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Mozilla 1.8b1 Released, Firefox Growth Slowing

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the get-out-there-and-download-people dept.

Mozilla 425

An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla 1.8 Beta 1 has been released, and in addition to numerous bug fixes now includes ECMAScript for XML (E4X). Mozilla 1.8 will serve as the code basis for Firefox 1.1. In other Mozilla related news, WebSideStory saw Firefox's usage growth slow down to just 15% (Jan-Feb) from 22% (Dec-Jan) making Firefox's 10% marketshare goal for 2005 potentially more challenging. Their stats also saw Internet Explorer usage drop below 90% for the first time in many years."

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Well (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797132)


Is this the end of the ride? (5, Insightful)

smug_lisp_weenie (824771) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797137)

...It does seem that everyone I know, personally, is already either using Firefox or just the kind of person that'll probably always use internet explorer forever. Let's hope this isn't the case...

...on the other hand, it is not uncommon, according to some business theories [zonalatina.com] , for products to reach a temporary plateau after having reached all "early adopters" and that the majority of users will follow after a delay. Maybe that's where FireFox is now...who knows...

Re:Is this the end of the ride? (3, Insightful)

SupaKoopa (835066) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797161)

i know this sounds selfish...but i really hope firefox doesn't grow too much. i'll keep telling my friends and family because i don't want them to get stuck with the spyware-infested craphole that is IE....but if it gets a larger marketshare or anything, we can look forward to more pop-ups, viruses, trojans, and explots that target it specifically. hell, even now i'm noticing more and more popups that bypass firefox's anti-popup software

Firefox isn't made by Microsoft. (4, Insightful)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797263)

You're assuming that Firefox has the same amount of bugs and vulnerabilities that IE does and it's not the case.

A lot of why IE has been so problematic is that during their war for the browser they "extended" the crap out of it, adding a lot of out-of-standard enhancements and extensions. IE has countless API's that keep web sites and applications stuck on IE and making it harder to switch to something else (really, no different then anything else Microsoft has ever made.)

Firefox is open source, it adheres to standards more strictly, and it's a lot more light-weight. There's less opportunity for malware to get in with Firefox, and if there's a security flaw it's fixed a lot faster. On the other hand, because of IE's extensions and extra functionality, it makes it much more difficult for Microsoft to back off on all the extra (and not soundly designed) features because everyone is stuck on them.

Re:Firefox isn't made by Microsoft. (-1, Troll)

GeorgeMcBay (106610) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797352)

You're assuming that Firefox has the same amount of bugs and vulnerabilities that IE does and it's not the case.

Got any stats or solid proof to back that up? No? Didn't think so. Just goes to show OSS supporters are capable of FUD too.

Re:Firefox isn't made by Microsoft. (4, Insightful)

tarnin (639523) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797455)

You're just a troll but I'll reply anyway. Of course there are no stats or solid proof if this. Why? Do you see an open bug tracking system for IE? Nope. We can only guess that the holes that IE has outside of the ones that are posted publicly and those have been fixed (sometimes).

FUD? No, but a pretty damn good guess going off past history of IE.

Re:Firefox isn't made by Microsoft. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797531)

Good point. Additionally from a QA standpoint, Bugzilla is very effective. Many of the benefits of open source are due to the open nature of QAing the product. When the failures of the product are open during development and release, it makes it alot easier to know how to use the product correctly. IE clearly doesn't have this open QA process. Obviously their QA process is fairly decent or they would never get a release out (with something as massive as IE). I would argue that Bugzilla QA is better than Microsoft QA because the QA allows not only QA during development, alpha testing, and beta testing, but also during release by end-users (those of whom will break the program and find the hardest to find bugs).

Number of times 'QA' used: 9

Re:Firefox isn't made by Microsoft. (1)

Jondor (55589) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797481)

Fear uncertainty and doubt? Maybe a bit over-confident, but one can hardly call the original remark fud..

And as for the original remark,the lack of activex solves a nice amount of the problems that bug IE. As does the lack of over-integration into the OS.

Re:Firefox isn't made by Microsoft. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797368)

Firefox and Mozilla are at least as "extendible" as IE, if not moreso. And in fact they have suffered from the same sort of security problems (if not the same number).

