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Firefox Momentum Slows

Zonk posted about 9 years ago | from the get-firefox dept.

Mozilla 558

linumax wrote to mention an Information Week story about an apparent slowing of Firefox's usage growth. From the article: "San Diego-based WebSideStory released market share numbers for Firefox, IE, and other browsers that noted Firefox has crept up from April's 6.75 percent to September's 7.86 percent, a single percentage point gain in five months. During the first few months after its November, 2004, release, Firefox was adding another point each month. 'It looks like Firefox has hit the push-back point,' said Geoff Johnston, an analyst with WebSideStory. 'We always knew there was a finite number of early adopters out there and a finite number of Microsoft haters who would switch to something new, but we didn't know what that number was. It looks like we're approaching it.'"

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Fixed (-1, Flamebait)

Gotung (571984) | about 9 years ago | (#13676228)

'We always knew there was a finite number of people without their heads up their ass who would switch to something new, but we didn't know what that number was.' Fixed.l

Re:Fixed (0, Redundant)

hcob$ (766699) | about 9 years ago | (#13676249)

while ("fixed")
    new_firefox_user = new_firefox_user += 1;

There, all better

Re:Fixed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13676258)

Why be so rude?

slows? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13676233)

So what if it slows. It still eats away at Micro$oft's market share. One thing going for Firefox at least they fix it's flaws quickly.

Re:slows? (-1, Offtopic)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | about 9 years ago | (#13676349)

Use of a period instead of a question mark. Use of the aging term "Micro$oft." And a poorly constructed sentence that uses "it's" instead of "its." Modded up as insightful.

Welcome home. You, sir, are welcome here.

Nothing new. (0, Flamebait)

NorbMan (829255) | about 9 years ago | (#13676239)

Firefox was supposed to be serious IE rival [] But Microsoft was never worried [] . And it turns out they didn't have anything to worry about. According to TFA, most of Firefox's market share came not from IE, but from other Mozilla browsers and Opera.

Firefox was supposed to be more secure than IE. But exploits for both browsers are close in numbers []

All we have now is a new Mozilla browser. Nothing else has changed. As soon as the next third-party "IE-killer" browser comes out, Firefox will lose it's market share to the newcomer too.

Re:Nothing new. (5, Insightful)

BladeMelbourne (518866) | about 9 years ago | (#13676285)

Close in numbers, but not close in the severity, or the number of unpatched exploits.

If MSIE had approximately 97% usage at it's peak, and FireFox is now close to 8%, how could most of FireFox's market share come from Mozilla browsers and Opera? 97% + 8% != 100%

Re:Nothing new. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13676515)

Easy people use more than one browser.

Re:Nothing new. (3, Interesting)

kgruscho (801766) | about 9 years ago | (#13676388)

As a sysadmin I switched the computers i am in charge of to firefox. I've been to labs where others clearly did the same. This is room for growth.

Also many webapps are bothering to support firefox. If that trend continues and firefox improves itself a bit to offer more features, then I think the growth trend will continue, albeit at a non-insane pace.

Re:Nothing new. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13676397)

Firefox was supposed to be more secure than IE. But exploits for both browsers are close in numbers

But not in severity.

It beats me why people still think that counting the vulnerabilities is of any value in determining the security of different browsers.

Re:Nothing new. (1)

servo335 (853111) | about 9 years ago | (#13676436)

Depends ont he quality of the browser. I tryed opera when it released the latest verison and switched back to firefox. I dont think firefox will lose users.

Re:Nothing new. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13676453)

It does not matter if it is new or not. Firefox as accomplished it's objective. It will eventually hit 9-10%, which is fine.

But right now no company in its right mind will ever make a site only for IE as it risks loosing 8-9 % of its potential market. The same is valid for plugins and add ons for the browser. FF is now a browser to stay, whether one wnats it or not!

Counting vulnerabilities is stupid. (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | about 9 years ago | (#13676480)

Firefox was supposed to be more secure than IE. But exploits for both browsers are close in numbers
But because FireFox is not "integrated" with the OS, the vulnerabilities aren't as severe as those found in IE.

Finding 1,000 different "vulnerabilities" that cause the app to crash does not equal 1 vulnerability that gives remote admin access to the machine.

And that story only shows FireFox's adoption rate to be slowing. You can interpret that any way you want to. But if your interpretation is correct, then why is Microsoft introducing FireFox-like features in the next release of IE?

Re:Nothing new. (4, Funny)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | about 9 years ago | (#13676498)


Have you been watching IE numbers, for the first time in last 4-5 years, they dropped below 90%, what did those 7-8% percent users switched to, lynx ?

Re:Nothing new. (1, Interesting)

marcello_dl (667940) | about 9 years ago | (#13676529)

Well maybe from an average windows-centric perspective. But firefox is an open and multi-platform browser, not a mere third party replacement for IE.

What if lots of people buy the ps3 with hd (good way to evade the console tax in some places of the world) and want to browse the web too? They're gonna get firefox. The next IE-killer might as well be gecko based, too, or derived directly from firefox.

