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Firefox Hits 400 Million Downloads

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the grats-little-browser dept.

Mozilla 175

Owen Dansley writes "Firefox hit another milestone this past Friday, when it passed the 400 million download mark. From its launch in 2004 it took one year to reach 100 million downloads, hitting 200 million downloads just one year later. According to figures released by US consultancy firm Janco and the IT Productivity Center, Firefox currently has 17.4 percent of the browser market — up 5.6 percentage points in the last year. Also within the last year, Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser dropped 9.6 percentage points to a market share of 63.9 percent."

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175 comments

Interesting (4, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#20551927)

How many of those downloads were downloaded using Firefox? :p

Re:Interesting (2, Interesting)

IronWilliamCash (1078065) | more than 6 years ago | (#20551959)

As per the article probably around 17.4%

Re:Interesting (1, Insightful)

HateBreeder (656491) | more than 6 years ago | (#20551993)

That's obviously assuming that all Firefox downloads distribute normally amongst internet users.

I suspect it to be quite different (think, "auto-updates").

auto-update doesn't count (4, Informative)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552497)

auto-update is not count as download. The 400 million number doesn't include auto-update.

Re:auto-update doesn't count (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 6 years ago | (#20553535)

well, as a linux user who does not run as root, auto-update no workee, so I do have to download it again each time there is a new version. Well, I guess I don't *have* to, I could run it as root when I know there is a new version out, but it's easier for me to just download and install.

Re:auto-update doesn't count (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20553781)

But you're probably in the minority. Most Linux users would be using the version of Firefox packaged in the repositories for their distribution. These updates are implemented at the same time as all other updates. In any case, this wouldn't be recorded as a new download of Firefox.

Re:Interesting (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20551967)

And how many were downloaded from unofficial mirrors and computer magazine disks? :)

Re:Interesting (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552215)

Or were installed as part of a Linux distro? Or were downloaded from PortableApps.com? Or were downloaded as part of some 'open source CD for Windows'? Or were just copied from a friend? How many are installed as part of a standard corporate desktop image?

How many were updates? How many were downloaded to replace another copy after say, a wipe-and-reinstall? How many were downloaded, but never installed?

Anyway you look at it, counting downloads doesn't reveal much about the number of Firefox users?

Re:Interesting (2, Informative)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552441)

No, but it's the same propaganda that Microsoft uses.

 

Re:Interesting (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552597)

So? Look at my posting record. I'm certainly no fan of Microsoft. But in this case, they're right. Counting downloads tells you just about nothing about the number of Firefox user -- and it cuts both ways. I have four copies of Firefox sitting on machines used by myself and my wife and my step-son, that I can say for certain were decidedly not downloaded from Mozilla.org.

Re:Interesting (1)

gravis777 (123605) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552695)

Probably more than you think. I use Firefox to download updates to Firefox. If I am on a machine with a version older than two, you have to go to Mozilla.com and download the entire package. I also use Firefox to download the installer so that I can slap it on a thumbdrive and install whenever I go to someone's machine.

My question is, how many of these are repeat customers. I am running three Windows OSes on one computer, Linux and OSX on another, not only did I download Firefox on each machine, but I will redownload when alphas, betas, release candidates and final releases come out. I bet in the last four years, I have done more than 50 Firefox downloads myself.

Another thing to take into account is how many people have Firefox, but do not use it? I install it on anyone's machien that I am doing work on, and its on all the computer images when we role out new computers. I tend to see way more Mac users using Firefox than PC users (probably just because Safari is just so horrid, even the betas do not come near what Firefox has done for years, although I must admit Safarri is improving).

So, yeah, 400 million downloads, with maybe 50 million people actually using it.

One of these days, someone is going to announce more software downloads than there are people on the planet.

Re:Interesting (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552985)

Though there's also the fact that you can download it onto your work network then install it onto users machines from there. I set it to default for all new machines we send out with our offshore workers

Re:Interesting (1)

ArcticFlood (863255) | more than 6 years ago | (#20553039)

You make it sound like it's not possible to download something more than 6.7 billion times. I imagine several web pages have been downloaded (viewed) over ten billion times.

I don't see anywhere that they are equating downloads to users.

Furry Copypasta (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20551955)

Day 1

Mommy, I am only 8 inches long, but I have all my fur. I love the sound of our cats getting castrated. Every time I hear it, I wave my paws. The sound of our dog barking is my favourite lullaby.

Day 2

Mommy, today I learned how to suck my PENIS. If you could see me, you could definitely tell that I am a faggot. I'm not big enough to satisfy myself though. It is so nice and warm in here.

