November 1, 2004 4:16 PM PST

Study: Firefox still gaining on Internet Explorer

Alternative Web browsers Mozilla and Firefox experienced another month of growth at the expense of Microsoft's dominant Internet Explorer, according to an online study.

The percentage of Americans using Mozilla and Firefox, two open-source browsers funded by the Mozilla Foundation, grew to 6 percent in October from 5.2 percent in September and 3.5 percent in June. That 6 percent was split evenly between the two browsers.

While Microsoft's IE continued as the overwhelming market leader, it witnessed another marginal decline, this time a dip of 0.8 percent. IE claimed 95.5 percent of users in June, 93.7 percent in September, and 92.9 percent last month. The Opera browser and Apple Computer's Safari combined reached just more than 1 percent of users.

Changing tides

Open-source browsers such as Firefox, as well as Apple Computer's Safari, seem to be stealing market share from Microsoft's dominant Internet Explorer.

Usage (percent)
BrowserJune 4Oct. 29Change
Internet Explorer95.4892.86- 2.62
Netscape / Mozilla 3.546.02*+ 2.48
Others**0.97 1.11 + 0.14
* Includes Firefox
** Includes Safari and Opera
Source: WebSideStory
WebSideStory measures market share by embedding sensors on major Web sites for the Walt Disney Internet Group, Best Buy, Sony, DaimlerChrysler and Liz Claiborne. These sensors can tell which browsers visitors are using to view the sites.

In the big picture, Mozilla and Firefox are specks of dust compared with the near-ubiquity of Internet Explorer. But given IE's fifth consecutive month of decline and Mozilla/Firefox's fifth consecutive month of growth, analysts are beginning to wonder whether and when the shift will stop.

"What we're seeing is (Mozilla and Firefox) looking more like a vanguard than a flash in a pan," said Geoff Johnston, an analyst at WebSideStory.

The study comes just ahead of Firefox's official release on Nov. 9. The browser, based on Mozilla's open-source code, has experienced a surprising surge in popularity, reaching 5 million downloads two weeks ago, then later passing 7 million.

Last weekend, the Mozilla Foundation said the project has raised more than $250,000 during its 10-day donation drive. The money will be spent to promote Firefox 1.0's release. Developers working on Firefox hope the software will reach 10 percent U.S. penetration by the end of 2005.

Firefox may continue to show gains, but the software could reach a ceiling, according to WebSideStory's Johnston. Most of its users are technology-proficient early adopters rather than average Web surfers. "(Firefox) hasn't gotten to mainstream," he said.

Only the ignorant using IE
All our three computers use Firefox broweser. IE only is used as a backup when some sites need it and window update. IE is ugly, slow, and outdated. When the judge whoever decided for leaving Microsoft intact in anti-trust case, he should retire to plant flowers at home. He has no idea how "anto-trust" Microsoft is in browser war.
Posted by (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Only the ignorant using IE
All our three computers use Firefox broweser. IE only is used as a backup when some sites need it and window update. IE is ugly, slow, and outdated. When the judge whoever decided for leaving Microsoft intact in anti-trust case, he should retire to plant flowers at home. He has no idea how "anto-trust" Microsoft is in browser war.
Posted by (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Firefox still has bugs, shows potential
i have firefox and ie and sadly i've gone back to ie despite it's flaws. why? it starts faster, loads pages slightly faster, the menus work faster and are less cluttered, and it doesn't eat up memory like ff does. ff doesn't have the fluidity of ie and takes up too much of my systems resources. my whole computer runs slower with ff running. until these sorts of issues are fixed and ff purrs along like my ie does, i'll be using the "evil browser."

for reference:
i'm using a PII 333mhz w/192MB RAM, 180GB total storage on 2 7200rpm drives w/dedicated controller card, ATI expert@work PCI video w/8MB RAM, running windows 98SE w/all the updates and IE v.6.0.2800.
Posted by Dibbs (158 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Firefox still has bugs, shows potential
i have firefox and ie and sadly i've gone back to ie despite it's flaws. why? it starts faster, loads pages slightly faster, the menus work faster and are less cluttered, and it doesn't eat up memory like ff does. ff doesn't have the fluidity of ie and takes up too much of my systems resources. my whole computer runs slower with ff running. until these sorts of issues are fixed and ff purrs along like my ie does, i'll be using the "evil browser."

for reference:
i'm using a PII 333mhz w/192MB RAM, 180GB total storage on 2 7200rpm drives w/dedicated controller card, ATI expert@work PCI video w/8MB RAM, running windows 98SE w/all the updates and IE v.6.0.2800.
Posted by Dibbs (158 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Better web browser, now better html editor too!
Firefox will only improve with time. The available version is a pre-release, the real V1.0 is due in several days.

I find the Microsoft license (and all other proprietary licenses) degrading. When you hit the accept button on installation/upgrade of IE you basically say: "I am a complete idiot with no self-respect, oh great MSFT please abuse me!"
Why do I have to insult myself every time I launch a program? Especially when we have alternatives?

Firefox, and other good free and open source software, doesn't abuse its users through its license and this, in itself, is a quality feature.

The good news is that Linspire are making an HTML wysiwyg editor (replacement for FrontPage) by improving and vastly increasing the capabilities of the Mozzila browser's "Composer" tool. Check it out here: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.nvu.com/download.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.nvu.com/download.html</a>
Posted by (11 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Better web browser, now better html editor too!
Firefox will only improve with time. The available version is a pre-release, the real V1.0 is due in several days.

I find the Microsoft license (and all other proprietary licenses) degrading. When you hit the accept button on installation/upgrade of IE you basically say: "I am a complete idiot with no self-respect, oh great MSFT please abuse me!"
Why do I have to insult myself every time I launch a program? Especially when we have alternatives?

Firefox, and other good free and open source software, doesn't abuse its users through its license and this, in itself, is a quality feature.

The good news is that Linspire are making an HTML wysiwyg editor (replacement for FrontPage) by improving and vastly increasing the capabilities of the Mozzila browser's "Composer" tool. Check it out here: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.nvu.com/download.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.nvu.com/download.html</a>
Posted by (11 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Colleges Recommending Firefox over IE
Because f the role played by MSIE in the propagation of spyware,
many colleges and universities are now recommending that
students switch from the default IE browser to Firefox. In terms
of support, it makes some sense.
Posted by Frank Lowney (14 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Colleges Recommending Firefox over IE
Because f the role played by MSIE in the propagation of spyware,
many colleges and universities are now recommending that
students switch from the default IE browser to Firefox. In terms
of support, it makes some sense.
Posted by Frank Lowney (14 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Only one question comes to mind now.
The Microsoft response to a better product that challenges one of their own products is clear. How long will it be before they make Mozilla an "offer" they won't refuse, buy out Mozilla, and bury it?
Posted by AlecWest (84 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Only one question comes to mind now.
The Microsoft response to a better product that challenges one of their own products is clear. How long will it be before they make Mozilla an "offer" they won't refuse, buy out Mozilla, and bury it?
Posted by AlecWest (84 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Opera underreported?
Given that Opera can mask as MSIE, is the technology able to catch that and give accurate numbers?
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Opera underreported?
Given that Opera can mask as MSIE, is the technology able to catch that and give accurate numbers?
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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