Microsoft has admitted that, for a sixteen month period that ended in 2012, 28 million Windows 7 Service Pack 1 PCs did not display the required web browser menu in Europe. Microsoft agreed to present such a menu to users in the European Union in 2009. The EU will likely fine Microsoft for this breach of the agreement.
This week, the head lawyer for Mozilla claims that its Firefox web browser "lost" a significant number of downloads due to Microsoft"s menu issue. In a post on his blog, Harvey Anderson, Mozilla"s general counsel, claims that " ... daily Firefox downloads decreased by 63% to a low of 20,000 ... " before Microsoft restored the menu.
After the browser ballot was reinstated, Anderson says that daily downloads of Firefox increased to 50,000 a day, adding, "Cumulatively 6 to 9 million Firefox browser downloads were lost during this period."
Microsoft has said that the missing web browser menu was simply a technical glitch. However, the EU might decide that this software issue will be more than enough of an excuse to go after Microsoft with a large fine. There"s no word on when the EU might make its final decision in this case.