Finite this, finite that (4, Insightful)

program21 (469995) | about 9 years ago | (#13676240)

Did they really need to say that there was "a finite number of early adopters ... and a finite number of Microsoft haters"? Did anyone really think there were an infinite number of either?

Re:Finite this, finite that (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13676305)

Oh, but I thought there was an infinite number of MS haters.

Silly me, not everyone has a computer.

Re:Finite this, finite that (1)

lpangelrob (714473) | about 9 years ago | (#13676324)

I don't get that slant on that particular comment... if he had said, "There's a certain number of early adopters... and a certain number of Microsoft haters" I wouldn't necessarily be responding with "Did anyone really think there was an irrational number of either?"

We picked up 3.14159 users this week!

Re:Finite this, finite that (1)

program21 (469995) | about 9 years ago | (#13676470)

I think "limited" would be right word in that context. I also think that "certain" would have worked (pi is a certain number, despite being irrational). To say that there are only a finite number of users seems like you have to acknowledge that there couldn't be an infinite number of users, which seems like common sense to me.

Re:Finite this, finite that (1)

op12 (830015) | about 9 years ago | (#13676361)

I think the intent was to say it was a finite, but unknown number of each of those. Now that Firefox has gained a share of users, that number is more known.

Re:Finite this, finite that (1)

sedyn (880034) | about 9 years ago | (#13676363)

You are correct, there are only a finite number of microsoft detractors and early adopters, like there is a finite number of microsoft fans. But the greatest quantity of people are those that don't care either way.

In my experience Firefox has a viral effect to anyone that uses it (mainly because of tabs). The average person doesn't care about security, because they typically aren't the ones who have to fix it. So, as long as IE doesn't have tabbed browsing Firefox will get more people.

Re:Finite this, finite that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13676504)

It's part of the trend of people using the wrong words to try to sound intelligent, but it ends up having the opposite effect. I've stopped counting how many times I've heard newscasters say something like "This won't affect you or I", instead of "This won't affect you or me", which is the correct way of saying it. Using the word 'finite' when they really mean 'small' or some similar word is even worse.

Right but... (4, Insightful)

TarrySingh (916400) | about 9 years ago | (#13676244)

But Firefox will find it difficult to move into the double digits of market share, and retain those numbers. "It's hard to get there," said Johnston. "To do it, Firefox has to go mainstream." It's time firefox is also bundled in the new PC's /laptops which are sold out there into the market.

Re:Right but... (1)

lolocaust (871165) | about 9 years ago | (#13676298)

Though I can see microsoft paying pc makers to not include firefox, or somehow fining them if they do.

Re:Right but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13676368)

Why? My latest laptop came with iTunes, CD Burner Software and Movie Making software, along with Microsoft's Windows Media Player and Movie Maker. Don't see why they can't include FireFox or at least Netscape if they wanted. Heck the AOL PC you see at Tiger Direct comes running Windows, but also has StarOffice and Netscape on it.

Re:Right but... (0, Redundant)

lolocaust (871165) | about 9 years ago | (#13676439)

oh, okay.

So just to review (5, Funny)

oni (41625) | about 9 years ago | (#13676253)

The only possible reasons why someone would use firefox are:
1. they are one of those annoying people who think they're cool when they have "the latest thing"
2. they are one of those annoying people who hold an irrational hatred of microsoft.

There's no other reason. No sir. Nobody in the entire world looked at each browser and made a sound, logical choice to use the one that best met thier needs. No, that would never happen.

Re:So just to review (1)

Rivendale286 (918909) | about 9 years ago | (#13676295)

Actually that's not true. I love Microsoft so much, but my IE kept crashing my computer, and continued to even after a reformat... I was about to cry when I installed Firefox and thought of myself as a trader, but now I'm happy because it seems to work better in most ways that IE... But as soon as I can get a hold of an IE7 beta, I will definitely switch back over to good old MS...

Re:So just to review (1)

BladeMelbourne (518866) | about 9 years ago | (#13676433)

IE 7 beta 1 is not that special.

When it is out of beta, it will still crash. It will still be the main target of ActiveX(TM) malware, spyware, etc.

It annoys me how there is no reload button in IE 7 beta 1. Also the tabbed browsing interface is damn ugly IMHO.

To each his own though. People are free to use whatever they like - choice is good.

Re:So just to review (1)

Evil Grinn (223934) | about 9 years ago | (#13676511)

Actually that's not true.
Gee, here I was thinking that grandparent was being sarcastic.

Re:So just to review (1)

blechx (767202) | about 9 years ago | (#13676309)

Uh, How about Mac users? gnu/linux users, or free software-ethical people at all?
How the heck did this get modded up to 4?

Re:So just to review (1)

Tim C (15259) | about 9 years ago | (#13676325)

It's called sarcasm [] .

Re:So just to review (1)

oni (41625) | about 9 years ago | (#13676336)

How the heck did this get modded up to 4?

Maybe the post contained some kind of strange social custom [] that you don't understand.

Re:So just to review (1)

richlv (778496) | about 9 years ago | (#13676353)

because moderators can't tell "funny" from "interesting".
or they were participating in a joke.

Re:So just to review (0, Redundant)

Soul-Burn666 (574119) | about 9 years ago | (#13676328)

To whoever not understood, the parent was SARCASTIC.

