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IE Market Share Drops Below 70%

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the probably-too-late-to-open-source-ie dept.

Internet Explorer 640

Mike writes "Microsoft's market share in the browser dropped below 70% for the first time in eight years, while Mozilla broke the 20% barrier for the first time in its history. It's too early to tell for sure, but if Net Applications' numbers are correct, then Microsoft's Internet Explorer will end 2008 with a historic market share loss in a software segment Microsoft believes is key to its business."

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fp? (1)

byteframe (924916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26294803)

boosh?

Most people using IE are altering user-agent (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26295493)

Since Internet Explorer is the primary target at this point most people using IE are changing the user-agent to read

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.9.1.2) Gecko/2008122803 Firefox/3.1.0a

and this skews the statistics.

Layoffs (4, Insightful)

Prysorra (1040518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26294843)

So....heard that Microsoft might be laying off 15% of its workforce?

Well.....this might compound that.

Re:Layoffs (4, Funny)

Anthony_Cargile (1336739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26294915)

Oh yes, chairs are a-flying in Redmond now, and if you listen slightly to the West, you just might hear some of them land...

Re:Layoffs (4, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26294937)

and if you listen slightly to the West, you just might hear some of them land...

And if you listen slightly to the East, you just might hear some stock brokers land... *splat*

Re:Layoffs (4, Funny)

Anthony_Cargile (1336739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26294979)

Well we could economize the situation by placing the stockbrokers in the chairs before handing them to Ballmer.

Re:Layoffs (4, Funny)

sveard (1076275) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295265)

Or buy IKEA shares

Re:Layoffs (2, Interesting)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 5 years ago | (#26294929)

Microsoft won't be alone in that. Disappearance of microsoft will not be a happy event for nerds : it will be a disaster.

Hopefully consumers remain accustomed to paying for software even when microsoft dies, or the market that pays our salaries shrinks by 90% or so. Even if companies continue to pay it will still be a large portion that dies.

It will not at all be a happy event.

Re:Layoffs (1)

blool (798681) | more than 5 years ago | (#26294987)

Thanks for reminding me why I browse at 3.

Re:Layoffs (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295007)

Disappearance of microsoft will not be a happy event for nerds

Microsoft isn't going anywhere. Let's review which market segments they are involved in:
* Productivity Software (Office) that is (for better or worse) almost universally used.
* Workstating Operating System Software that is (for better or worse) almost universally used.
* Video game consoles.
* Server operating systems
* Database software
* Exchange (e-mail software? Whatever the hell you wanna call it)
* MSNBC

Those are just off the top of my head. I'm sure others can add those that I've missed. Microsoft isn't going anywhere for the foreseeable future. They've diversified quite well and have a foothold in so many different markets it's not funny. Wait long enough and you'll see them borrow a page from GE's play book and start their own financing division.

Re:Layoffs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26295185)

You know, someone posted earlier the windows market share to be at 88% or so.
I'd really love that to be true, but thing is Microsoft is actually doing better than ever.
I live in Europe. I strongly believe that all my non geek friends have never seen anything but windows.
Linux had more momentum back in 2001 than it does now.. quite ironic considering IE6 almost peaked back then.

Re:Layoffs (4, Insightful)

Sweetshark (696449) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295247)

Microsoft isn't going anywhere. Let's review which market segments they are involved in:
* Productivity Software (...)
* Workstating (sic) Operating System Software (...)

And without those two, MSFT is dead. On the other markets they are either way too small (database servers), or their operations are just burning money.

Re:Layoffs (5, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295467)

Like most vatos your full of shit of man.

Just a quote from my favorite movie :) Just joshing you a little. Seriously though, your examples are not good ones.

** Productivity Software - It's overpriced, buggy, and full of security flaws. It faces open source competition on two fronts. I am personally aware of several businesses that flat out switched to other solutions when they realized they could save a ton of money and not lose any real features they actually used. Now the "higher end" stuff like project management, visio, etc. are pretty neat, but they are not without competition either.

** Workstation Operating Systems - Well unless you are talking about NT 4.0, Microsoft has not really been distinguishing between it's flavors of operating systems very well. The same OS that is used on a "workstation" is used everywhere else. People realized fairly quickly that XP Home was utter crap. If you wanted reliability at all you had to go to XP professional. Even Media Center was based off it. So from small office, to power users it was XP pro or Windows 2000 professional. Of course recently MS has gone pokemon with all the flavors of Vista.

So to say it is used on "workstations" does not really mean anything. It's not an intrinsic workstation product. It is just used on workstations since those people chose a Microsoft solution. Once again, serious competition is creeping up everywhere. I myself have largely migrated to various flavors of Linux and if I need a pure MS operating system (WINE won't do it) I just go virtual. The only times you can't go virtual (without difficulty) is gaming, and that is not what you are talking about.

Furthermore, there is a widespread (and yet unreported) rebellion against MS in the Terminal Server market. In the past you had to use a CAL, TS-CAL, and XP Pro license to create a single workstation capable of becoming a Terminal Server client. That cost at least 200-300 USD depending on your licensing deal. With 3rd party solutions you can COMPLETELY get rid of ALL of the licenses on the client. Basically a small Linux thin-client. The cost? Less than 300 USD per client and you get a 20" screen, built-in sound, and a "computer" that looks exactly like a XP workstation. That is serious competition in the workstation market.

** Video Game Consoles - REALLY bad example here. XBOX may have done well this Christmas season compared to PS3, but what about the BILLION DOLLAR loss on the infamous quality control problems? They have lost a lot of credibility in the market. Kids don't care too much since they can just scream till the parents get one, but there are LEGIONS of PARENTS that are -* *- this close to raiding MS with pitch forks and torches. I know plenty of parents who asked me my opinion in the last 3 years and I flat out told them to buy any other console. It had a better chance of actually surviving six months. Don't get me wrong, I love the XBOX 360 and the games on it. I just know how likely it was that I would be using the phone to get an RMA. That's frustrating and bad for Microsoft.

** Server Operating Systems - Server 2008 is not all that great. Neither was 2003. Most people never had a reason to go past Advanced Server. It's a LOT of money. If you were using it in a data center you have a lot of other options these days and all of them are cheaper than MS. The total cost of ownership with MS is a lot higher. I know they have a large marketing program trying to convince businesses otherwise, but their numbers don't add up. Mine do. There is serious competition right now and EVERYTHING is going to a virtualized platform. It has too. Virtualization offers so many benefits it's the new way of life. I don't think MS is doing it as well as VMWare or Virtualbox, or some open source solutions. Convincing some one to use a MS solution for virtualization of their servers is expensive. If you are talking about simple webhosting you can create a fully virtualized platform with load balancing and fail over without ever touching a MS product.