Day 3

You know what Mommy, I'm a Fox!! I hope that makes you happy. I always want you to be happy. I don't like it when you wimper. You sound so un-furry. It makes me sad too, and I wimper with you even though you can't hear me.

Day 4

Mommy, my fur is starting to grow. It is very short and fine, but I will have a lot of it. I spend a lot of my time sucking myself off. I can turn my head and cum in my eyes and stretch my PENIS. I am becoming quite good at it too.

Day 5

You went to a /b/tard today. Mommy, he lied to you. He said that I'm not a Fox. I am a Fox Mommy, your Foxy. I think and feel. Mommy, what's abortion?

Day 6

I can hear that /b/tard again. I don't like him. He seems cold and like a fursecutor. Something is intruding my home. The /b/tard called it a PENIS. Mommy it's tearing me apart! It burns! Please make him stop! I can't get away from it! Mommy!! HELP me!! No . . .

Day 7

Mommy, I'm burning. Now I can yiff in hell, in the fiery pits of eternal damnation. Why didn't you want me Mommy?

One more furfag that was stopped. Two more balls that will never be able to reproduce. Two more paws that will never touch. A tail that will never wag. A PENIS that will never yiff.

REPOST THIS IF YOU HATE FURFAGS

Safari (5, Interesting)

nano2nd (205661) | more than 6 years ago | (#20551987)

It is interesting to note that the release of Safari for Windows has had zero (or negative) impact on its market share. At the time there were a number of naysayers suggesting that Safari would steal market share not from IE but from Firefox.

I'm guessing the quality issues surrounding the Safari for Windows beta have put pay to this concern.

Also, outside of Windows, I thought I'd switch from Firefox on my Mac to Safari following the introduction of tabbed browsing in version 3 but, several months later I'm still Firefox.

Re:Safari (2, Interesting)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552083)

The initial quality was bad for Safari, but it improved considerably after the first update.

I don't really think quality is the problem. I have reliability problems with Firefox, but I'm still primarily a Firefox user. I think it's a matter of what you're used to and what it takes to switch to something else. I want to block flash on a site-specific basis and there's not a good way to do that.

Also, outside of Windows, I thought I'd switch from Firefox on my Mac to Safari following the introduction of tabbed browsing in version 3

Safari version 2 had tabbed browsing and that has been available since the introduction of OS X 10.4.

Re:Safari (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20552193)

I would not turn to Safari until it support Windows IME.

Re:Safari (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552635)

I would not turn to Safari until it support Windows IME.

If you mean Windows ME, and if you are serious, good luck with that. It's a version that is nearly eight years old now, and it was the worst of the 9x series anyway. Using ME is basically an odyssey in masochism.

Re:Safari (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20552909)

You must be...very, very old here?

Don't feed the trolls.

What's IME? You don't get it, do you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20553503)

Poor ISO8859-1 users...

Re:Safari (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20552399)

Safari version 2 had tabbed browsing and that has been available since the introduction of OS X 10.4.

Safari has had tabbed browsing since the early pre-1.0 betas.

Re:Safari (2, Informative)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552579)

I want to block flash on a site-specific basis and there's not a good way to do that.

I want to clarify this to say that there's not a good way to do this in Safari. There are some ways, but they aren't very good, definitely not as good as FlashBlock.

Re:Safari (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20552119)

Nobody uses Safari, even on a Mac.

The problem is that it's based on KHTML (from KDE where it's used in Konqueror) which has always been goofy. It is just buggy and doesn't render stuff correctly all the time. Apple has certainly improved it but they should have just went with the Gecko (Firefox) engine for Safari instead of the broken KHTML.

Re:Safari (1)

SirTalon42 (751509) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552725)

Funny you call KHTML broken, when KHTML is far more standards compliant than Firefox. Firefox being a descendent of Netscape simply inherited the code that many of the older sites developed themselves to be broken for, as well as having a better 'lets clone IE mode'.

Re:Safari (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20552149)

I'm still under the impression that Safari for Windows was released for iPhone and now iPod touch web development. I have yet to see any campaigns from Apple to switch to Safari. The package download of Safari with iTunes has boosted it's prevalence but apart from downloading it, for the music player, there is no need/want/force to start using it.

Re:Safari (2, Interesting)

matazar (1104563) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552167)

I have Safari install, but I can't stand it.

To be fair though, I don't use Firefox either, though it is also installed. Opera is still the best browser out there.