Re:So just to review (1)

Rhoon (785258) | about 9 years ago | (#13676409)

There's no other reason. No Sir. Nobody in the entire world looked at each browser and made a sound, logical choice to use the one that best met their needs. No, that would never happen.

Ok, while the parent should probably be modded "Troll" (or I'm missing his sarcastic tone). I'll bite at this one.

1) Underdog supporter
2) built in pop up blocker -- I'm forced to use IE at my current job, I'm tired of stupid popups.
3) Tabs -- enough said
4) Faster bug resolution
5) IE Should change their icon to a giant bullseye instead of the blue E
6) Choice to use it... not forced adoption
7) Standards support .. while neither browser supports them all fully, firefox does it better
8) Extension support
9) ActiveX -- do I really need to comment on this?

I was aiming for 10, but I think 9 will do to disprove your troll-ish statements.

Re:So just to review (3, Funny)

bedroll (806612) | about 9 years ago | (#13676484)

No, you missed the sarcasm. I don't quite know how, by the end it was laid on so thick that it oozed into the next post. Break it down to just one sentence and you can see:

Nobody in the entire world looked at each browser and made a sound, logical choice to use the one that best met their needs.

How, if not by sarcasm, could a ration person make such a statement? It's either +4 sarcastic or +4 insane, obviously sarcastic won out.

Re:So just to review (4, Informative)

oni (41625) | about 9 years ago | (#13676413)

I am shocked (shocked) that people don't get sarcasm. I should have quoted TFA in my post. Here, read this and see if it makes more sense:

from the article:
Geoff Johnston, an analyst with WebSideStory. 'We always knew there was a finite number of early adopters out there and a finite number of Microsoft haters who would switch to something new

So, to paraphrase Mr. Johnston:
The only possible reasons why someone would use firefox are:
1. they are one of those annoying people who think they're cool when they have "the latest thing"
2. they are one of those annoying people who hold an irrational hatred of microsoft.

You are correct, sir (1)

green pizza (159161) | about 9 years ago | (#13676446)

The sad thing is, you're spot on. Desipite the huge number of computer users these days, the computer world enjoys more of a monoculture now than ever before. People use software because it is "THE software to use" not because they've tried a few options and picked the one that best fit.

Re:So just to review (1)

Yaztromo (655250) | about 9 years ago | (#13676456)

There's no other reason.

Yeah, like running some OS for which IE isn't available, like Linux, FreeBSD, or OS/2. Or running one for which the IE port is ages old and runs like completely and total crap (Mac OS X).

After all, we all know that people who run these OS's only do so because of irrational hatred for Microsoft, as every other rational person chooses their OS based on the fact that IE is available for it.

(I hope MS is paying these "analysts" well to make such boneheaded statements...).


Bound to happen (5, Insightful)

Stevyn (691306) | about 9 years ago | (#13676254)

There are only so many individuals you can convince that you are more likely to have a better and safer web experience with Firefox than IE. Not guaranteed, but more likely. What should now be a focus for people concerned about this is convincing large businesses and universities to consider it. Any large switch is painful and expensive, but the reduced support costs down the road should be considered.

Rubbish (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13676255)

Firefox is the biggest piece of shit I've ever used. I hope all users of it die !

There can be only one (4, Funny)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 9 years ago | (#13676380)

Firefox is the biggest piece of shit I've ever used. I hope all users of it die !

That's quite probable; Firefox is a nice browser, but I don't recall seeing "confers immortality on all who use it" as a listed feature (unlike Internet Explorer, obviously).

Perhaps they'll add that in the next release. Then we'll see who's laughing.... forever!!! Muwahahahahahah!

Microsoft haters? (2, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | about 9 years ago | (#13676259)

Its not about being a Microsoft hater.
Most people I know who use firefox still use and prefer MS Windows to the alternatives.

Software compatibility is important and being able to go into a shop and buy any software for Windows means Windows will remain for a while.
When the tiny Apple or Linux section in computer shops grows and software is generically released for more platforms things will change.

My local PC world (in England) is already being taken over by Apple Macs so its only a matter of time now :)

It's having an effect, I think (4, Interesting)

Kazzahdrane (882423) | about 9 years ago | (#13676263)

IE 7 finally has tabbed browsing, no doubt to try and win back users who have dumped IE for Firefox and the other feature-superior browsers. I'm a big fan of Firefox, I love the small footprint and the fact that the menus etc take up very little screen space so I can see much more of a webpage than with IE. However, I'll be checking out IE 7 and if I like it more I'll switch to it. As an aside, it's hard to recommend Firefox to some friends/family when they can't comprehend how useful tabbed browsing it. I've successfully converted a few people though and they all comment that they'd hate to surf the web without tabs now. Maybe they should rename them iTabs or something to make them trendy.

Re:It's having an effect, I think (4, Interesting)

Evil Grinn (223934) | about 9 years ago | (#13676454)

. As an aside, it's hard to recommend Firefox to some friends/family when they can't comprehend how useful tabbed browsing it. I've successfully converted a few people though and they all comment that they'd hate to surf the web without tabs now. Maybe they should rename them iTabs or something to make them trendy.