Re:Firefox isn't made by Microsoft. (4, Interesting)

skraps (650379) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797419)

In the last two weeks, I have had pop-ups get by the Firefox popup blocker.
  • They really are Firefox windows.
  • I refresh the page and the same popup appears again, along with the "we blocked this popup for you" bar across the top.
  • I tried it on another machine with Firefox, and had the same result.

Re:Firefox isn't made by Microsoft. (4, Interesting)

XO (250276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797517)

Yeah, several pages that Slashdot has linked to in the last couple of weeks go right through Mozilla / Firefox's pop up blocker, in fact, with one of the Tab extensions that I have loaded in my home copy of Mozilla, it is supposed to treat all new windows as tabs.. and I've NEVER had a popup window happen in that browser.. (not even the ones I want to get, even enabling them in the preferences) till the other day.. clicked a story off of Slashdot, and it popped open a new window, which then closed a second later, and I had 4 new tabs open, all with different ads in them.

Re:Firefox isn't made by Microsoft. (0)

XO (250276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797499)

light weight? is this why it sucks up about 122MB of ram before you even load a web page with it? (and this is with memory cache off)

Everyone here on Slashdot thinks Firefox is a godsend, but it's got it's own share of serious problems, and it's too complex to ever be fixed.

Re:Firefox isn't made by Microsoft. (4, Informative)

Snad (719864) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797540)

light weight? is this why it sucks up about 122MB of ram before you even load a web page with it? (and this is with memory cache off)

122MB? TaskManager reports Firefox is currently using around 40MB, with 9 tabs open and I've been surfing on and off for around 4 hours now.

Compare to IE's 21MB with one window open and about 20 minutes worth of use.

I wouldn't call Firefox particularly "light weight" either but it doesn't clock in at anywhere near 122MB...

Seems like a silly prediction to me (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797176)

Does it make sense to make statements like "yup, that's as many customers as they'll ever have" based on a slowing growth rate, after exactly one major release that the public was aware of?

Circumstances change over time

Re:Is this the end of the ride? (2, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797285)

Well, here is how things are for me. My family uses AOL (and I can't get them off it) so they are stuck. I wanted to use Firefox (I gave it a try) and while it was nice, the font rendering on my Windows box paled in comparison to the job IE did (this was on a laptop with a 15" display that had ~102ppi, well above the average ~72, and I had fonts and such turned up one notch). It just wasn't an option to use it every day (I last tried it after the 1.0 release). Now I've gone to a Mac after my old laptop got too slow for me. I have Firefox installed (incase I decide that I need to use it because of some Safari problem, or for webpage authoring), but I've found Safari meets my needs just fine (love Tabs which I knew from using FireFox betas on my Linux box, LOVE LOVE LOVE the "Open in tabs" option for bookmarks on the bookmark bar).

Before I couldn't go FF, now I have no need. That said, I have seen neighbors go to FF from IE after someone (kid they got to help them with spyware, or an adult child, or someone else) suggested it and they have to problem with it. They don't seem to see a difference, which may be part of the problem. Since both browsers take you too the same Internet, there will be a number (and not an insignificant number) who see "nothing different" and so they stay with IE. And now that IE has popup blocking (from SP2), one of the biggest complaints people had is gone.

But either way, FF is a nice browser and even if I don't use it I'm glad it's out there (another option, more competition, etc). Also I'm suprised that adoption was so fast in the first place. I think we are out of "try this new FF browser" and into "FF is better, look into it sometime". People will still switch, but how long could we really have held up that high pace? In about 6 months FF got almost 6% of the market from 2% or so. That is AMAZING for a product that isn't forced on people (IE updates).

Re:Is this the end of the ride? (5, Insightful)

cloak42 (620230) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797408)

Since both browsers take you too the same Internet, there will be a number (and not an insignificant number) who see "nothing different" and so they stay with IE.

Exactly why you should get them using Firefox. If they don't see a difference, then that makes it all that much easier for them to switch.

You know what I do?

My mom bought a new laptop from Dell recently, and she asked me to drive up and configure it for her, which I did. What I did was to use Windows' "Set Program Access and Defaults" to use Firefox as the default browser, and completely removed IE altogether from menus, the desktop, etc. by telling the configuration program to not allow access to it. This is easier than it seems, since Windows will remove all icons and shortcuts to it so there's no way to bring up IE unless you either run WindowsUpdate or specifically type 'iexplore' into the Run dialog.