Bottom line - MS definitely has serious competition in this market and probably more than another example you have given.

** Database software - Hmmmmmmm. Super Premium Expensive SQL server ..... or .... FREE Firebird? You can't be talking about Access so you must be talking about the database servers themselves. They have huge competition in this market as well. That famed stock market solution they were touting as nearly crash proof did actually crash. The only thing they have going for them is true clustering capabilities. Firebird will have that within the next 24 months. That is my own estimate. There are some private solutions coming out as well that can cluster Firebird.

MySQL is used more than MS on most stuff and they don't have a stranglehold in this market by a longshot. It's only their other products that seem to rely on using it, and even then you can do something about it.

** Exchange - By FAR THE WORST EXAMPLE PERIOD. For YEARS Exchange Enterprise 2003 COULD NOT WORK WITH SERVER 2003 ENTERPRISE. It was a known problem. Their ridiculous in-house database for the mailbox stores was/is infamous. There are plenty of other groupware solutions now that are challenging Exchange directly. I setup and use some of them myself. ALL of them have their own custom connectors for Outlook too. As far as the end user is concerned, they are on an Exchange Server. I know however that instead of a 75,000 USD plus solution, I implemented a redundant solution with load balancing and fail over for about 20,000 USD. Now you can't beat that.

** MSNBC - I don't know what to say about this, but I am DAMN SURE it can't prop up the rest of MS with it's revenue. It is a best a well performing division of Microsoft that could be spun off if necessary.

You see the real problem here is Microsoft's hubris. They believe that they are too big to fail. Their customers are figuring out they can get the same quality with less hassle and at a lower price. Microsoft has not responded by offering better deals or working out the serious problems with their product lines. You are entirely correct that they are WELL diversified, but at the same time they bring their corporate culture to every division and market place they throw themselves into. I honestly believe some of the best work they just outright purchased from other companies when they bought them up.

Microsoft needs to change in order to survive and being an "asshole" in many places instead of just one is not a survival tactic. They are under siege right now and eventually the huge stores of food they have saved up will disappear. Then it will get really ugly.

P.S - I gave up on Exchange years ago, but I don't think they ever solved their problem with Exchange 2003 Enterprise. I think they just moved on to 2008.

Wait long enough and you'll see them borrow a page from GE's play book and start their own financing division.

Not a great example either :) Without "rich man's welfare" most of those big companies are failing too.

Re:Layoffs (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26295011)

The number of programmers employed to write shrink-wrap software aimed at consumers is a tiny fraction of the number of programmers writing software for use inside their own company.

Re:Layoffs (1)

ghyspran (971653) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295145)

Exactly. Even if consumers stop paying for software, businesses will still need software, and they are much more likely to stay willing to pay.

Re:Layoffs (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295345)

however, businesses don't need *new* software, and that is where the problem lies. MS has seen this itself with Vista, where companies may have bought the new OS, but still use XP. Its not an issue for MS in the short term, but will be if they don't buy new "productivity" software as well. If a company still uses XP, chance are they're still using Office 2003. If they don't feel the need to upgrade to Vista, chances are they won't upgrade to Office 2007 either.

Some will also decide that they don't need to buy new server OSs either, perhaps they'll buy Linux or perhaps they'll make do with what they have. This goes double for RAM, as although its currently cheap, the DRAM manufacturers have massively ramped up their fabs to produce RMA for Vista that is not being used... they'll close those fabs and layoff workers and the price of RAM will shoot up just when people decide that they need more of it.

However, for the rest of us, we generally have jobs making custom software for businesses, not shrink wrap. We'll be able to manage for a long time, as all that code still needs maintenance and changes.

Re:Layoffs (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295123)

Disappearance of microsoft will not be a happy event for nerds : it will be a disaster.

...Because people will now use decent operating systems that don't go into kernel panic half the time? Because viruses sharply decrease? Because there is no monopoly? Because of the growth of OSS?

Hopefully consumers remain accustomed to paying for software even when microsoft dies, or the market that pays our salaries shrinks by 90% or so. Even if companies continue to pay it will still be a large portion that dies.

Look at Red Hat and look at the future when MS dies. Red Hat isn't exactly struggling and yet all their software is pure OSS not even "freeware".

The demise of MS will only lead to better software, more competition, lower prices, and no more annoying unpaid tech support calls from your parents/grandparents/brother/etc.

Re:Layoffs (3, Insightful)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295375)

The demise of MS will only lead to better software, more competition, lower prices, and no more annoying unpaid tech support calls from your parents/grandparents/brother/etc.

So, you honestly think there will be fewer calls with oss? You can explain to my mother in law why the card games disk she bought won't install and walk her through it then... Seriously, I like floss, but you are pretty dense if you think it will reduce the need for end user support, rather than simply change it.

Re:Layoffs (5, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295407)

I agree with everything but the last sentence, "no more annoying unpaid tech support calls from your parents/grandparents/brother/etc". Although Windows is very somewhat faulty, 80% of the calls I get from my parents/friends are caused by ineptitude on their behalf, and that's not going to change so soon.

Re:Layoffs (2)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295525)

...Because people will now use decent operating systems that don't go into kernel panic half the time? Because viruses sharply decrease? Because there is no monopoly? Because of the growth of OSS?

(bracing for being down-mods)

Windows is actually quite stable on my machine. I've run Windows XP (and x64), Vista Ultimate x64, and I am currently running Windows 7, and I have never had any problem with BSODs. Sure, there's the occasional one when I fuck up a driver installation, etc, but that's it.

And your thing about viruses is complete hogwash. It's been said many times before that viruses are most common in Windows because Windows possesses the largest market share. Sure, it's not as inherently secure as nix, but if Microsoft dies you can be sure to find plenty of new viruses popping up for Linux and Mac.

No monopoly? I wouldn't say that. Linux is (for the most part) free, because it has no monopoly. There are hundreds of distros, and all of them are good for different things. What do you think is going to happen if Microsoft goes belly-up? I'm sure that 80% of Windows users will go to Mac. 18% of Windows users will go to Ubuntu. The rest will keep using Windows, not realizing that their OS is no longer updated. My point is that Mac will become the new monopoly, and Ubuntu will be even stronger in the Linux world (and could eventually become a commercial empire on its own).