I converted my wife to Mozilla (before Firefox existed) because IE was fucked up on her computer, and it was easier to install Mozilla than to figure out was wrong with IE. Only then did she "get" stuff like tabbed browsing and text resizing that works. She's got a new PC since then, and Firefox was the first thing installed on it.

Re:It's having an effect, I think (1)

daranz (914716) | about 9 years ago | (#13676479)

Tabbed browsing is just one feature that FF has. It's not the only thing that's good about it... take the extension manager - it's better than IE's "let's just let anything slap stuff on here" attitude.

Problem is, the casual user probably won't be bothered to learn how to use extensions, and Adblock will be more of a problem than a useful tool for them. That's why that user will stick with IE.

Most Likely (4, Interesting)

hcob$ (766699) | about 9 years ago | (#13676274)

They started seeing a slow down cause of all the other options that are cropping up; Opera(free) being one of them. Just a thought...

Re:Most Likely (1)

mixtape5 (762922) | about 9 years ago | (#13676457)

But opera is not a new browser, it has been up even before alternate browsers started gaining large amounts of users.

Re:Most Likely (2, Interesting)

L. VeGas (580015) | about 9 years ago | (#13676531)

Opera is exploding right now. My logs show an increase of Opera over the past week of about 500%. After the buzz of "free Opera" dies down, who knows if it will maintain?

Most geeks love Firefox extensions (I do), but Joe User just isn't interested in dealing with that stuff. Opera offers more functionality straight out of the box, and almost nobody outside the tech community cares at all about open source.

I think Firefox might have reached market saturation. I wish it weren't the case, but I fear it may be true.

There was a fluff piece I wrote a little while ago about Opera vs. Firefox [] that addresses some of this.

no surprise (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13676276)

I almost had a convert with my roommate. He said "Oh, I should install this." But I think he abandoned that idea after using my computer for an hour.

He visited some site about drugs for his paramedic classes and some wierd menu system didn't work. He visited his car manufacturer's website which used flash. The automatic flash plugin install ended up hanging firefox.

auto install, auto pain (1)

green pizza (159161) | about 9 years ago | (#13676485)

The automatic flash plugin install ended up hanging firefox.

You know, this is one common complaint that really bugs me. I've heavily used computers for over two decades and I still don't trust a web browser to auto install plugins. There are at most maybe six browser plugins that most people would ever really need. When I set up a machine I install a few plugins right out the gate and don't bother with it later.

not surprising (4, Insightful)

Nex6 (471172) | about 9 years ago | (#13676277)

I am not surprised, most users think "internet" Explorer" is the internet, so the fact that a "normal" user
does not go out and download / install firefox. does not surprise me.

on the otherhand, 7% + market share in such a short time is pretty good. and has firefox improves, (use less memmory) you will see improvments in the marget share. firefox has to be much better then "IE"

for a normal user to switch to it, so the rapid marget will slow down and will creep up slowly...


Will Opera affect FF's usage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13676281)

Now that Opera is ad-less, maybe FF useage will drop.

Did anyone really think that FF would cut into IE much? When you buy a Dell/HP/Sony/etc, that little blue E on the desktop is very convenient and it's not like you get many browser exploit reports on CNN or the local news.

MS haters vs enlightened users? (3, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | about 9 years ago | (#13676284)

'We always knew there was a finite number of early adopters out there and a finite number of Microsoft haters who would switch to something new, but we didn't know what that number was. It looks like we're approaching it.'

So you have to be a "MS hater" to see the disadvantages with IE now?

Anyway, yes, it is expected something like this will happen, but I think not for that reason, but rather because there's a finite number of people willing to change browsers when there's already one part of the OS. Firefox being more secure? Sorry, they don't even read computer news sites.

Maybe.. (1)

G4Z (865584) | about 9 years ago | (#13676290)

Im really not sure that what they adoption will slow down completely. Firefox doesnt have the same marketing machine promoting it that Microsoft have and it doesnt come bundled with the OS but it does have many evangelists (I have friends who install it on any PC they work on and allways tell the owner to use it). I think the adoption might well be determined by the users awareness as much as anything else and that seems to mostly happen by word of mouth. I can see the point of view many users have that IE is just not broken but as a tech that wasnt my experience, I heard many IE tales of woe for users. I think in the end most users want somthing to just work so they might use firefox or Opera or IE it just depends if somebody else takes care of installing it for them, in most cases IE is first there.

next step (5, Interesting)

timtwobuck (833954) | about 9 years ago | (#13676291)

So...whats the next step?

Obviously the current marketing effort led by the Firefox team has reached, or is soon to reach, the most people it can. There now needs to be a second push to help promote this browser up past 10% market share. Once one in every ten users is using Firefox, then maybe the 'word of mouth' changes will begin to increase more-so.

Personally, I have installed it on my parents' machine, all my tech-saavy coworkers, and I promote it every chance I get. Once we hit the 10% mark, all the people that were too lazy to do it might just say, hey, well, everyone else is doing it, why not me?.