I then installed an IE theme into Firefox and *poof!* To them it runs exactly the same, and nobody is the wiser. If I really wanted to make it transparent, I could've renamed the shortcuts and changed the icons, and I could probably have figured out a way to make it actuallY SAY "Internet Explorer" in the title bar.

I did the same thing today with a friend of a friend who had so much spyware she couldn't even check her webmail.

In both cases, I didn't even need to make them THINK they were running IE, as once I told them that they wouldn't notice a difference in their web surfing experience, that firefox had copied over all of their previous settings and cookies, and that they wouldn't be getting any more spyware unknowingly, they were ecstatic. All they really needed was to have their default browser changed and IE removed so they didn't load it without thinking, and they were happy as pigs in shit.

I really don't think it's too hard to make people understand that the benefits of using a better program easily outweigh the small inconvenience of remembering that it's not called Internet Explorer. Once they understand that all of those annoyances won't be showing up later on, they are more than happy to double-click on a different icon.

Re:Is this the end of the ride? (3, Funny)

skraps (650379) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797527)

...and at the other end of the spectrum, I have had people put up a fight because "[the toolbar icons] are weird looking". After introducing them to themes, the problem subsided temporarily, but I eventually got the call.

Them: "This site doesn't look right in this new thingy. How to I open it in the windows one?".
Me: (lying at this point) "That probably means there is a virus at that site!!! You don't want to go there."
Them: "But I used to go here all the time!"
Me: "That's why your computer was so fucked."
Them: "Oh. Well let's say my bank didn't work right with this one.. then how would I open it in windows?"
Me: "*click*"

G4 optimized Firefox builds (2, Informative)

green pizza (159161) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797537)

Grab "FX-ppc7450-2005.02.27.dmg" for your PowerBook, it'll probably change your mind about Firefox versus Safari! :)


Re:Is this the end of the ride? (2, Insightful)

Aeiri (713218) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797313)

Maybe it's because people are switching FROM Firefox to something else, but not IE? Is it really that bad if people don't use Firefox, but still aren't using IE?

I recently switched away from Firefox, to Konqueror. This is mainly because every 30 minutes Firefox crashes for me (that's on Linux, on my Windows computers I'm forced to use at school, I use Firefox because it's rock solid).

Re:Is this the end of the ride? (1)

GROOFY (855580) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797395)

Eww... get your... KDE... out of here...

:P just kidding.

Re:Is this the end of the ride? (1)

Aeiri (713218) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797553)

I'm using Fluxbox :P

I use a lot of the KDE tools because they are highly configurable, and really well made. The KDE core is horrible though. When running these programs over Fluxbox, it's perfect :)

Firefox is the code base, not Mozilla. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797396)

"Mozilla 1.8 will serve as the code basis for Firefox 1.1."


Firefox 1.1 will be the code base for Mozilla. Firefox is the new kid, Mozilla is old and busted. New Mozilla's will be basied off Firefox... not the other way around.

Well duh (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797145)

When nothing's driving growth rates, growth rates slow. Firefox had a big publicity push around the 1.0 release. Now that publicity push is dying down. The normal thing that happens when publicity dies down is happening.

Wait and see what happens when 1.1 is released.

Slow Firefox Growth (4, Funny)

prisen (578061) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797148)

Well, by God, it's Microsoft Anti-Spyware's [slashdot.org] fault!

Disclaimer: The previous statement was not intended to spread FUD. Results may vary, click link at your own risk, yadda yadda yadda.

Not only Firefox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797205)

It catches Internet Explorer too! [bbspot.com] .

Opera and Safari shall soon take their rightful place at the top of the browser usage tables.

Re:Not only Firefox (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797290)

I found this quote particularly funny in that article:

Symantec Antivirus Research reported that virus sightings were down by 95% this morning.

In related news... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797154)

Microsoft's anti-spyware software intentionally uninstalls Mozilla-based browsers in an effort to gain market share...

!! [bitrail.com]

so what (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797169)

what does it say and why it is a slashdot headline. Next time another patch comes up, please post it again.

Mozilla nightlies versus Firefox nightlies (4, Interesting)

green pizza (159161) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797171)

To me, the Mozilla nightlies are starting to feel faster than the Firefox nightlies, and certainly faster than Firefox 1.0 and 1.0.1.