The demise of MS will only lead to better software

Some software will be better. Other software that's great, but no longer developed, will become unusable.

more competition

I beg to differ. There will be less competition, due to the death of a competitor. Simple mathematics.

lower prices

Also wrong. See above.

and no more annoying unpaid tech support calls from your parents/grandparents/brother/etc

You're dreaming.

Re:Layoffs (1)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295385)

Well, you probably need a paradigm shift, charging for software was a pretty stupid idea anyway, hence the reason piracy has existed so much. Plenty of software companies nowadays have a service-based model rather than a product-based model.

I am quite pro free software guy, but I never wanted MS to go away, also 70% is in no way equivalent to IE dying. What I always wanted to see was something like this.

As a web developer, though, I would love to see IE 6's marketshare plummet entirely. But IE7 is kinda fine.

PS: I hope to eventually see a similar number in the OS world.

Re:Layoffs (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26295073)

Steve Jobs (born Steven Paul Jobs on February 24, 1955) is the CEO, chairman, and co-founder of Apple Inc., as well as the founder of cutting edge animation studio Pixar, thereby making him the dick to thank for a seemingly endless cavalcade of anthropomorphized machines, talking insects, and/or tow trucks voiced by Larry the Cable Guy.

Steve Jobs is a new school dick. In direct refutation of the traditional dick that still dominates both the business and academic worlds, Jobs masks his dickitude with a hip, user-friendly interface.

Along with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Jobs helped popularize the personal computer in the late 1970s. He was also responsible for developing the mouse, an invention that not only revolutionized home computing, but also forced millions of men to switch over to left-handed masturbation.

Jobs is widely considered responsible for the Apple brandâ(TM)s sleek functionality. This has earned him a devoted, almost cult-like following, especially amongst two other new school dick populations: freelance graphic designers and adult-aged trust fund babies who have nothing better to do with their weekday afternoons than pack their iBooks into a messenger bag and head over to Ozzieâ(TM)s Coffee in Park Slope, Brooklyn, to continue working on the mission statement for yet another âoenon-profitâ theyâ(TM)re starting.

No matter how many PC users he manages to convert, Steve Jobs will always totally sweat Bill Gatesâ(TM) jock.

Early years

Steve Jobs began crafting stylishly elegant housing for his powerful egomania from the moment of his birth in San Francisco, the âoeGolden Dick City,â on February 24, 1955. He shares this birthday with fellow hipster hero Joe Lieberman, and Hollywood heartthrob Abe Vigoda.

Jobs grew up the son of a âoerepoâ man for a local âoefinanceâ company in Cupertino, California, a town whose other famous sons include one of the drummers for Primus and the guy who played head âoeterranautâ in that movie The Core, the 2003 sci-fi catastrophe that spelled the beginning of the end for Hilary Swank. Interestingly enough, Cupertino is not only home to the headquarters of Apple Inc., but also Symantec, Sun Microsystems, and other wannabe playas who wish they could techno-pimp half as big as Apple.

Unlike many Fortune 500 CEOs, Steve Jobs attended noted druggie school Reed College, where, sure enough, he became a druggie. Like many druggies, he got a job in video gaming. Then, he went on a pilgrimage to India, center of both mysticism and computer science. It was a spiritual journey that brought Jobs right back to Atari, where, possibly under the influence of LSD, he and Wozniak developed a souped-up version of Breakout, creatively called âoeSuper Breakout.â

Apple I

Jobs and Wozniak founded Apple Computer Co. in 1976 and introduced their first personal computer, the similarly creatively named Apple I, which they priced at $666.66, a number Wozniak is said to have arrived at because he liked repeating digits. Also, he is a Satanist. It was the computerâ(TM)s second iteration, Apple II: The Edge of Reason, that turned Apple into a publicly traded company, and Jobs into a multi-millionaire. However, it wasnâ(TM)t all IPOs and Orwellian TV commercials for Jobs, who was fired by the guy he had hired as Apple CEO just a year earlier. It takes a pretty big dick to get fired from your own company.

Intermission

Because John Ratzenberger wasnâ(TM)t getting enough voice work, Steve Jobs bought George Lucasâ(TM) computer graphics division, though unfortunately not before it could create Jar-Jar Binks. Renamed Pixar, the company produced several box office hits. Then Jobs sold it to The Walt Disney Company for $7.4 billion in stock, thus making him the single largest shareholder of the single largest dick corporation on earth.

Apple II

In 1996, Apple bought NeXT computers, another company Jobs founded, and within two years Jobs was back as Apple CEO. Many NeXT technologies found their way into Apple products, most importantly the development of the âoelowercase i,â which, when added to the beginning of any product name, will make people want to buy it.

Managerial style

As a CEO, Jobs is known for being a geek who likes to be feared, supposedly wielding firings as his weapon of choice. Though he proudly boasts the Guinness World Record for âoeLowest Paid Chief Executive Officer,â with a yearly salary of $1, thatâ(TM)s mostly so he can dick the IRS out of tens of millions of dollars. Maybe heâ(TM)s not so new school after all.

Personal Life

Although Jobs claims not to eat meat or poultry, he does occasionally eat fish. This type of vegetarian is known as a lazy hypocrite. Honors

In 2007, Steve Jobs was named Most Powerful Businessman by Fortune Magazine. If that dick distinctionâ"or âoedickstinctionââ"doesnâ(TM)t close the book on his dickishness, then what does? Oh, maybe this: less than a week and a half later, he was inducted into the California Hall of Fame. By Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Steve Job

A âoeSteve jobâ is slang for a sexual maneuver in which one partner reams the other with an iPhone until he or she finally gives in, heads down to the Apple Store, and shells out $500 for one.

Re:Layoffs (3, Interesting)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295105)

Well, Microsoft would be delighted to hear about the browser stats for Game! [wittyrpg.com] , then...

Based on unique hits to the front page:

  • Firefox: 69.41%
  • IE: 11.01%
  • Safari: 7.53%
  • Opera: 6.19%
  • Chrome: 4.11%
  • Konqueror: 1.67%

Re:Layoffs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26295369)

This seems to be something started by the Mini -Microsoft blog [blogspot.com] . The blogger posted something he'd heard in the hallway, then MS insiders started chiming in... some to lend credence to the rumors, others to deny them.