Re:Safari (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552527)

I found Opera unable to render Slashdot as cleanly as Firefox and also had problems with displaying other sites I use (although a refresh fixed the formatting problems, no I can't provide a link as its an ISP website) that Firefox also has no problem with. The other site is most likely built for IE, although I do find it interesting Opera's problem dissapears after a manual refresh with Firefox having no problem at all.

Re:Safari (1)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552207)

Jobs never said such a thing. The Apple site calls Safari the best web browser on any platform. It doesn't call it the best web browser for mobile development, nor does it try to label it as such. The "Safari is an SDK" argument is little more than cognitive backpedaling by people who can't fathom that, yes, even Apple can release things with quality issues.

Re:Safari (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552561)

The problem isn't the low quality of Safari, but the fact they've done very little since its release to encourage Windows users to switch to it. I can't imagine any other reason for it to exist other then for SDK purposes given Apple has done very little to catch the Windows browser marketshare.

Re:Safari (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20552241)

If you ran a survey to measure how many even know what the computer software Safari is, 80% would have no idea and 19.5% would take the guess it's an expansion pack for Zoo Tycoon 2. I belang to the latter group myself before reading this.

Re:Safari (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552251)

I found the market share numbers in the summary quite interesting. If IE has 63.9% and Firefox has 17.4%, then this leave 18.7% for other browsers. I wonder what percentage of the remainder is Safari / Opera on the desktop, and what is mobile browsers.

I thought I'd switch from Firefox on my Mac to Safari following the introduction of tabbed browsing in version 3 but, several months later I'm still Firefox.
Safari has always had tabbed browsing. Version 3 added the ability to re-order tabs, and detach them (but sadly not the ability to move tabs between windows). It also added the ability to re-open accidentally closed windows (but not tabs) and all of the windows and tabs from the last session (the big feature I missed from Opera).

Re:Safari (2, Informative)

Intron (870560) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552787)

Looking over my website hits, it looks like 70% IE, 27% Mozilla, 0.3% Opera, a few Nokia or Blackberry and the rest is spiders. What does Safari identify as? I'm not seeing it at all in 30,000 hits.

Re:Safari (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 6 years ago | (#20553467)

ng. If IE has 63.9% and Firefox has 17.4%, then this leave 18.7% for other browsers. I

But is that 63.9% of IE7 or counting all previous versions?

Re:Safari (1)

AccUser (191555) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552351)

Safari for Windows is aimed at those developing iPhone applications. If anyone expected Safari to take marketshare from either IE or Firefox, then they were Mac Fanboys who shouldn't have even been listening.

Re:Safari (1)

Idaho (12907) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552443)

It is interesting to note that the release of Safari for Windows has had zero (or negative) impact on its market share

There has not been a release of Safari for Windows yet. Probably you meant the public beta.

Even so, I doubt that it will gain a lot of users on Windows anytime soon (even after it is released).

I think the cause is that the beta of Safari for Windows doesn't feel like a native Windows app at all. Neither does Firefox feel native while running on a Mac. This would explain why on my Mac Mini, I use Safari exclusively, but on Windows and Linux, I use only Firefox.

Re:Safari (1)

notthe9 (800486) | more than 6 years ago | (#20553113)

Neither does Firefox feel native while running on a Mac. This would explain why on my Mac Mini, I use Safari exclusively, but on Windows and Linux, I use only Firefox.


I think that Firefox for Mac isn't really supposed to feel like a native app—it's supposed to feel like firefox. Mozilla puts out another browserm Camino, that uses Cocoa, native OSX widgers, various other OSX system resources, etc. I don't know if it's as native-feeling as Safari, but I think it's really what's intended to be the Mozilla browser for Mac.

Re:Safari (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20552479)

Safari looks awfully out of place on anything but an OSX desktop. Furthermore

1) It doesn't have Firebug to develop with

2) The Windows version sometimes formats the pages differently from the OSX one, so it's not even good for testing

Useful only to test for Safari on a Mac.

Re:Safari (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 6 years ago | (#20553409)

I would probably be a regular Windows Safari user, but I didn't like the "always crash on startup" feature. I know I'm a little particular about what I want in a browser, but that was kind of a deal-breaker for me.

(Oddly enough, that's also why I don't use Ubuntu...)

Thats not really so impressive...... (3, Funny)

budword (680846) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552059)

Unfortunately I'm responsible for at least half of those....once for each time I've had to re-install.....

Re:Thats not really so impressive...... (3, Funny)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552467)

Unfortunately I'm responsible for at least half of those....once for each time I've had to re-install.....

And I'm responsible for none of those despite the fact that I did Linux install 200 million times for the last three years, so we kinda cancel each other out.

