Feeds

Mozilla: Windows 7 browser bungle cost us nine MILLION downloads

And look who's more and more popular - IE!

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Microsoft's Internet Explorer clawed back some of its share of the desktop web-browser market in October, as it stood accused of costing rival Firefox valuable downloads by Windows users.

Meanwhile, both Mozilla's Firefox and Google's Chrome have slipped in the browser rankings.

Firefox-maker Mozilla blamed its dip on the missing browser selection screen in Windows 7, an oversight it reckons has cost it millions of Firefox downloads.

Microsoft's web browser finished the month sitting on 54.13 per cent of the world's desktop computers, according to Net Applications. It's the first time Explorer has been in the 54-per-cent range since June. IE scored 53.63 per cent in September.

IE 9 is reported to have a share of 20.11 per cent. Mozilla's Firefox and Google's Chrome, meanwhile, both slipped: Firefox dipped beneath 20 per cent for the first time in years, with 19.99 per cent, down from 20.08 per cent in September. Chrome scored 18.55 per cent, down from 18.86 per cent in the previous month.

Moz claims Microsoft’s failure to include an EU-mandated selection screen in Windows 7 that allows users to install third-party web-browsers has cost Mozilla between six and nine million Firefox downloads. Mozilla’s Harvey Anderson said that daily downloads of Firefox dropped by 63 per cent to a low of 20,000 over a 15-month period. After the browser ballot screen was reinstated in Windows, downloads shot up by 150 per cent to approximately 50,000.

Microsoft was ordered by the European Union to offer users a choice of browsers in Windows 7 under the terms of a 2009 antitrust case. The selection screen touts IE alongside Firefox, Chrome and Opera, but it emerged Microsoft had not actually offered the screen since the rollout of the Windows 7 Service Pack 1 in February 2011. The software giant blamed the omission on a “technical error” and apologised in July this year, but 28 million PCs had missed the browser ballot screen.

Microsoft developed a software fix on July 2, a day after discovering the omission, and began distributing the fix to PCs running the Windows 7 SP1 a day later.

Regulators last month sent Microsoft a formal list of objections and said the company had breached its commitment to offer users a choice of browsers.

Writing on his website, Anderson said: “After accounting for the aggregate impact on all the browser vendors, it seems like this technical glitch decreased downloads and diminished the effectiveness of the remedy ordered in 2009.” ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.