Re:next step (1)

Flying Purple Wombat (787087) | about 9 years ago | (#13676384)

Part of the next step is convincing web site developers to support Firefox. There are a lot of sites out there that require IE to work. For some of them, like one of my financial service providers, there is no workaround - I must run Windows and IE (vmware does the job without requiring extra hardware). I don't like it, and I have complained, but it's not a big enough problem to make me switch to another provider so I doubt that my complaints will be acted upon.

time.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13676304)

Firefox will reign, is a matter of time.

Its also got more unstable (0)

doormat (63648) | about 9 years ago | (#13676308)

FF 1.0.7 has locked my laptop and desktop more times than I care to recall. No BSOD, no crash, the entire system just freezes up. The mouse wont move, nothign responds. I've been tempted to switch to Opera lately - FF quality is going down the drain....

Re:Its also got more unstable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13676359)

Never happened to me. I've installed it on 1000 computers in our lab, and yet to have seen it freeze up a system. Occassionally dies on a particularly bad webpage, true, but not taking everything with it. I think you have hardware issues.

Re:Its also got more unstable (1)

doormat (63648) | about 9 years ago | (#13676513)

On both my laptop and my desktop? Everything else runs fine, without errors....

Re:Its also got more unstable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13676419)

Sounds like a hardware problem to me or possibly a driver issue. The only thing that Firefox does to me is leak memory.

Stupid conclusions (4, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | about 9 years ago | (#13676318)

Opera, for instance, now has to steal users from Firefox, not IE, since the pool of IE users willing to change has dried up.

No, even if you accept the numbers, it means the pool of IE users willing to change to Firefox has dried up. It's pretty damn arrogant to assume that if Firefox isn't acceptable to somebody, nothing is. I use Firefox myself for the time being (roll on Konqueror 3.5 with Adblocking built in), but I'm not going to claim that it's perfect.

One thing I can never find with these stories is how they come up with the figures. Examining httpd logs and using Javascript tricks is about as accurate as guessing. Do they conduct proper surveys or are they just another snake oil vendor? The fact that their website is broken in Firefox isn't exactly a ringing endorsement.

Version 1.5 (3, Insightful)

shic (309152) | about 9 years ago | (#13676320)

In my experience it is the Mozilla innovations which encourage people to switch... the better the features the more compelling the motivation to switch.

Recently the released improvements to the Mozilla suite in the release products have slowed. I strongly suspect that version 1.5 will bring yet more people on-board. I'm using the Thunderbird 1.5 beta for my email right now and it is a fantastic improvement over the current release version.

[Minor whinge] I wish I could print an email without all the irrelevant headers... preview what will be printed and (optionally) change the format.

Re:Version 1.5 (1)

4of12 (97621) | about 9 years ago | (#13676417)

it is the Mozilla innovations which encourage people to switch


I've often felt that if Mozilla/Firefox gave users an easy way to compose and publish precise SVG using a WYSIWYG interface, including international language support, across platform, that usage would increase markedly.

Re:Version 1.5 (1)

jxyama (821091) | about 9 years ago | (#13676512)

For the majority of Internet users (the 80+% using IE), those "innovations" you speak of are invisible and inconsequential. They don't use them, they don't care about them and worst of all, they don't know about them and have no way of finding out about them.

These are people whose daily Internet use consists of Hotmail, Amazon and CNN. They are not on the fence, waiting for the next batch of innovation from Firefox to switch

FYI: Different situation in Europe (5, Interesting)

zerojoker (812874) | about 9 years ago | (#13676333) []
I'm just wondering why the market share in Europe is so much higher? I mean, I doubt that there is such a different user basis?! (The linked article talks about 20% market-share in Germany and Poland...)

Fighting the monopoly (0, Flamebait)

Henriok (6762) | about 9 years ago | (#13676334)

This is what happens when one try to fight the reigning monopoly. Microsoft is effieciently killing complete markets with their marketing strategy. Microsoft knows this, and they know that they are getting away with it. Everything that they bundle with their operating systems is going to be standards eventually. EVERYTHING!

The only way to counter this is to make Microsoft not do this. DOJ tried (and failed), EU tried (and failed) and the justice department in Japan tried (and failed). So.. if the three most powerful governements on Earth is so weak that they can't make Microsoft stop killing competition and annexing markets, then who or what can? I really think this is a very frightening development.

This isn't necessarily a bad sign (2, Interesting)

dacarr (562277) | about 9 years ago | (#13676339)

Just because people don't download Firefox as much as they have been doesn't mean that interest is flagging, it might just mean that people aren't upgrading directly from the site. This also doesn't count the Linux mirror networks such as that found with Debian, Mandrake, Redhat, or maybe even Gentoo - they provide a copy of Firefox in the appropriate packaging scheme, and Mozilla won't count those because they don't come from Mozilla.

As such, just because downloads are flagging doesn't mean interest is.

Re:This isn't necessarily a bad sign (1)

Armando_Mcgillicutty (773718) | about 9 years ago | (#13676422)

I was under the impression that websidestory was counting usage statistics, not downloads of the program.

Web Developers (5, Insightful)

mysqlrocks (783488) | about 9 years ago | (#13676347)

"For many, IE is just not broken," said Johnston in explaining the small dip in Internet Explorer.