Re:Thats not really so impressive...... (1)

AeroIllini (726211) | more than 6 years ago | (#20553891)

(3 years) * (365 days) * (24 hours) * (60 minutes) * (60 seconds) / (200 million installs) = 0.47 seconds per install

Wow! What distro are you using?

</smartass>

Re:Thats not really so impressive...... (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 6 years ago | (#20553239)

That would be funny if I hadn't really had to reinstall Firefox after some auto-update for an add-on apparently reset every preference I had ever set, including some for other add-ons, a few days ago.

(In case anyone's wondering: I had an update of HTML Validator, which seemed to go fine, and Firefox started up as normal after the update. The time after that when I started Firefox, my home page had been reset and several tabs opened up, one of which was all about the Download Statusbar add-on I also use; there was no message about a Download Statusbar update first. I subsequently discovered that all my font/links configuration, tab behaviour, cookie/privacy settings, and more had been reset. Even my Slashdot-friendly add-on had had its settings put back to defaults! So much had changed that I decided the only safe thing to do was export the bookmarks, zap the lot, and then reinstall Firefox and all my add-ons — excluding the two suspects in the "trashing all the settings" case, of course. I'm still trying to find all those little settings I had tweaked in about:config. My disillusionment with the whole modular, add-on based architecture is pretty high right now...)

Which means? (4, Insightful)

AmIAnAi (975049) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552061)

Numbers like these are essentialy meaningless. They don't readily translate to installed copies or active users. I've dowloaded Firefox and Thunderbird at least 10 times in the process of setting up new OS installs for family PCs. But that only equates to three users. And of those, I am the only one who actively uses Firefox.

Re:Which means? (5, Insightful)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552425)

Sure, the numbers are not precise. 400 million could translate to only 100 million users, or even less, but there is still some level of information in there. That is, we know that the ballpark figure of a program which had 400 million downloads is likely to be higher than a program which only had 10.000 downloads. It is called uncertainty. Some numbers ( such as important physical constants ) are known to a very high precision, other numbers may be more difficult to measure, and are accurate within maybe a factor of 10 or so. As a friend of mine put it. "To a mathematician pi can be expressed as a converging series of fractions, to a physicist it is close to 3.14, to us engineers it is roughly 3, everything is linear, and 3inches of steel ought to be enough, so make it 10 just to be sure..." He was joking of course, but even if only 1% of downloads translate to actual use, 400 million is still a large number, and different uncertainties cancel ( i.e, many users get their copy of a mirror or dedicated repository. Companies download it once and push it to 300 computers etc ... ). 400 million is a "rough" number, but it isn't completely meaningless.

Re:Which means? (2, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552965)

It probably pays to check their methodology. I think every x.x.x.1 update download might count as a download. For me, that would count for more than 10 downloads for three different computers, one user.

Re:Which means? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20553829)

"Numbers like these are essentialy meaningless. They don't readily translate to installed copies or active users."

At work with ~80,000 employees, FF is a corporate standard. It is downloaded once by the IT staff, customized and distributed to the work force. So, yeah, downloads are not a good metric. But who cares. FF is out there and in use.

I gotcha numbas right here! (1)

Immerial (1093103) | more than 6 years ago | (#20553857)

Here's some hard browser numbers from a site that I work on that gets about a million visits a month:

Past 90 days ending September 6th

Browser Stats
Browser version breakdown was only significant for IE.

IE 6.x 46.01%
Firefox 28.26%
IE 7.x 17.69%
Opera 2.36%
Safari 2.31%
Mozilla 1.95%

Unknown 0.03%
All others 1.39%

The interesting thing is that IE is slowly going down (IE -2.7%) and Firefox (+2.5%), Opera (+.6%), and Mozilla (+.9% crazy, right??) are gaining. Safari is currently staying about the same (-.6%). [-.7% other] This is in the past 3 months.

Traffic numbers
I don't have the August traffic numbers handy but here are the numbers up to July 2007.

Unique Visitors
12-Month Rolling Average
736,410

Total Visits
12-Month Rolling Average
976,840

Most Use by Country/Region, July 2007
United States- 354,185
India- 112,769
China- 67,188
South Korea- 55,666
Canada- 27,487
United Kingdom- 24,718
Portugal- 22,818
Germany- 21,634
Brazil- 16,668
Philippines- 15,555

Downloads vs. Active Use (0, Flamebait)

jmagar.com (67146) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552069)

Wow, what a big number. But even with all of those downloads the logs from our server shows that only 17% of visitors are actually using it. Over 80% are IE variants.