Business journalists know about this blog, so some in the mainstream press picked up these rumors and ran with it. But all roads seem to lead back to Mini-Microsoft and the people who posted talkbacks. AFAIK there's been no confirmation that anything like a 10-15 pct layoff will actually take place.

What seems credible is that lots of contractors are being terminated; and that some number of people who did poorly on their last review may be told to find a new job within MS within X number of days or be forced out of the company.

Re:Layoffs (4, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295463)

I'm just waiting for Microsoft to go to Washington for a bailout.

What is there to say but... (0, Redundant)

Evil_Ether (1200695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26294845)

lol

Yay! (4, Insightful)

markdavis (642305) | more than 5 years ago | (#26294847)

Let me be the first (?) to say "Yay"!!

IE has been dominating and destroying the Web for far too long. The lower market share will indicate increased platform diversity and consumer choice.

Re:Yay! (4, Insightful)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295067)

Well, I'm not entirely optimistic yet. Sure, Microsoft is losing on features, quality and security... no duh. They are beyond the point where they can actually put out a decent product that doesn't all but collapse under its own corpulence. On the other hand, Microsoft didn't become the biggest and most powerful software company based on features, quality and security.

Sooner or later they are going to start fighting back (and I don't mean that feeble, half-hearted IE8), and they never fight clean.

Re:Yay! (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295409)

I'm fairly sure that you've just written a short introductory speech for Silverlight.

Re:Yay! (1)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295457)

Honestly, I don't see this as a legitimate harm to Microsoft. Do they even get any revenue from IE? And regardless of its market share (hell, it could drop below 1%), it'll still come default on all windows machines. It's a BROWSER for Christ's sake, it's not that critical of a component to the OS!

Now there is one way I can see this hurting them: the cloud. If people don't need IE, they don't need windows, they don't need MS. But honestly, I don't think this will happen for either or both of the following two reasons: 1. The cloud is too far off to be a significant factor in OS choice, so there will be time for IE to improve/adapt. 2. I think this whole cloud thing is a little overhyped. The browser (in my opinion) is not going to be the end-all,be-all for computing choices. So I don't think this is the worst thing that could happen to MS.

Re:Yay! (1)

narcberry (1328009) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295099)

And it will emphasize the importance and purpose of standards. Wont be long before their next set of browsers will be standard adherent rather than standard creating.

Re:Yay! (0, Troll)

powerspike (729889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295191)

I remember when MSIE made the web, when they started putting it with the OS is when the internet started taking off.

Until then, it was still a geeks paradise, Mom and pop's had to pay hundred's to be hooked up. Around that time, it was Click on MSIE, the computer would dial up, make an account, and you could use the internet.

Peoples hate of MS blinds them to the fact that they have done some hugely good things in the process to get to were they are.

Re:Yay! (5, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295301)

Total moronic nonsense.

That's shameless historical revisionism.

It was browsers like Netscape that were enabling what you
describe. They were doing this before it occured to Microsoft
to bundle a web browser with their OS. Infact the browser they
decided to bundle (spyglass) was just one of these browsers
that GOT THERE FIRST.

This is supposed to be "Windows" where just putting in a CD
and installing some software shouldn't be rocket science.

Try this crap on people that didn't live through it all.

Re:Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26295469)

Heh. I remember the early days of MSN when the people at that Microsoft group thought that it would "replace the Internet".

Old news (4, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26294877)

This data is a month old. It was discussed on slashdot before (but I don't remember if it got its own article). Why not wait a day or so and post year-end statistics?

Re:Old news (5, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26294957)

God, this article must be one of the crappiest in a long, long time. The december figures are already up!

Browser trends [hitslink.com]
MSIE 68.15%
Firefox 21.34%
Safari 7.93%
Chrome 1.04%
Opera 0.71%

Operating system trends [hitslink.com]
Windows 88.68%
Macs 9.63%
Linux 0.85%
iPhone 0.44%

The two line summary:
Firefox and Safari both take lots of market share from MSIE which is now way below 70%.
Macs have a huge one-month (0.8%) and two-month (1.4%) rise while Linux is flatline.

Re:Old news (1)

mikael (484) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295217)

All Firefox needs to do is double their market share, and they would have a larger market share than Internet Explorer. If every Firefox user were to convince one IE user to convert, this could be achieved.

Re:Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26295419)

All Firefox needs to do is double their market share, and they would have a larger market share than Internet Explorer.

You say that as if it's just that easy. Any company can say "If only we could double our market share!" Most don't achieve it.

Don't get me wrong, I love firefox (Being a Fedora 10, and Ubuntu 8.10 user myself), but I think the fight will be tougher than you expect.

Re:Old news (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295279)

Linux 0.85%
iPhone 0.44%

There are nearly twice as many Linux users as iPhone users? Cool! Those things are rather common.

Uncomfortable truth (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26295417)

Mac's market share went up more last month alone, than there are people using Linux as a desktop OS altogether (no time frame).

Just like Opera, which has been stuck at ~0.7% since pretty much forever.

When you can't somehow manage to give away your main and only product, and most people would seemingly rather pay a lot of money for the alternative (like Macs), you know you have a serious problem.

Something must suck with your product, when people would rather pay a lot for the alternative than use yours for free.

Re:Old news (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295411)

Yeah, almost a dupe on /., but under a different subject [slashdot.org] . See the 2nd link.

Opera's low percentage. (3, Informative)

helixcode123 (514493) | more than 5 years ago | (#26294885)

Admittedly, I only use Opera while doing browser compatibility testing for my client-side web apps, but I've always been pretty impressed by it. It's fast and compliant. I think it's a bit of a shame that it is holding such a low share.

Re:Opera's low percentage. (5, Interesting)

freedumb2000 (966222) | more than 5 years ago | (#26294981)

Yes, I am surprised that even Chrome has a higher usage share, considering Opera is actually a very good and useable browser and has been around for a long time. It would actually be a great all-in-one solution for many since it is a great browser, email client and torrent downloading in one application.

Re:Opera's low percentage. (3, Interesting)

omglolbah (731566) | more than 5 years ago | (#26294983)

Most of us surf with Opera set to report as IE to bypass unintelligent browser compatibility tests...

But Opera has one drawback which is Java/javascript handling. It often doesnt handle sites that both firefox and IE handle fine. I dont know which is at fault but it is a pain >.