Has anyone else noticed this, or is it just a side effect of my old hardware? It seems like Mozilla 1.8 will be noticeably faster than at least Firefox 1.0 and last night's Firefox Feb 26 build for sure.

It's a 1.8 improvement (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797185)

They are faster. Firefox 1.1 should have the same changes.

Re:Mozilla nightlies versus Firefox nightlies (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797218)

It almost seems like bloat is a function of nothing but how many people are working on it. Firefox was created to be the non-bloated Mozilla. When there were few people working on it, that goal was easily attained. Now that it's become the primary development focus, though, I'm hearing allegations it's the bloated one.

Are small projects just easier to optimize?

Re:Mozilla nightlies versus Firefox nightlies (3, Interesting)

neur0maniak (322791) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797475)

I think it has something to do with how many users there are. Everyone wants something different so the developers try to meet everyones needs. A lot of features are added, and few will use them all.

I've not noticed bloat in firefox, I think extensions take care of that. You only need to install the bits you use.

Interesting theory, but wrong in this case (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797524)

It has nothing to do with bloat or the number of people working on the project. Instead the speed difference has everything to do with Mozilla (specifically Gecko, the rendering engine) getting much faster between Mozilla 1.7 (off which Firefox is based) and Mozilla 1.8.

Re:Interesting theory, but wrong in this case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797536)

However quite aside from speed issues there have been claims lately that the RAM requirements of Firefox have been ballooning lately, even more than those of Mozilla. I do not think memory usage would be quite linked to an optimized rendering engine, would it?

Will the Moz 1.8 rendering engine improvements be included in Firefox 1.1?

Re:Mozilla nightlies versus Firefox nightlies (1)

ClamChwdrMan (790007) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797356)

Yep, I've found mozilla to be faster than firefox at rendering, in linux at least. It is most noticable to me on pages with lots of flash ads. The only reason I'm not using mozilla on linux is that I don't know how to make it do the url completion that I get in firefox (control+enter=.com, alt+enter=.net, control+alt+enter=.org). If anyone knows how to make mozilla do that, I'd like to try out mozilla again.

Re:Mozilla nightlies versus Firefox nightlies (1)

bram (490) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797404)

.-o-r-g-enter might be longer but gives you more flexibility :)

Yup, it's true - less COM (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797486)

As you know, Firefox is based off the Mozilla 1.7 branch. The Mozilla devs did a lot of work 'deCOMtaminating' Mozilla for 1.8. Essentially they're removing XPCOM interfaces from various performance-critical parts of the app, allowing tighter binding + faster execution. It makes a huge difference, especially on slower hardware. Firefox 1.1 will be based off Mozilla 1.8, so it will take advantage of the streamlining.

Re:Mozilla nightlies versus Firefox nightlies (4, Informative)

XO (250276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797544)

My debian just updated from Mozilla 1.7.3 to 1.7.5, and there was a -huge- increase in responsiveness, before I start loading insane web pages. (And instead of allocating >150MB RAM after IPL, it now seems to use on the order of 3-4MB, at least until pages are loaded. This makes a -really- major difference in operations when you're on a computer with 128MB physical and 512MB in the swap.

Mozilla still good (4, Informative)

JaxWeb (715417) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797188)

There is a lot of talk about Firefox, and everyone gets very excited about it, but Mozilla standard is still very good. Personally, under GNU/Linux, I prefer it to Firefox (Under Windows I prefer Firefox, however).

My sister uses GNU/Linux (Mandrake, with KDE) on her computer (No Windows) and prefers it to her old Windows ME OS. Mozilla was part of the reason - it is easy to use, helpful, securer and just makes sense. I'm not saying Firefox isn't any of these, but on Linux, I think it looks a little "Out of place", and Mozilla does not. My sister also preferred Mozilla to both Konqueror and Firefox.

Anyway, just wanted to point out that Mozilla itself exists for more than just feeding Firefox.

Re:Mozilla still good (1)

Schweg (730121) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797235)

Agreed. I have Firefox installed as well, but I find Mozilla to be faster for certain behaviors. In particular, I use ctrl-click to open links in new tabs (in the background), and Mozilla does it very quickly with no loss of response. Firefox seems to pause, waiting for some sort of website response before the gui starts responding in the original window again.