Congratulations Firefox, you've managed to get a boat load of people to download your browser, but somehow most people reject it after trying it.

Re:Downloads vs. Active Use (1)

Kroc (925275) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552183)

That's crap, all software on the net faces the exact same issue. If anything, Opera suffers much worse considering they've had over 100 million downloads, and still have a share measuring 0.8 ~ 1.8%. The fact of the matter is that Firefox is the first browser to take market share back from Microsoft. It is a massive, massive achievement and people should be proud because it is open source.

Re:Downloads vs. Active Use (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552433)

Why should I be proud because it's open Source? Is Open Source a "magical status" that automatically gives your software a better quality or a better appeal? Sorry, not for me. i am the original author of a quite succesful program , which is now OS (since last year), but I am not more proud of it than I am for my other non OS projects. OTOH I actively try to support the programmers who sell commerciall versions of a good product (like Total Commander, WinRaR or The Bat!). Yes, there are good OS replacements but being OS doesn't have that "magical quality" in my eyes.

Re:Downloads vs. Active Use (1)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552209)

most people reject it after trying it

How do you figure? 17% is probably more than last year...the numbers are still going up. Where is it exactly that you get "most " from?

Re:Downloads vs. Active Use (1)

Eivind (15695) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552375)

17% sounds about right. That doesn't sound like rejection to me though, it's not long ago that only typical nerd-sites could even top 10%.

Better than you'd think ... (1)

shellbeach (610559) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552623)

Wow, what a big number. But even with all of those downloads the logs from our server shows that only 17% of visitors are actually using it. Over 80% are IE variants.


Congratulations Firefox, you've managed to get a boat load of people to download your browser, but somehow most people reject it after trying it.

Well, actually ...

According to http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm [internetworldstats.com] there are currently about 1,173 million people using the internet. (God knows whether this is an accurate number or not, but they seem to think they know what they're doing, and for the purposes of this unscientific /. discussion I'll assume it's roughly correct.)

Therefore, 400 million downloads, assuming one download per person, would give a usage base of about 34%.

If Firefox usage is actually 17%, that suggests that about one in every two people that download it, stick with it. And that's pretty impressive if you ask me.

Re:Downloads vs. Active Use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20553865)

Congratulations Firefox, you've managed to get a boat load of people to download your browser, but somehow most people reject it after trying it.

Why are you talking to a web browser? Are you senile?

skew (-1, Redundant)

tfiedler (732589) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552077)

I've downloaded firefox probably 20 times or more.... I bet most of the 400 million are repeat downloads.

Re:skew (1)

servo335 (853111) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552459)

Not necessarily repeat downloads. People like me keep the most recent version backed up come place for use upon reloading windows or firefox so i don't have to download it again. Now my question is how many people download firefox and save it toa cd or jump drive and install it on other peoples pcs when working on them?

It's the porn (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20552087)

Everyone knows that Firefox is the browser of choice when surfing for porn, the extensions and plug-ins (no giggling at the back) make it much better than IE.

Down Them All is the dedicated Hand-Shandyist's best friend.

I wonder..... (1)

micropitt (105804) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552089)

....if this number is just for the stable release or does it include the nightly builds? How about other browsers build on Firefox like Seamonkey?

Google Desktop? (1)

Grisha (15132) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552109)

Since when was Google Desktop a browser? And why would Firefox need to be "looking over it's shoulder" because of it?

IE isn't down and out yet (2, Insightful)

dontspitconfetti (1153473) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552133)

Despite Firefox gaining some popularity (and Safari showing up in random places, like your Grandmother's house) IE still has a sweaty, firm grip on the market.

Mozilla Firefox has a journey ahead of them before the numbers start to show in their favor.

Does Mozilla/Netscape really make up 29.01% (1)

BigTom (38321) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552137)

10% still using Netscape? Who'da thought it?

Re:Does Mozilla/Netscape really make up 29.01% (2, Interesting)

Chapter80 (926879) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552263)

My thought exactly! Who are these 10% using Netscape? They must be AOL users with the built-in browser.

Google Desktop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20552139)

Since when is Google Desktop a browser? I may be wrong but my understanding is that the user agent "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; Google Desktop)" is used by the GD search engine, and you still need a real browser to browse the Internet. GD's 2.38% should not be counted and the other percentages should be scaled up accordingly.

Ahem... (1, Insightful)

Mystery00 (1100379) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552147)

Somebody explain what "market" Firefox is occupying, and why it matters.

http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp [w3schools.com]

If you look at those usage statistics, Firefox is only a fragment below IE6, and quite a bit above IE7. Of course, I have no way of knowing how accurate these are, but I tend to trust W3 content.

