offer browser choice on RT because so far, Chrome, Opera, and Firefox refuse to make browsers for RT. They blame Microsoft for not letting them. But Microsoft rightly points out that RT is not the same as Windows 8 Pro. They are the ones who don’t want to build browsers for essentially a new OS. That’s like forcing them to have a browser choice on Windows Phone. Why don’t we also force Android to have a browser and a search choice on Android since they control more than half of the smartphone market. (They have a higher percentage share of smartphone market than Microsoft has of browser market at this point). It’s stupid.

      What’s more, Mozilla’s own numbers show that the browser choice is bullshit. People only choose another browser because there’s a big flashing sign that says You must choose one. Otherwise if people really wanted Firefox, they would just go download it. Think about it. If these people were sophisticated enough to care that browsers are different, they would have to be mentally disabled to be unable to download the browser they want, the way my grandmother (an Opera user), does. And my grandmother didn’t use her first computer until a few years ago. The iPad already existed when she got her first email. Yet she was able to figure it out after using Opera just once on someone else’s computer. She found it, downloaded it, and started using it in place of IE.

      The browser choice is bullshit.

  • WarrenCush

    why did the EU fine MS 1 billion dollars for? is it because MS blocked consumers from downloading other browsers or didn’t give them an option to choose which browser to use? from what I am reading they are being forced to give an option to choose a browser and not that MS was restricting installing another browser. why would a company advertise competition service on its own product, that doesn’t make any sense to me. if they are not restricted to download another browser then whats the problem, sounds like someone valled in a favor, a big favor. so what I am getting from this the people in EU don’t know they can download another browser like firefox? Mozilla VP doesn’t know that either? eveyonr is so quick to criticize Americans when something as simple as that has to go to court, talk about a waste of tax money