Yes, but for many web developers IE is broken. It's annoying having to write one set of code to run in the non-standard IE environment and then another set of code to work in the standards-based browsers. Take for example Alpha Transparency for PNG images. You can get it to work in IE by using Microsoft's method but you can't just slap a PNG in with alpha transparency and expect it to work in IE.

Re:Web Developers (3, Interesting)

ziggamon2.0 (796017) | about 9 years ago | (#13676500)

And this is why the current "slowdown" of adoption doesn't matter.
Firefox has reached that ~10%.
Other browsers (Safari + Opera + Konqueror) have maybe 5%.

Which means that IE is down to 85%, and web developers can no longer create IE-only web sites, and apply pressure at Microsoft to be more standards compliant.

Which caused the come of IE7, which has fixes for many of the reasons we web developers hate IE, such as CSS, the box model and the PNG problems you are talking about.

So - it's ok that the adoption rate doesn't increase. The microsoft 99% dominance on the browser market is broken, probably forever, and now we can once again experience that development in web standards that has been away since Netscape was crushed by MS.

So - you're looking at the wrong place.
Firefox has already succeded. It created better web browsing for everyone.

Firefox will need this help (1, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | about 9 years ago | (#13676352)

The help will be in this form:

That some major government mandates the default installation of a browser that meets W3C standards to some debatable extent, (say 90%), on all computer systems purchased. Within this restriction, vendors would be required to meet some standards on a 100% basis. With OpenDocument, Massachusetts has done its part. Now, they should extend this to browsers.

If that happens, Firefox will take off.

Re:Firefox will need this help (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13676391)

Um.. No. No one has business telling me what browsers get put on the computers I sell or buy.

Portable Firefox (1)

kidtux1 (896975) | about 9 years ago | (#13676354)

Even though firefox is said now not to be more secure and things of that nature because it is open source it has and will become better faster. I use my flash drive to carry around a copy of portable firefox with me where ever I go so I always have my prefrences, extensions and bookmarks. I wouldn't give it up for the world. This is only possible because they have made it open source. =) -- []


Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13676448)

I'm thinking of adding an extension to Firefox that removes fake signatures containing misleading links to ads, such as the one you copy and paste on the end of every post you make. It's a form of spam. What do you think?

Doy (1)

Apreche (239272) | about 9 years ago | (#13676373)

Of course the momentum has slowed. Everyone who is smart enough to switch to Firefox already has. And some people are using Opera, konqueror, safar, epihany, etc. where applicable. There wont be firefox growth again until someone finds a way to push all the stupid IE users. If you find that way, you will become very rich.

Why change browsers? (5, Interesting)

green pizza (159161) | about 9 years ago | (#13676377)

I have recommended Firefox to all of my coworkers, friends, and family over the past year. So far I have not personally heard of anyone who has fully switched to Firefox ever switch back to MSIE.

That said, I do know of MANY people who have zero interest in even trying Firefox. They don't care about tabbed browsing, they already know the ins and outs of MSIE. Generally these aren't the people who actually have to remove their spyware and virii, so they don't fully understand security issues and associated pains.

I think it boils down to this: Most geeks like Firefox and have already switched. Joe Sixpack and Ted the PHB have in interest in learning how to use a new browser, or even learn how to click on a different icon.

(And then there's the camp of newbies that think "the internet" is built into their "computer" and is only accessed by clicking on the magical blue e)

Re:Why change browsers? (2, Interesting)

kiveol (866603) | about 9 years ago | (#13676482)

I think it boils down to this: Most geeks like Firefox and have already switched. Joe Sixpack and Ted the PHB have in interest in learning how to use a new browser, or even learn how to click on a different icon.

So how about an IE Skin and an icon change?

Plataeu is not a bad thing (4, Insightful)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | about 9 years ago | (#13676379)

I mean...

the number of web users is still growing rather rapidly. Even if their marketshare stays steady for many months, especially this time of year (I'll get to that in a sec), it still means that their userbase is growing.

This time of year, school is starting. people are getting new computers or their first computers for themselves (finally, a computer that's not shared by the family!). There's a distinct spike in computer purchases around now. Firefox's 1% gain this month is a very good thing. it means that even though their marketshare growth is remaining constant, they're making up for it in volume.

also, does their marketshare count only for windows installations? or does it count for all platforms? I mean, I know a bunch of mac users who , for some reason (usually because they're coming from windows), prefer firefox over safari.

personally, I use firefox for testing on the mac. but that's about it. I still think safari is leaps and bounds ahead in terms of just the usability factor. firefox just feels like a windows app. Camino's ok, but feels a bit strange sometimes.

Maybe this new IE flaw will help... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13676392)

CNET reports that a new flaw in Internet Explorer [] could be exploited to launch spoof-based attacks, or access and change data on vulnerable PCs, security experts have warned.

The vulnerability could be exploited with specially crafted code. An attacker could spoof a legitimate Web site, access data from the Web browser's cache or stage a so-called man-in-the-middle attack, which taps into traffic between a user and another Web site, according to Klein's write-up.