So, when they say that IE "still" has over 60% of the "market share", why does that matter? Usage statistics are the only ones any web developer should care about, I have IE installed, because it came with Windows, so I'm assuming that my IE is part of those market share statistics, but I do all my browsing with Firefox, so as far as I can see, this is useless information. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Re:Ahem... (3, Informative)

quantum bit (225091) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552235)

If you look at those usage statistics, Firefox is only a fragment below IE6, and quite a bit above IE7. Of course, I have no way of knowing how accurate these are, but I tend to trust W3 content.
  1. w3schools.com is not operated by the W3C.
  2. The page you linked mentions that the usage stats for a site geared toward web developers will be skewed toward alternative browsers

Actually a good point (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552541)

2. The page you linked mentions that the usage stats for a site geared toward web developers will be skewed toward alternative browsers.
Actually this is a good point. Any and every web site which is created will be targeted at some sub sector of the population. So looking at the stats of any other site, or even the population stats as a whole is useless.
 

Re:Actually a good point (1)

notthe9 (800486) | more than 6 years ago | (#20553431)

Actually this is a good point.

It is a very good point. It is, by the way, a point the w3schools site makes

W3Schools is a website for people with an interest for web technologies. These people are more interested in using alternative browsers than the average user. The average user tends to use Internet Explorer, since it comes preinstalled with Windows. Most do not seek out other browsers.
Any and every web site which is created will be targeted at some sub sector of the population. So looking at the stats of any other site, or even the population stats as a whole is useless.

Useless? Absolutely not. The meaning of stats like that are not "30% of people on the internet use Firefox," but that doesn't mean that there is nothing meaningful indicated.

Re:Ahem... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552319)

I had a look a another [w3schools.com] page on this website out of curiosity. I was tickled to note that despite the fact that linux usage has remained fairly steady at 3.odd percent, Windows Vista - for all the hype and OEM bundles, has exactly the same usage as linux so long after its release.

      Oh wait, I hear the sound of Microsoft shills and Vista apologists headed this way...

      Vista's retail "great success" is almost, but not quite, the same magnitude as W's "Mission Accomplished"...

Re:Ahem... (1)

Halow8888 (1140609) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552431)

Usage statistics are the only ones any web developer should care about, I have IE installed, because it came with Windows, so I'm assuming that my IE is part of those market share statistics, but I do all my browsing with Firefox, so as far as I can see, this is useless information. Correct me if I'm wrong.
You also forget that people must run IE for certain things, such as updating Windows.

But the question is... (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552261)

How many downloaded Adblock Plus right after that.

I wonder what the ratio of Firefox users to Adblock is.

Firefox is Better (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552267)

Really, its just that simple. IE is prone to locking up, and when it does, it brings down your whole Windows desktop because it is "built into" Windows. Firefox doesn't have that problem. First off, it tends to work more often, and on a wide variety of sites.

Re:Firefox is Better (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552511)

Hmm... Do you REALLy know what you are talking about? A (rarely) crashing IE can be killed by killing the iexplore.exe process. The shell is not affected AT ALL.

Sigh, if only it were true! (3, Informative)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552673)

IExplore is only a U/I wrapper around a collection of objects that IE exposes. Some of those objects are used by the shell. This is why Microsoft walked into court, correctly, and said that IE was a part of the operating system, and, if you got rid of everything that was truly a part of IE, the desktop would not work. But, hey, that's just Microsoft saying that.... I'm just going by what Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer and all the other guys said at the Netscape trial, and continue to say...

"It's all integrated!!!" So be it. And Firefox is better, because it's NOT.

Re:Sigh, if only it were true! (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552801)

...Which has been proven to be bullshit whith the infamious Windows lite which completly removed IE from the system. And guess what... the shell still works. This is just another myth (partially created by Microsoft), but I've NEVER seen the shell freeze just because IE has freezed. The 2 processes are completly independent no mather what (insert name here) says.

Re:Sigh, if only it were true! (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552845)

Open a big PDF in IE, then, smarty!

Re:Sigh, if only it were true! (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552957)

And kill then acroreader.exe AND iexplorer.exe. The shell will be up and running. In fact I have done that RIGHT now (not that IE crashed or something)

Re:Sigh, if only it were true! (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#20553517)

Internet Explorer has experienced a problem or error. As a precaution, your Active Desktop has temporarily been turned off. To start the Active Desktop again, use the following troubleshooting tips

Re:Sigh, if only it were true! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20552941)

That's irrelevant. The fact that iexplore.exe and explorer.exe use the same libraries doesn't mean that a failure in Internet Explorer will bring down the OS. The process responsible for the shell is completely isolated from the process you have browsing cheap crappy Flash cartoons on porn sites. A failure of any kind in one will not impact the other.