Linux beats Windows ME? (1)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797340)

That's an insult to Linux. Even my old tandy calculator can beat Windows ME in useability. :( Getting someone to prefer Slackware 1.0 over Windows ME is no major achievement.

What about these statistics? (3, Interesting)

lasindi (770329) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797190)

According to these statistics [w3schools.com] Firefox is already over 20% marketshare. Why is there such a discrepancy between the two?


Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797220)

W3schools is aimed at techies/web developers/etc, whereas these are "Generic" user stats from all over the place.

Re:What about these statistics? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797238)

The statistics on the w3schools.com site are just statistics on the people who visited that particular site.

It isn't really surprising that the people who visit a web developers site tend to use Firefox more than the general population does.

Re:What about these statistics? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797393)

(The statistics above are extracted from W3Schools' log-files, but we are also monitoring other sources around the Internet to assure the quality of these figures)

That's part of it. I doubt W3Schools counts as a random sample of web users overall.

Here's what I think (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797199)

If Microsoft doesn't put out a really good browser soon, firefox growth will go on strong I think.

What I and many others are doing is advising everyone they know to at least TRY out Firefox. Saying it will protect against most spyware is usually enough to convince everyone...

Re:Here's what I think (2, Interesting)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797354)

#include tinfoil_hat.h

Whenever some product has tried to compete directly with Microsoft, Micro$oft has just killed it. M$ is an unfair competitor, and it know just how to get ride of the rest of the market. Just look at the FUD campaign aginst GNU/Linux they are doing ... I Think that FireFox is good for Micro$oft. The Browsers war has been for years a black point in the reputation of m$, and have caused them legal troubles. The fact that there is another browser out there, and that there seems to be an anti-IE-pro-Firefox campaign that has reached the Media, let's microsoft say that there is just fair competition, and make the cort forget all microsoft's monopolistic practices.

just a paranoid idea ... that may be just accurate

Not surprised at slowed growth (-1, Flamebait)

bonch (38532) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797206)

I always knew the phony massive growth statistics Slashdot posted were anecodotal (they were always direct usage logs from tech websites...hardly a global source of Firefox's usage, but Slashdot happily posted them as such).

Internet Explorer has been blocking popups since SP2 came out last year, and most users don't need or want tabbed browsing. Firefox doesn't offer THAT much over Internet Explorer, not even in the security area, as recent vulnerabilities have shown.

Re:Not surprised at slowed growth (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797260)

So you're telling me that IE is no longer a fishing net for spyware?

Re:Not surprised at slowed growth (1, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797364)

Not any more than Mozilla [mozillazine.org] is/will [com.com] be [chrisbeach.co.uk] .

Note that the vulnerability in that last link was marked "confidential" for five years. Rather Microsoft-ish.

Re:Not surprised at slowed growth (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797457)

You may have a small point there. Nevertheless, I don't think Firefox will ever have so many bugs as IE does, and MOST of them are very quickly fixed.

The fact that ActiveX doesn't work on firefox is already a major factor against malware.

Now if we see the Microsoft case, they have specifically said that they will not release a new browser until Windows Longhorn is released. Now that's what I really call a sense of security :)

BTW, this page [nd.edu] has a description of that bug, and some proofs of concept which no longer work on Firefox. There's also a comment in the end called "Why 5 Years?" which has some thoughts about the fact it hasn't been fully fixed yet.

Re:Not surprised at slowed growth (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797473)

Note also that the third link [chrisbeach.co.uk] is outdated. In particular, from the linked spoof page [nd.edu] :
Modern versions of Firefox, like 1.0, are much harder to spoof.
In other words, yes, there was a bug, someone pointed out the bug, and the bug was fixed.

Make up your mind Mr. Troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797267)

Either the growth statistics were phony or you aren't surprised to see the growth slow down. You can't have it both ways, you know.

Re:Make up your mind Mr. Troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797346)

uh...he said the FF growth statistics /. has posted before were phony, so finding out growth is actually slowing down isn't surprising

Re:Make up your mind Mr. Troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797380)

uh, it's slowing down in relation to the accuesedly phony statistics.

Re:Make up your mind Mr. Troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797513)

no, it's not. if you'd read /.'s past stories, they were submissions about the site logs of various dev websites. not websidestory

Re:Not surprised at slowed growth (3, Insightful)

The Ancients (626689) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797279)

...and most users don't need or want tabbed browsing.