All in all though it is a dang nice browser :)

Re:Opera's low percentage. (1)

helixcode123 (514493) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295471)

But Opera has one drawback which is Java/javascript handling. It often doesnt handle sites that both firefox and IE handle fine. I dont know which is at fault but it is a pain.

Yeah. That's why I use it for my client-side app compatibility checks. But I've found more issues with CSS than the actual Javascript. Specifically the lack of overflow-y (had to use "overflow" instead).

Re:Opera's low percentage. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26295081)

Opera used to be a shareware 30 day trial, and also was also ad supported (adware is spyware). It is also still proprietary. These factors have impacted its reputation. Especially since the "fight" against IE was Mozilla/Firefox led, which has "GNU/open source".

Re:Opera's low percentage. (4, Interesting)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295125)

Considering Opera's install base on mobile devices I would expect that number to be much higher. Considering its common configuration to mis-identify as IE to avoid website misbehavior, I predict that that number is seriously under-representative of the true marketshare. Also, never use statistics that are not explained. What does "70%" mean on this chart? 70% of visits (define visits?)? 70% of hits? 70% of unique IP addresses? 70% of traffic?

Who's history? (5, Informative)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 5 years ago | (#26294921)

Mozilla broke the 20% barrier for the first time in its history

It's been renamed several times, somewhat refactored, had a few parts replaced and a lot more added, but that code base was once the most popular browser on the planet.

--Markus

Re:Who's history? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26295349)

Mozilla's browsers are based on a rendering engine and a user interface model which are both complete rewrites. All that is left of the old Netscape is the inspiration created by making an open source project out of a dead end codebase with a famous name, a cute mascot and a uniting enemy.

Re:Who's history? (3, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295363)

Last time it broke that barrier, it was going in the other direction

Re:Who's history? (4, Informative)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295415)

Firefox started from the Netscape Navigator 5 codebase which was a from scratch rewrite... never a market leading codebase.

Re:Who's history? (4, Insightful)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295477)

Not quite. NN5 was based on the original open-sourced bits of the NN4 code. It was all set for release then the project was canned. That's why the Netscape released from Mozilla code was numbered 6.

3 options (5, Interesting)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26294923)

Looks like MS has 3 options:
  1. Accept their falling marketshare (good for everyone)
  2. Provide substantial IE improvements to regain marketshare (good for everyone)
  3. release a "bug fix" that just happens to fuck up firefox

Re:3 options (0, Redundant)

therufus (677843) | more than 5 years ago | (#26294945)

Looks like MS has 3 options:

  1. Accept their falling marketshare (good for everyone)
  2. Provide substantial IE improvements to regain marketshare (good for everyone)
  3. release a "bug fix" that just happens to fuck up firefox

4. ?????
5. Profit!

??? That what you're getting at?

Option 4: strong-arm users with silverfish, etc? (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295013)

Isn't that sort of thing what msft usually does? Msft just has to create a de-facto standard, that will not be supported in any foss product.

Re:3 options (1)

jackuess (1121253) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295531)

release a "bug fix" that just happens to fuck up firefox

Wouldn't that be even better than the two other options you listed? Isn't competition what we (the consumers) are looking for? I would love seeing Microsoft getting their act together; making web development easier and forcing Mozilla, Apple, Google and the others to be even sharper.

End 6 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26294977)

It dosent matter what browser replaces it, but version 6 still has enough market share to be annoying.

IE 6 is obsolete. If you know anyone with IE6, upgrade them so the web 2.0 can really mean 2.0 and not 2.0 "beta".

Re:End 6 (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295507)

It dosent matter what browser replaces it, but version 6 still has enough market share to be annoying.

IE 6 is obsolete. If you know anyone with IE6, upgrade them so the web 2.0 can really mean 2.0 and not 2.0 "beta".

Yes, please upgrade my Windows 2K systems to IE7.

Bundling and Bungling (5, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295001)

This is really not a surprise. IE is an inferior product. It always has been. The market share it has received is solely attributable to the bundling with the Microsoft operating systems.

When people become savvy enough to realize there is a choice and be able to find and implement that choice.... they do. I have been trying to get all the offices, clients, etc. that I have worked with to switch to Firefox since.. well forever. It's more secure.

Now, I realize that there might be some MS fanboys out there to argue that point, but you have a lot of work to do. IE is horrible at security. It is almost as if they just don't care. I am willing to admit that IE is a bigger target, but that does not excuse Microsoft's behavior with it.

The greatest setback that Firefox, and others have is that Microsoft does not play nice with the world community. Until recently there have been a huge number of websites that will only work with IE. That is slowly changing now too. No longer are consumers and business customers chained to IE because Firefox cannot work with their website that they need.

The only direction IE ever could go was down. If Microsoft wants to change that then they need to do some serious work and start cooperating with the rest of world. Build a better product is the simplest way to put it.

In the end it will Microsoft's hubris that pushes IE into the minority.

Re:Bundling and Bungling (5, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295109)

Well, IE is like US cell phone service. It's all about controlling the customer.

I recently bought a Windows smartphone (I have Windows CE apps I need to run). It's a pretty good phone (which is most important), and it wouldn't be a bad platform except that what the product wants to be is grossly distorted by the priorities of the carrier. It's locked down so you have to buy apps through the carrier (although I fixed this with some registry edits). In many other subtle ways, a product that could have been pretty good is undermined by the desire to funnel the user into the carrier's other products.

Things would have been better for the consumer if we'd adopted GSM at the outset like Europe and you could buy any phone and pop your SIM into it. Then the features of phones would be driven by making the best possible phone, not driving additional revenue to the carrier.

It seems to me IE is much the same. It doesn't implement standards very well, because that's bad for Microsoft. MS offers developers a carrot and stick: a nicely interlocked set of development tools that drive products into an MS only stack, and then the stick of incompatibility when you use non-MS software. It's predicated on promoting a world in which MS controls the software ecosystem.

The reason IE has been bad at security is that once MS cut off Netscape's air supply, making the best browser has not been the focus of the development efforts. It's been keeping an MS only product stack the path of least resistance.

Re:Bundling and Bungling (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295189)

Why not just buy an unlocked phone at full price?

Re:Bundling and Bungling (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295515)

You mean buy Two phones at full price. The "Free" phone that you get from the carrier is paid for by you in full through the fees on the service.