Fully-patched computers running Windows XP with Service Pack 2 and Internet Explorer 6.0 are vulnerable to this issue, security monitoring company Secunia said in an advisory [] .

Somehow, this story never made it to the front page.

Could it be..? (2, Interesting)

Splork2 (152140) | about 9 years ago | (#13676402)

Could it be that IE is part of the OS and therefore people tend to use what is there or more importantly what they're used too? Case in point. I've been trying to get my wife to switch to Firefox for over a year now. I've removed all the icons on her desktop, start menu, etc., but yet everytime she turns on her laptop and jumps on the net she finds her way to IE. I guess you can't teach and old dog new tricks.

Firefox Slowing... (1)

TorontoImporter (917204) | about 9 years ago | (#13676405)

In response to the Firefox slowing I think that although the percentage increase is slowing there will still be growth to around 20 percent. It is important that we keep "Browsers" which are becoming increasing important, as transparent as possible. This is why I'm a believer in Firefox ever since my brother "converted" me. I make a very strong effort to get my friends to use Firefox. I have even converted my Indian business partner to use it. All you really need to do is show someone how to work "Tabs". After this they have a reason to use it instead of IE... other than hating Microsoft. I think it's important that people recommend Firefox as I believe Microsoft's interests to be extremely controlling and Pro-Microsoft(which is to be expected). The data mining out there is getting out of control so the least we can do is keep it as transparent as possible.

Switching to Firefox (1)

Netssansfrontieres (214626) | about 9 years ago | (#13676407)

Good point ... and an indication of how far a product can go against the awesome marketing might of MSFT without a big counter marketing campaign and the budget that implies.
Or, at least, how far one can go in the first phase of deployment. Phase 1: early adopters/self-described cognoscenti/MSFT-haters. Phase 2: what? Is there enough viral momentum to double the installed base?

Stats match reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13676408)

Those numbers match what our (middle-sized financial) company has seen almost exactly. Several months ago Firefox users had reached maybe 6.5-7.0%; now they've grown to maybe 7.5-8.0%, but that's it. Netscape usage has gone up a bit in six months; Opera usage has not.

Numbers? (2, Interesting)

ValourX (677178) | about 9 years ago | (#13676430)

I doubt these numbers. The Jem Report gets about 3k visitors per day, and no more than 25% of them are using a version of IE. Mozilla-based browsers are almost twice that number.

Looking at two other sites I have that have much less traffic, IE's numbers are around 20% or less. Two months ago it was the opposite -- IE was around 50% of TJR's traffic, and certainly more than 20% on the other sites. Something big happened in the past two or three months that drastically changed browser numbers. I think WebSideStory's data is old or just plain inaccurate.

who is WebSideStory? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13676432)

I've been in the business for some time but have never heard of "WebSideStory". Without a statistically large enough sample base (>500 sites, >10,000 hits each) you can't make statements like they do. To my knowledge and based on our data the marketshare of Firefox continues to slowly increase.

Oh... (1)

Frac (27516) | about 9 years ago | (#13676465)

Wait. Does that mean we're not taking back the web? Can my hand let go now?

Just like Bukkake, the novelty wore off (1)

kianu7 (886560) | about 9 years ago | (#13676472)

FireFox was all the rage when it first came out. But, like Bukkake, the novelty just wore off.

A very simple explanation for a chunk of it (1)

ShatteredDream (636520) | about 9 years ago | (#13676501)

A lot of normal users I know use Firefox, Opera or Safari because they got fed up with having to worry about security holes that can easily compromise their entire system. Yes, Firefox has security problems, but not as bad as IE can offer. However, many IT groups I see around here in town still push IE because it's easy to lock down. If the Firefox developers would come up with an administration kit that would do things like lock down certain settings, bar certain plug-ins from being deactivated or removed and stuff like that, it'd be REALLY cool and good for their marketshare.

Let's also be realistic about something, though, and that is that until security becomes a liability for John Q. Average Citizen, people will continue to blindly accept what is pushed on them. If I were running a company, I would fire that little ol' secretary or bean counter who couldn't be bothered to read the "don't click on attachments" policy. No mercy, nothing. I'd fire them on the spot if they spread a worm throughout the company and shut down the mail servers by not following the policy. One of the things we do need is a law that says that if you run software that is exposed to the internet that is consistently attacked and used to attack others, you by law must take reasonable steps to secure your software by at least patching it. The way things are today would be akin to not requiring even basic safety inspections for vehicles so that when they fall apart at high speeds and kill someone, the owner gets to shrug and say "whatever."

But seriously though, let's stop BSing ourselves here. When patched properly, IE is "good enough" for the average user. What will cause people to stop using IE is if some l33t h@x0r writes an ActiveX control that puts people in danger of a felony. It'd have to be something damn serious too like a P2P ActiveX control for sharing kiddy porn and classified documents so that anyone who doesn't take their security seriously gets a shot at having armed G-men pay them a visit with a warrant for their arrest for distributing extremely felonious materials online. It'd have to be something that big to make "good enough" turn into "too dangerous to consider." Until then, Firefox is going to have to be clearly a lot better.

Different kind of significance (1)

dpilot (134227) | about 9 years ago | (#13676502)

Is this perhaps a natural step in "commercial" evolution?