Earlier you mention 'phony' statistics that were 'anecdotal'. Do you have research to substantiate what you've claimed above?

Re:Not surprised at slowed growth (2, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797314)

Do a search through Slashdot's past stories. They are what I am referring to. Slashdot posted with headlines similar to "Firefox Usage Increases On The Web," then you'd read the article and find out what really happened was that Firefox usage increased in some web dev site's logs. It's hardly representative of Firefox's global usage. It is those making claims that Firefox is taking over the web who need to be presenting the research to back up those claims.

He's using slashdot as a straw man. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797353)

It doesn't matter. This is standard. If you don't have any points of your own, try to provide the illusion of a point by ascribing a flawed opinion to "Slashdot" and then debunking it.

Since the easiest way to get attention on Slashdot is to criticize it, claiming to be in opposition to something "Slashdot" supposedly said previously == instantly modded up.

Re:Not surprised at slowed growth (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797373)

Exactly. The source of the data for the decline in growth is the same as for its rise. Duh!

Re:Not surprised at slowed growth (5, Interesting)

agraupe (769778) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797296)

Most users don't know they want tabbed browsing, but everyone I've seen who has used it for a bit, gets pissed off when they have to use Internet Explorer. This is especially bad at school because, for some reason, they think it's a security concern to be able to use File->New Window (it says it's been disabled by security settings). This can be circumvented by just starting IE again from the start menu, but it's still an annoying piece of shit.

What is up with WebSideStory's numbers, anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797410)

OK, Firefox grew 15% over five weeks.
Then it grew 22% in six weeks.

They call this a slowdown, which it is,
just barely. The change in weekly growth
could be as low as .092 %. Out of a
growth rate of 3%. Just how accurate are
their numbers? No one knows. But the way
that they are presenting them seems as
if they have some sort of agenda.

Growth is phenomenally fast & not really slowi (4, Informative)

fname (199759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797232)

It's no surprise that the percentage growth of Firefox in terms of marketshare is slowing down, this is the a natural part of the growth curve for any new poduct. 15% monthly growth is phenonemal, and it is literally an unsustainable growth rate. I'd be more interested to know the growth in raw numbers of new Firefox users; that number is likely almost exactly the same in January than December.

Here's my math. 0.15*(1.22)=.19, so 19% vs. 22% growth in market share from the December base, but the market is probably 1% larger. The way I see it, the number of new Firefox users is down probably 10% from January to February. Then remember that there were 3 fewer days in February than in January, which would account for the 10% difference. In other words, the number of new Firefox users per day stayed almost exactly the same from January to February. Maybe someone who RTFA can tell us what that number of new uses/day is and how it compares to earlier months.

The growth is remarkably fast, and may also be remarkably stable. How many more months would Firefox need to reach 10% market share?

Re:Growth is phenomenally fast & not really sl (2, Insightful)

ArcticFlood (863255) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797268)

The article is also assuming that exponential growth, not linear growth.

Re:Growth is phenomenally fast & not really sl (4, Informative)

fname (199759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797382)

I've now RTFA. There were only 35 days between the last 2 surveys, and 42 days between the previous 2 surveys. This works out to a growth in market share of 0.63% (February) or 0.64% (January) for every 30 days. Since Firefox is at 5.69% now and they need another 4.31% to reach 10%, it will take about 6.8 months to achieve that goal. That works out to the end of September. If Firefox simply maintains its (phenomenal) growth rate, it will easily reach 10% by the end of 2005. They can even slow down a little and still reach 10%. Awesome.

Not quite accurate (5, Informative)

MrWa (144753) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797233)

The summary is not quite accurate regarding Firefox 1.1 being based on Mozilla 1.8; my understanding of the roadmap [mozilla.org] is that Gecko 1.8 - which is used in Mozilla - will form the base of the Firefox 1.1 program. Maybe just a technicality but it is different to say the base on which the programs will built is the same, rather than Firefox will be a stripped down version of Mozilla.

Re:Not quite accurate (1)

Myen (734499) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797482)

The problem is that there's Mozilla (Gecko, platform) and Mozilla (Seamonkey, suite); Mozilla by itself is pretty much ambiguous.

The suite numbers seem to be following the platform numbers quite consistently (probably because way back there was only the suite, so they just had one set of numbers).