Re:Bundling and Bungling (5, Insightful)

narcberry (1328009) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295163)

I've got a coworker that is an IE fanatic. He keeps pointing out that IE uses less memory than FF, he's right. He also tallies up whenever I complain of a crash vs when he complains of one... and he's winning (as in fewer crashes).

I love being anti-m$, but you can't just dismiss their product as second-rate because you want it to be.

Re:Bundling and Bungling (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295231)

...I imagine that you and your co-worker aren't doing the exact same things. For example, if you go to different sites, or the same site with different ads, memory usage and crashes are going to be totally different. Then there is the issue which is the problem with about 95% of Firefox crashes, Flash and Java. Unless you have the exact same Flash and Java versions thats also going to make a world of difference.

Re:Bundling and Bungling (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295447)

so what, every MS developer will tell you that memory is cheap. Compare javascript performance, which I'd say is much more significant to your browsing experience than memory usage. Get a heavy JS site and both click OK at the same time... it can be quite a difference (we tried this when Chrome came out, it is more than a 'couple of seconds' for some sites)

Also, how much memory is IE actually using, MS changed the Vista task manager to avoid telling you the correct number, and they've always hidden part of the memory usage away in the OS because its "part of the OS".

Re:Bundling and Bungling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26295459)

pity that beloved ie still can't render most transparent .png, doesn't do svg, pity that when a web designer does sites according to the specs ends up with something that looks the same in opera firefox and konqueror, while different versions of ie diverge.

if you forget about features, lynx is first rate, ff and ie lag way behind.

Re:Bundling and Bungling (4, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295519)

I've got a coworker that is an IE fanatic. He keeps pointing out that IE uses less memory than FF, he's right. He also tallies up whenever I complain of a crash vs when he complains of one... and he's winning (as in fewer crashes).

I love being anti-m$, but you can't just dismiss their product as second-rate because you want it to be.

Part of the equation is where the dividing line falls between IE and Windows (this all came out during the antitrust hearings). Many libraries that used to be part of IE are now part of Windows instead. When you say "IE uses less memory than Firefox", you aren't seeing those significant chunks of IE that are basically running all the time that Windows is running.

As a web developer, I can tell you from experience that IE is indeed inferior ("second-rate", to use your term) to most other browsers out there. Sure it renders HTML just fine; but its support for the document object model, cascading style sheets, and dynamic html is significantly lagging both Gecko (Firefox's engine) and Webkit (Safari, Chrome), and probably Opera's as well. Part of the problem is - as others have pointed out - it hasn't been in Microsoft's best interest to implement full support for these standards; until recently it tried to drive developers to using MS-only implementations in ActiveX or Javascript to accomplish the same functionality. But now with IE's share dropping, MS apparently is starting to realize they need to catch up if they want to stay in the game as apps move into "the cloud".

In my mind IE 8 is going to be the real determining factor as to whether Microsoft really "gets it" or not. Prior to IE 7's release we heard a lot of hype regarding how its development was being driven by Microsoft's new commitment to standards; only to be disappointed at all the things it still didn't do. Now they seem to be saying "this time it's for real" - we'll see. I am hoping it's true, because I'm tired of basically doubling my coding time just to work around IE's current shortcomings.

Re:Bundling and Bungling (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295495)

No, it hasn't always been inferior. IE4 and IE5 were much better than the competition through 1998-2000, because Netscape 4 was a horribly unstable piece of crap and Mozilla was alpha-ware.

(I started doing bug-checking and crash-testing of Mozilla in mid-2000. By God it was a piece of shit. But it was important, and by early 2001 it was beta-quality, i.e. more usable than not. And by the end of 2001 it was clearly better.)

If Netscape 4 hadn't been so completely unstable and horrible, IE wouldn't have seen nearly the favour it did.

Poor execution, exclusive mentality (4, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295063)

I think just about everyone in tech, outside of Microsoft, saw this coming. Instead of adopting inclusive standards, MS opted for exclusive, proprietary technology and then implemented it poorly. ActiveX, VBScript, .NET...all require Windows and IE to work right. They tried to tie their OS to the development environment, the server environment and did everything they could to try and force the client as well.

IE was a stagnant, monolithic bug farm that lacked imagination and, perhaps most desperately, innovation. How many Firefox add-ons would be hard to live without? NoScript, FlashBlock, FireFTP there are dozens of applets that let you customize your browsing experience to your preference.

This isn't my fault... (2, Funny)

PFritz21 (766949) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295089)

I continue to use IE on a daily basis. Although I was forced to upgrade to 7 at work, I still continue to use 6 on my home Windows PC's. I still need to put it on my Mac and Linux boxes, but I'm lazy.

Re:This isn't my fault... (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295157)

You're going to put IE6 on your Mac and Linux boxes? Doesn't sound lazy - sounds insane.

For fucks sake people... please... (0, Flamebait)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295113)

Stop it already.

Do you realize how pathetic any form of joyous cheering and celebration about something as "M$' Imperial Expander bellow 70% for first time in human history" is to anyone able to count above 69?
Only thing more pathetic coming to mind at the moment is the fact that it is "bellow 70%" - BY 0.23%.
Whoopdie-fuckin-doo!

 
Yeah, IE sucks. Yeah, Microsoft is a monopolistic behemoth that keeps churning out antiquated and broken software.

But they are, despite all that, STILL holding the 69.77% of the figurative (and actual - in TFA) pie depicting the use of a browser that I haven't seen in use since... well... not sure... I know I was using Netscape at the time...
Well... years ago anyway.

 

How about NOT pointing out that more than two thirds of users on this planet are still browsing the net with IE - but instead using the title of the actual article as the "news" part of the story?

Firefox Share Tops 20% for November

Or how about... "Firefox used by 1 in five humans on this planet"

Gloating about the fat rich kid finally having ONLY 69.77% of the pie for himself is truly, really in the realm of "somebody please end my pathetic existence".
Do you also celebrate when your team scores 3 times less then "those other bastards that wouldn't know what a ball is if they didn't have a pair attached to their body"?

Re:For fucks sake people... please... (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295193)

How about NOT pointing out that more than two thirds of users on this planet are still browsing the net with IE -

...And about 2/3 of computer users don't really know how to actually *use* a computer. How many people do you know that either A) are scared to death of their computer, B) Use their computers very, very, little or C) has someone else make all decisions on their computer (such as a work computer)

I imaging that just about 2/3rds of people fall into those categories. Those that are scared of their computer probably think that Firefox is a virus because it wasn't pre-installed at the factory, these people also are the type to still have the Dell wallpaper still as their desktop background because changing it might somehow break their computer. These are the older people or people who don't really understand that the worst they can do to their $1000 is delete all their data.