Vermont being home to a lot of small, home-grown industries, and not a lot of big ones, I've noticed something. Companies start small and (hopefully) grow. At some point, many hit a critical point where they're no longer small enough to work the same old way they used to. They have to take on some aspects of bigness, in order to continue growth. (At this point, some companies also say, "Big enough, I don't want to take on the changes necessary for further growth.") I've seen this be an awkward point, and frequently quite troubled. Some companies don't survive the transition, perhaps due to losing market focus while preoccupied with internal issues. Some companies are changed beyond recognition. (The jury has been out for *years* on Ben & Jerry's on this one.) Some get through, and move on just fine.

It's possible that Firefox is in a similar position. It just got big enough to start getting significant bad press. The test will be their response, and their ability to get their vision out to users and potential users. It's time to move on, and keep working toward a better and more secure browser.

The difficulty is that Microsoft never plays fair. I'm not saying a word about their software. I'm talking about their corporate behavior. They don't compete fairly, never have, and until someone gives them a meaningful slap, unlike the US DOJ, I doubt they ever will. By unfair competition I mean bundling, AARD, astroturf, EasyKeys for OS/2, media shills, etc.

Seasonal shift (1)

Cyphertube (62291) | about 9 years ago | (#13676510)

Part of me wonders if this isn't simply a seasonal shift, as well, as I've noted before regarding other numbers.

Many students heading off to college just got new machines which, for the vast majority, run Windows and had IE on them right away. Until they've been at college for a while and have been burned by spyware, malware, or otherwise, this will be a factor.

Additionally, this is the time of year when a number of job changes happen. I know that I moved into a corporation where IE is the browser. Yeah, I work in IT, but I don't have a say on the corporate policy (yet!), and so I'm stuck without Firefox or Opera. Previously, I was working as a web developer, so all the sites I visited in the day would note a Firefox visitor, and then in the evening, I also use Firefox. However, now I spend a lot more time at work, stuck using IE.

Honestly, I hated coding for IE. Will IE 7 be better? I hope so. But as long as so many companies force IE usage at work, we won't see a major change in those numbers. Does this mean Firefox is going to 'lose'? Not at all. There are two kinds of web developers out there, those that like to code to features, and those that like to use Microsoft tools. The vast majority of developers I know hate IE currently, and so that may be the shift. Business may still require IE, and home usage may shift to Firefox, Opera, etc.

Given the corporate trend of keeping people at work too many hours a week (it's called mismanagement), chances are IE will not drop under 85% until another OS starts to make serious inroads into the corporate workplace.

Google and Europe (1)

Psionicist (561330) | about 9 years ago | (#13676518)

That's weird. Last time I heard, 30% in Finland used Firefox, and 25% or so in Sweden, and it's increasing every month. In fact, Firefox is very common in Europe.

Most statistics are useless however, until Google show theirs.

Commercial interests don't like free software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13676523)

Any free alternative to a commercial enterprise scares the begeezuz out of many corporate types. So they make no effort to make their websites look good in Firefox. This scares off the non-techy types (like your grandma) who don't understand why everything looks screwed up on the screen and run back to IE.

Interesting (1)

DaPoulpe (795028) | about 9 years ago | (#13676539)

Would be interesting to know if Firefox has somehow started a trend (even a small one) that make people looking for other alternatives to IE
Like Opera that just got Free (as in Beer).
That could be part of this slowdown on Firefox's spread.
Tough to spot precisely though as Opera has it's user agent set on IE IIRC...

Hilarious (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | about 9 years ago | (#13676541)

The setting: A study is conducted which shows that the use of Firefox is still growing.

"Well, the study shows that the use of Firefox is still growing. Microsoft is really in trouble."

"I don't want to piss off Microsofot, how can we put this in a negative light?"

"I know, let's say that the growth is slowing!"

"Yeah, that's the ticket!"

mod u4 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13676542)

Volume of NetBSd are almost Long term s0rvival outstrips

This is funny! (1)

Kylere (846597) | about 9 years ago | (#13676544)

'We always knew there was a finite number of early adopters out there and a finite number of Microsoft haters who would switch to something new, but we didn't know what that number was. It looks like we're approaching it.'"

What an interesting quote, it shows a good deal of bias and is factually inaccurate at the same time but I love the assumption that you have to hate MS to move to a better product. The lag in Firefox adoption is not due to people preferring IE, it is due to many reasons:

1. Users who do not understand that that AOL is not the internet
2. Lazy IS departments and lazy IS techs (heck I temped at a Hospital chain that was "upgrading" from Windows 3.1 with Novell as a Network to Windows95 with Novell as a network, and it was 2002!)
3. Choosing a browser requires thought
4. Half the systems I see are so badly overran with autoupdate checks (Umm where do Sun, Real, Apple QT, etc get off thinking they can abuse processor usage), adware, and spyware that it takes 15 minutes to boot them, I can understand why people do not want to install software at that pace.
5. Most basic users do not even know there is a difference, Microsoft used an excellent route to stomp out Netscape and did it so well that the "integrated" browser has obtained a large lock on the never do anything but look up recipes crowd.

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