The only time a failure in the browser would impact the shell would be if you were to use the Internet Explorer-based shell functionality and that failed, such as setting your desktop to a website that had cheap crappy Flash cartoons. In that case, yes, a failure in the browser components could cause the shell to crash. However, at that point the OS would notice that the shell process had closed and would launch another in it's place.

So, at worst, the shell hiccups if you happen to have cheap crappy Flash cartoons as your active desktop. Normally an iexplore.exe process crashes and the OS goes on it's merry way. Honestly, have any of you people actually used Windows since Millennium Edition?

Firefox crashes too! (1)

ShatteredArm (1123533) | more than 6 years ago | (#20553227)

My firefox I have running under Linux has been crashing every now and then over the last few months. It doesn't stall; the process just dies. I've rarely had it happen, but members of my family report it happening quite often. Also, it freezes on occassion as well, and I have to ps ax | grep firefox it.

See, firefox isn't as great as some people make it out to be. After encountering this site [comcast.net] (which debunks many of the myths surrounding firefox's superiority), I decided to try Opera 9, which I quite like and now use on all my machines.

Re:Firefox is Better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20553379)

WTF? What version of windows are you using, 95? FF locks up at least 10 times more often than IE.

I do love my FF and all but if you really have that behavior in IE you might want to invest in anitvirus and antispyware.

problems with firefox running slowly lately (1)

Phasefire (1097215) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552269)

I've been a fan of Firefox for about a year now. In the last few months it has been running really slowly on every machine I use it on. I've spoken to my coworkers and they've noticed the same thing. I tried switching to Opera after reading on slashdot that it runs faster then IE7 and Firefox http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/09/07/044243/ [slashdot.org] It does seem to run noticeably faster. Has anyone heard if Microsoft did to Firefox what it did to ICQ? (slowed it down by patching Windows to benefit MSN and detriment ICQ) just adding my two cents

We've won! (4, Insightful)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552335)

Not that we can rest on our laurels, but Firefox has reached the market share level that really matter; "adequate penetration".

Misquoting the Supreme Court, I can't define exactly what that is, but I know it when I see it.

Firefox is a real force in the realm of web browsers. Even if it hovered at 17-18% forever, that would be enough to insure that most websites, and most webapps support Firefox. Even Microsoft's latest web offerings work on Firefox (Windows Live, Silverlight, etc. . .). That's a huge deal.

We don't need to dominate the market (OSS). It's nice when we do, but its not necessary. All that is necessary is for OSS software to have enough of a toehold to remain relevant in the minds of web developers. Few companies are willing to discard 1/5-1/6 of their customers.

If Linux could ever get to 15-17% desktop marketshare, we would see tons of Linux games. Not 100% of games would be ported, but many, many games would be.

Gratz Firefox! Gratz Mozilla Foundation! You did it.

Not to take anything away from the numbers, but .. (1)

mgpeter (132079) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552361)

Since well over a year now, Firefox by default has been automatically checking for updates and downloading the new version when available on nearly every install. On networks this can be compounded because even if you are not an "Administrator" Firefox will still install download the update although the user cannot install the program. These download numbers are still probably counted.

On the upside, Mozilla does not count the number of installations on GNU/Linux systems (which would probably easily overtake the amount of "false downloads" that may be counted).

Anyway, to combat this on the networks I manage (and because I am a lazy SOB) I created a "Network Installation Utility" that remotely installs Firefox on the Domain Computers (or A.D. computers if you aren't using Samba). If anyone wants it you can find it at: http://www.pcc-services.com/kixtart/firefox-script.html [pcc-services.com]. (I adjusted the default behavior of Firefox to not check for updates.)

But of course using this utility will totally mess up Mozilla's numbers since you can install Firefox on a few hundred computers in a few minutes (depending upon network speed) without even downloading Firefox once.

what about the memory leak issue ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20552429)

Insert here:

slownewsday (0)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552477)

I can't tag because I'm on Links, but I think it should be tagged slownewsday. While knowing how many people use a given browser is only mildly interesting, except for people who have a website (but who might yet prefer to rely on their own browser usage statistics since they're more relevant of what their audience uses), there is little we can deduce from this 400M figure.