Those that use their computers very little usually think of their computers only as tools to write e-mails, check blogs, and get on iTunes. They don't care about their browsers, they don't care about most anything on their computer. They might know how to play FreeCell but thats about it. This is a lot of students and working people.

And it is self-explanatory about those who have other people manage their computers, they just lack the access to change the browser or are afraid of getting yelled at by their computer-illiterate CEO because they installed Firefox even though it would be better than the IE6 currently installed on the company's desktop.

So really, 1/3rd of computer users know how to actually *use* a computer and have root access on their boxes. Or they just use Mac/Linux and wouldn't use IE.

Re:For fucks sake people... please... (4, Interesting)

olman (127310) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295201)

Get over yourself already.

Used to be web *was* IE and people were reduced to fool web pages with bogus client ID to get working IE web code instead of terrible buggy netscape 4.x code or just simple "get IE" -banner.

2/3rd is still a lot but it was 90% a little while ago and it could be perfectly justified to develop a new site IE only.

With these figures, in 2009 new sites designed have even stronger reason to cater for the "other" demographic.

Too bad there's no credible alternative to vista or vista 2nd release in sight for your average gaming-oriented PC. I wouldn't use linux for general desktop stuff either, too much pain if there's no ideological reason to go there. And the other notable requires joining a cult with the membership fee charged in overpriced hardware.

Re:For fucks sake people... please... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295277)

Too bad there's no credible alternative to vista or vista 2nd release in sight for your average gaming-oriented PC.

It really depends on what gaming you want to do. Anything that doesn't require Direct X 10 or strange drivers that for some reason are Vista only (which is like 99.9% of all games/hardware) Just use XP. For anything that does you should have 3+ GB of RAM and a high end dual or quad core CPU and a fast graphics card so Vista won't be horribly slow (no it won't be as fast as XP, Linux or even OS X, but it will be usable).

I wouldn't use linux for general desktop stuff either, too much pain if there's no ideological reason to go there.

I went all Linux back in 2006, apart from gaming just about everything else works perfectly. I used Firefox to browse, OOo to write documents, and so there was no change in software. Today just about everything with Ubuntu can be done quicker than on Windows to set up a comparable system, it takes me less time to get a fully functioning Ubuntu box with DVD/MP3/a few programs/nVidia drivers compared to just installing Windows XP and getting all of the hardware to work.

Re:For fucks sake people... please... (4, Insightful)

halivar (535827) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295365)

It's called a "trend." Snapshot statistics are not important. Trends are very important. This has been going on since 2002. If you lose 5% browser-share share every year consistently, eventually you go away. It happened to Netscape, and now we know it can happen to IE.

this is pretty serious.. (1)

powerspike (729889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295159)

a historic market share loss in a software segment Microsoft believes is key to its

If that is true, then we should expect Microsoft come out big and hard and do something that will damage Google in the process. after All, it's google which has been pushing firefox so hard, and now pushing crome.

Re:this is pretty serious.. (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295509)

Windows 7! Rah rah rah! Maybe they can blow both their feet off.

IE Almost 70% -- Really? (4, Insightful)

billsf (34378) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295207)

Somehow I must question those surveys. While quite a number of people I know use Windows, almost no-one I know actually uses IE as their default browser. Unfortunately severely insecure features of IE, like ActiveX, are needed to upgrade Windows. I'm sure Mozilla is capable of making its own 'ActiveX', but I guess they'd be sued as we are talking essentially American businesses. As we all know, it is rather difficult to remove IE from Windows. Clearly, the best option is the trend: Abandon Windows!

Any hacker can make their Firefox (or Opera) look like IE or any other browser. For instance, I don't use "Flash", but while I use FreeBSD, the scripts say its "Flash-10" on "IE-7" on Windows. Perhaps I should have some pride and tell the truth? I'm using Firefox, but I'm not sure that Firefox is what I have set in my proxy. Let me explain. Ikea, in Holland, gives you a 5% discount if you order with IE. Of course I'm not going to fire up Windows to order from Ikea! So, I simply "lie" and take 5% off.

If IE has up to 70% market share, its simply because Windows doesn't allow you to choose your browser like any other system does. If they did, they could just as well throw in the towel on IE. The percentage that use Windows is suspect too. Maybe some have it on hand just for an application or two? I know for a fact that many Windows desktops are running in Linux. (Doesn't an Xterm look great on a Windows desktop? ;)

Finally: (Taco) How many more people say they use Firefox on Slashdot than your logs indicate? I think you see what I mean.

BillSF
           

Re:IE Almost 70% -- Really? (3, Informative)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295423)

I'm sure Mozilla is capable of making its own 'ActiveX', but I guess they'd be sued as we are talking essentially American businesses.

More important is the fact that ActiveX is a BAD IDEA.

Re:IE Almost 70% -- Really? (1)

kklein (900361) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295449)

Somehow I must question those surveys. While quite a number of people I know use Windows, almost no-one I know actually uses IE as their default browser.

It's interesting you should point that out...

Virtually everyone I know and work with is on Windows, both at work at at home. And I don't know anyone who uses IE as their primary browser... I'm thinking hard, too... I can't remember the last time I saw a Windows machine without that little orange icon. And these aren't tech-savvy people; these are English teachers. I mean... They're low. Lower than my parents in many cases.

Who is this 70%, I wonder?

Re:IE Almost 70% -- Really? (4, Interesting)

fabs64 (657132) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295481)

Ikea, in Holland, gives you a 5% discount if you order with IE. Of course I'm not going to fire up Windows to order from Ikea! So, I simply "lie" and take 5% off.

Seriously? That is really freakin weird. Got any (english) links? Not disputing, just curious.

I don't get it (1, Informative)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295225)

I've never understood all the broohaha over browsers.

If everyone abandons IE and switches to another browser. Microsoft's loss of revenue is exactly zero. If everyone switches to IE, Microsoft's increase in revenue is exactly zero.

Re:I don't get it (5, Insightful)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295271)

It's control. If the majority use IE, then MS can push out their proprietary standards that will force everyone else to buy their development products, and maybe use their server platform.