It probably doesn't help though if the summary uses both interpretations...

Firefox bugs (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797237)

I mostly gave up on firefox for now and have started to use Maxthon, it has tabbed browsing and a number of other plugins, Firefox has problems loading to many sites, it seems to stop before all the graphics are loaded and you have to reload, IEspell also works with Maxthon and the spelling checkers for Firefox suck.

Re:Firefox bugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797280)

Of course IESpell works. Maxthon is just an IE shell. You've still got all of IE's problems to deal with. IE has lots of bugs and things it can't do, but people have been coding around them for years.

It will pick up once the corps grab it (5, Interesting)

Jjeff1 (636051) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797249)

One of my larger customers, with some 3000+ desktops, has asked about switching to firefox. Now, there are always some web sites and web based apps that require IE, which makes this a pain. But given the amount of time we spend cleaning spyware from machines, I think I can live with it, I don't know if the users can.

In any case, a coporate wide switch won't happen overnight. I'd expect to see the next 6 months or so start to see more corporations install linux enterprise wide. Those same corporations will complain about sites that don't work in Firefox, which helps fuel the uptake.

Also note to FF people - one of the reasons cited for not installing FF enterprise wide was the lack of central patching and policy control. This means patching security holes and forcing down settings to the clients; from my desk, without spending hours writing scripts.

Schools, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797259)

My university is making the switch this Fall.

Re:It will pick up once the corps grab it (2, Informative)

OrangeSpyderMan (589635) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797411)

Well - we run a standard build of Win2K over many thousands of desktops. It's not perfect, but we have very few spyware issues. Why?

- ActiveX is switched off and the security settings are tied down and cannot be adjusted without a) admin rights b) knowledge of regedit

- All web access is controlled through a webproxy running websense filters. You can't get to pr0n sites from work (I know - I've tried :-) )

Re:It will pick up once the corps grab it (1)

ArcticFlood (863255) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797492)

Turning off ActiveX is not an option for some places. If they are tied to a webapp using ActiveX, they can't just disable it. So it's possible to lock IE down a decent amount. But doing this breaks the very stuff that ties people to IE.

Some people are just stubborn (4, Insightful)

Darth Maul (19860) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797297)

I know quite a few people at my office that just won't try Firefox. Even though they know IE doesn't render correctly, even though they know that it allows all kinds of spyware, and even though they constantly have to close popups. They just won't do it! It's like they are not trying it for spite or something. Really weird. It's not like these people like Microsoft, but they are not just ignorant users that think the blue E is the IntarWeb.

What can be done about these kinds of users? Is this the vast middle-ground of IE users that just won't switch?

Re:Some people are just stubborn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797400)

Change the firfox icon to use the big blue E (right click on the firefox shortcut and look for iexplore.exe to get this icon), and make the caption the same as the iexplore one ("browse the internet").

Its because... (4, Funny)

jrushton (806560) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797407)

Its because some people dont like to think their stupid and dont know what theyre doing, and the more you point out to them that you know vastly more - the more theyll stick their heads in the sand. Let them be sypwared and laugh from your open source throne.

IE7 Will take over (-1, Troll)

Virtual Karma (862416) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797319)

Its inevitable. I'm one of the millions of users who have downloaded FF and never use it. So downoads is no measure of popularity. Other statistics derived by tracking the browser of users visiting popular websites is a good measure. FF is more of a hype and ppl look at it as a small competitior to the giant MS. But the hype will fade and IE7 will be soon out and things would again go the MS way. I hope its not the case. But its inevitable

Re:IE7 Will take over (1)

PoprocksCk (756380) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797391)

Well if you "hope it's not the case" then why are you perpetuating it by not using Firefox? Don't mean to be inflammatory, just a thought, that's all.

Re:IE7 Will take over (1)

tehshen (794722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797449)

Downloads is a measure of popularity, just a very vague one. The download count is currently 26 887 811. Even giving or taking a few million, you cannot deny Firefox has a large user base.

Anyway, I disagree that it is more of a hype. You are speaking as though Windows is the only platform in existence - it isn't. The Fedora I am typing this from had Firefox set up as the default browser from the start. I believe Ubuntu does the same.