Therefore, it's hardly newsworthy.

the clue in in the numbers .. (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552633)

Firefox 17.4 % browser market -- up 5.6 %

Internet Explorer 63.9 % - dropped 9.6 %

400,000,000 downloads ..

Re:slownewsday

Questionable data (1)

McDuckie (1075147) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552605)

I run several web sites and I would question the 17% share figure. The results I get from my weblogs are pretty consistent and indicate that Firefox's share of the market is closer to 11%, and that this figure has remained fairly static for the last six months at least with no real growth evident. In fact the only major change in browser market share during 2007 seems to be IE7 steadily replacing IE6.

The data I get for browser market share from my visitor logs for August 2007 is:

IE7 - 37%

IE6 - 35%

Firefox - 11%

IE5 (yes really) - 3%

Others (Opera, Netscape, etc.) - 14%

Of course you could argue how closely my visitor profile match the wider population of users, but I'd be surprised if other surveys were markedly different. To my eyes the data seems to indicate that Firefox has reached an equilibrium point in terms of its potential market share. One of FF's biggest early draws was its relative security compared to IE, but these days there have been plenty of security warnings about FF that may have eroded that "comfort factor". Still I'd be interested to hear if my experience is mirrored by anyone else - are 7% of FF users hiding from me, or are the claims BS?

Re:Questionable data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20552829)

It all depends on what sort of websites you look at. Where people are security and technology aware, you can have massive amounts of firefox users.
For example, the German technology website Heise has released their statistics http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/95699 [heise.de] and they show over 50% for Mozilla and other Gecko based browsers.
It is surprising that Slashdot which should have informed users has a relative low percentage of firefox users.

Lol... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20552687)

I love how they throw out big numbers...400 million downloads....

Probably includes every public beta....includes every automatic update to the smallest version number update (2.0.0.x)....

400 million....if you include the new versions, and automatic updates, how many BILLIONS AND BILLIONS of IE downloads are out there?

What fucking morons.

the future (1)

cinnamon colbert (732724) | more than 6 years ago | (#20553259)

I personally amresponible for ~ 50 downloads, every computer at work, and geting a lot of friends and family
then i discoverd mozilla has taken large sums from google, the next borg evil overlord
no more downloads for me
google is evil, like ANY large corporation, and I won't be associated with it.

Re:the future (1)

40ozFreak (823002) | more than 6 years ago | (#20553325)

<i>google is evil, like ANY large corporation, and I won't be associated with it.</i><br><br>
I'm so tired of the "google is evil" redundancy. The entire world can't be made up of mom-and-pop storefronts forever. And regardless of anything I read or hear, Google is far better aimed in the appropriate direction than many companies with a smaller band of influence.

How about IE7 versus Firefox? (1)

Kensai7 (1005287) | more than 6 years ago | (#20553451)

I'm much more interested in a Internet Explorer 7 versus Firefox download hits comparison. I want to know the latest trend.

at this rate (1)

UPZ (947916) | more than 6 years ago | (#20553485)

number of firefox downloads projected to exceed earth's population by 2011

These numbers are WORTHLESS! (0, Troll)

sootman (158191) | more than 6 years ago | (#20553627)

I had the same though last week when Steve Jobs was talking about how many people have downloaded iTunes. WHO GIVES A FUCK? These numbers are completely without meaning for many reasons. I'm one person and I've downloaded 1.0, 1.5, and/or 2.0 (plus several other minor versions) for my two main computers at home, my two laptops, and my three work machines. Sometimes (especially at work) I've got to get the newest point release (or point-point, or point-point-point--I'm at 1.5.0.2 on one machine.)

Back in the days of dialup--and less-frequent releases--I used to keep installers but I don't anymore. Anywhere that I'll need one, I just download it, a) because I don't have to look for it and b) that ensures that I'll get the newest version. I've probably downloaded Firefox 50 times for machines that I personally use. And the funniest part is, I don't even use Firefox that much--I literally use it maybe 5% of the time. On OS X I prefer Safari, and I use OS X for everything but testing and a couple odd tasks. Mostly, Firefox+UnPlug is my "get video from youtube" appliance. Other than that, I barely touch it.

Same thing with iTunes--who cares? The numbers are ESPECIALLY meaningless when you consider that iTunes has gone from 1.0 to 7.4 in 6 years, and besides all the major revs--1.0, 2.0, 3.0, etc.--there have been many other "must-have" minor versions, either to keep compatibility with the music store, or to gain things like video playback (4.8) or podcast support (4.9). "Number of downloads" has got to be one of the most useless statistics ever, and it gets less and less meaningful with every new version of a program that comes out.
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