Re:I don't get it (4, Insightful)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295343)

Okay let's start with the obvious
1> IE being popular means it makes sense to run a windows server to maximize compatibility for businesses.
2> Search traffic gets sent to MSN by IE.
3> Microsoft can dictate coding standards forcing other browsers and coders to have trouble competing.

Then of course the fact some websites won't work with anything but IE (because they can't be bothered to tweak for other browsers too) and of course the homepage of IE will be msn. Add on top of that Microsoft will make other coding software- which of course will easily be the best in line with its browser.
Of course you can just take the line that Microsoft, Apple and Google are all putting serious money into this market- so it HAS to be hugely valuable for some reason.

Re:I don't get it (3, Insightful)

Onymous Coward (97719) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295383)

Controlling the way that people access computing is a big, big deal.

If you control the channel you get to call the shots in a ton of (even tangentially related) ways.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295441)

Directly, yes. Indirectly? Heck no. Having control over the browser also means having control over the content: the Web. You can dictate how people work, what people use and such. Look at .NET; by investing in making new languages like C# then giving it away for free, Microsoft is effectively getting new and old programmers alike to depend on their proprietary coding language, engine and software. They can then fully exploit this to turn the programmer into a big money-maker.

The same could be said with IE. If you have control over the Web, you can decide to release something proprietary (let's call it Silverlight) and then imposing it on people by not supporting anything else. From that point onwards, anyone wanting to design a website is bound to either not use Silverlight or use Silverlight; there's not alternative way to make it. Profit ensues.

Now, of course this is a bit of an extreme case, but that's just to make a point. IE is not the source of cash, it's a tool that will help them create new projects which will be sources of cash. On top of that, IE is despised here on /. for having horrible standards support, crappy security, limited features and a lot of other BS that others can list :)

Re:I don't get it (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295485)

There isn't much money in browsers directly; but that isn't really the point. If everybody uses IE, IE-only websites can proliferate. If I need to use some IE-only websites, then I need access to Windows, which is a win for MS(sure, some people are going to be willing to screw around with IE under WINE or whatever; but most will just write it off as mac/*nix not compatible with much of the internet).

If IE loses substantial share, being IE-only will become untenable for most sites, and IE(and thus Windows) will no longer be necessary to use the web. This is even more important when you consider that MS has things like IIS and Sharepoint. They have a strong temptation to build complementary extensions into their client and server products, either to lock out other clients and servers, to implement features that they couldn't otherwise implement, or both.

If IE has overwhelming market share, people will accept these extensions and reject other browsers that don't support them. If IE has a lousy market share, people are much more likely to reject those extensions.

Vista (0, Troll)

hey (83763) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295251)

Maybe its because Vista was such a failure.
People sticked with their existing boxes which eventually got upgraded to Firefox.

Finally (0, Flamebait)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295269)

It was just a matter of time before people realised how good Safari really is. ;)

Re:Finally (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295325)

Safari on Windows just... fails compared to Firefox. No extensions, the strange Aqua GUI which no doubt increases the amount of memory and libraries to load that is un-themeable, and just about 0 customization makes Safari hard to recommend. Granted, its better than IE, but compared to Firefox just about everything minus the WebKit rendering engine (which, isn't much faster or slower then Gecko) can be done on Firefox and much, much, more.

Re:Finally (1)

Xaquseg (1361739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295465)

I'll agree about the UI... the text rendering doesn't even match, which makes it stand out. If you really want webkit on windows... there's chrome, which works just as well as safari really.

IE7 is a fiasco (1)

fangfufu (1442931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295309)

Many of the IE6 users can't adapt to the new use interface. They just ditch IE7 for Firefox. At least that's what I did.

Hmnn (1)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295317)

Just look it this way, we are not losing an IE, we are earning a Silverlight.

Firefox has best cross-platform appeal (3, Insightful)

voss (52565) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295387)

Safari does not, if you notice the marketshare for various versions of safari 96%+ of safari users are using Mac versions.

Firefox has been just about the most successful open source project in history, it has broken beyond the geek domain to the general public. It addressed a need for a reasonably secure easy to use web browser. It runs mostly the same on mac or windows or linux so so people can let their friends use it and they comfortable and familiar with it.

People who would never touch linux see firefox and they will say "Hey can I use your internet" they dont know its linux and they dont care.

Top 3 Firefox Extension taking it far beyond IE (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295395)

Some of the followin extension even got a few hardcore MS fans i know to admit it may be time for a change

1) Scrapbook
2) Noscript
3) Flashblock

You'll see WAR (5, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295421)

Microsoft will not take this lying down. When Java started eating into VB, Microsoft plunged tens of billions into dot-net, and for the most part stopped the bleeding.

A focused MS can produce like nothing else. Prepare to see gobs of features added to IE. It will be comparable to making Emacs look like Notepad when the dust settles.

IE has stayed mostly the same for most of the decade. This is probably about to change. They'll probably add music and video managers, spell-checkers, text-box history savers, better widgets such as editable data grids, email/Outlook integration, history searching, Google-like hard-drive searching, kitchen sink, etc.
     

Re:You'll see WAR (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295535)

Microsoft can compete when they have to - compare the usability and polish of IE4 and IE5 to IE3.

Actually, what should be worrying them is that these days they're having difficulty competing even when they have to. Windows 7 is the size and speed of Vista. Not of XP.

They'll need to move fast to get stuff into the IE 8 cycle. A new superfast JavaScript engine is essential, for instance - IE 8 still sucks at that.

Personally I doubt they'll make it. It'd be interesting to be proven wrong, though.

Increased Use of iPhones, Etc (4, Insightful)

DavidD_CA (750156) | more than 5 years ago | (#26295443)

More and more people are buying iPhones (and other handhelds) and using them to surf the web.

Not to replace their normal browsing, just to browse the web more.

This report is very slim on details (it doesn't even say where the metrics came from), but I'm going on a hunch here that it's not so much Firefox is gaining in popularity, but that overall usage of the web is increasing and moreso with devices that IE is not on.

Some simplified math: If 8 people use IE and 2 use Firefox, IE has an 80% share. Now add 2 more people to the party, both on iPhone/Safari, and IE's market share drops to 66%.

I honestly don't think Firefox is making a dent in IE for the desktop, when you compare it to the beating it's taking elsewhere. It's clear that Microsoft, if it wants to retain dominance in the browser market, needs to do something with the handheld sector and quickly. PocketIE is great for sites that are mobile-ready, but for everything else it lacks and is driving people away.

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