Also there are millions of geeks who would use Firefox (or Mozilla) over any version of IE any day. Its standards-compliantness is not coming any day soon, for one thing. I use the Web Developer extension a lot, which is something I would never trust IE with (too unsafe). I can even look at its source and verify that it properly clears my cache, something which IE has been shown to not do. And with millions of geeks backing it, it isn't going to go away soon.

how are these two factoids even related? (0, Offtopic)

darklingchild (726827) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797347)

Okay, so Mozilla 1.8b1 is released. Dandy. Now, In the same article they point out that FF's growth rate has gone down a smidge. They also give no direct evidence that either is related. This looks to me like the way most propaganda is worded, making you fear one thing by falsely relating it to another. FUD. Next!

What the hell are you talking about? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797360)

They're both Mozilla related news items.

You know, Firefox's tabs convinced my buddy (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797370)

I have this buddy with Windows XP. You know, the kind of person who doesn't understnad just how dangerous .exe files are. As expected, this system was full of all kinds of spyware by the time I got to it. It wasn't even possible to open regedit; a spyware program was killing it. I couldn't even download Firefox from IE; I had to use the old ftp client to ftp over to ftp.mozilla.org to get the program.

So, I get and download Firefox for him. I explained to him "OK, I'm going to reinstall this system and not give you the admin password when I get time. In the meantime, use this to browse the web". I got rid of the IE icon from his desktop and replaced it with Firefox using the IE icon.

A couple of days later, my friend says he wants to keep Firefox. He told me the tabbed browsing was "tight".

I think Firefox is currently the best open source application for non-technical people out there. It is 100% open source and better than the competition (better CSS than IE; more security than IE; more feautures than IE).

Lies lies and Statistics. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797388)

I don't trust Webside Story. I used to have it on my site. I deleted it when I discovered that I could no longer check my stats with non ie browsers.

Notice they quote but try to find the page there.

I think this is more honest:


3 things from galeon I miss in firefox (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797394)

My favourite browser is still galeon.

There are 3 things that have been in galeon for years and are not in Firefox yet:

1. Tab detach feature

2. password manager not based on autofilling (which is dissallowed by some banks thus my on-lin bank site has password unmanageble by firefox [operations requires one-time passwords and tokens so no, there is no extra security in that ]).

3. sessions - saved in given point of time (windwos with tabs) or when browser crashes

Also there is one feature needed:

4. disabling flash player - same way as hjava.

Re:3 things from galeon I miss in firefox (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797464)

I'm not sure what you mean exactly by #1, but #3 is available via extensions like Session Saver [pikey.me.uk] or Crash Recovery [mozillazine.org] or by bookmarking groups of tabs. #4 is also available as an extension called FlashBlock [mozdev.org] .

In other news.. (2, Funny)

grazzy (56382) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797448)

Microsoft windows usage up to 110%.
Google announches they now handle 112% of the nets searches.

This just in: Slashdot announches a new strategy to deliver 120% correct stories, no more dupes, fact-errors or posting lame stories about fake screenshots.

change? (1)

JonDavies205 (861699) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797458)

I still use I.E, but ive been told to change to firefox... is firefox all that?!

Re:change? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797496)

And a bag of chips. Mine came with Cool Ranch Doritos.

US users only (2, Insightful)

camcorder (759720) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797526)

Since when US users reflect the all users around the world? Considering amount of spam coming from US, users from different places of the world are more careful in selecting secure software than US computer users.

Adblock (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797528)

and techsavvy users is probably the reason websidestory is seeing falling stats, every good filterset and hostsfile block them and their javscript tracking shite by default

90% for IE is a lot (1)

rochlin (248444) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797547)

90% for all variations of IE is a lot more than I'm seeing. My tiny website is hardly a cross-section of the web, but my IE penetration is 75% for the past month or so (it's been hovering around there), down from an average last year of 86%, so that's not bad. I'm getting all variations of Firefox at about 7 1/4% ( 1 1/8% for pre 1.0 - which says something. I'm not sure what though.)

And that's not counting the fact that robots account for 5% of my traffic. If you subtract Robots, that brings Firefox closer to 7 1/2%. (A big story is how much of all web traffic is just from Robots). Of course, that brings IE use up too.

So that's what I'm seeing. Anyone else's weblogs showing something interesting? (Disclaimer: my site is mostly of regional - Portland, OR - interest. Home of L. Torvalds, who probably accounts for .0001% of my traffic.)

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