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SLAG
07-15-2006, 09:55 PM
Firefox use growing around the world, study says Todd Weiss, Computerworld
Wed Jul 12, 4:04 PM ET



After a brief period of little growth this spring, The Mozilla Foundation’s open-source Firefox Web browser is again gaining ground on Microsoft Corp.’s Internet Explorer (IE).

In its latest study on Web browser usage, Netherlands-based OneStat.com said Sunday that Firefox gained 1.14 percent in June and is now used by 12.93 percent of surfers. That’s up from 11.79 percent who used Firefox in May, while IE use declined by 2.12 percent to 83.05 percent.

“We thought that Firefox growth had slowed down,” said Niels Brinkman, a co-founder of OneStat.com. “It seems it’s increasing again. That’s a little bit of a surprise to us.”

The study results were released just before Mozilla.org released the first public beta of the next version of Firefox. Beta 1 of Firefox 2.0 was made public Tuesday.

Last November, OneStat.com’s survey pegged Firefox browser usage globally at 11.51 percent, up 2.82 percent from April 2005. IE at the time had a global usage share of 85.45 percent, down 1.18 percent from April 2005.

OneStat.com uses real-time Web analytics to look at which broswers are being used to view Web sites and to determine their popularity across the Internet, Brinkman said.

The other popular browsers globally, according to OneStat.com, are Apple Computer Inc.’s Safari, with 1.84 percent usage; Opera, with 1 percent usage; and Netscape, with 0.16 percent usage.

In the U.S., the most popular browsers are IE, which is used by 79.78 percent of surfers; Firefox, which is used by 15.82 percent; Safari, which is used by 3.28 percent; Opera, which is used by 0.81 percent; and Netscape, which is used by 0.2 percent of Web surfers.

Usage rates for IE and Firefox in Canada and the U.K. are similar to the U.S. statistics. But in Australia, Firefox is much more popular and is used by 24.23 percent of Web surfers. Microsoft’s IE is used by 69.35 percent of Australian surfers, according to the study. In Germany, Firefox is even more popular: 39.02 percent of surfers there use it, compared with 55.99 percent who use IE.

Dana Gardner, an analyst at Interarbor Solutions LLC in Gilford, N.H., said the growing use of Firefox arises from several factors, including better performance and fewer security problems than IE.

“I think it’s been an astonishing ramp-up that Mozilla’s had,” Gardner said. “And of course, there’s been a long period of time [since the original release of] IE 6. We’ve only got the beta version of IE7, so Microsoft gave people an opportunity to check out other browsers” by not regularly updating its own, he said. IE7 is an improvement but the lack of provided plug-ins and continued security problems add up to more headaches for Microsoft. "Corporate customers are telling us that they won't add IE7 to their sytems because it offers no advanatages over IE6 and is more prone to security problems."

The continuing shifts in browser usage should show vendors not to take their status for granted, Gardner said.

“It indicates how quickly people will move to a new software when they have that choice,” he said. “To think that there’s a great deal of security in your market position is not something to be lazy about. People will go somewhere else that will better suit their purposes. This also plays right into Apple's hands with the ability of the Intel Macs to boot either in Windows or Mac OSX." Vista may be delayed again while Apple is expected to release it new version of its operating system later this year or early next year. "Microsoft just can't seem to get it right."

Carol Baroudi, an analyst at Hurwitz & Associates in Waltham, Mass., said another reason for the growing use of Mozilla is that it’s open-source software.

“For a lot of people, Mozilla happens to be a political choice,” Baroudi said. “And IE has always been problematic” with viruses, spyware and other security issues, she added. "Microsoft is losing share for one reason, Firefox right now is the better browser."

StcChief
07-15-2006, 10:27 PM
It's been the better browser since it was beta.

listopencil
07-15-2006, 11:03 PM
I started using it when TJ was pimping it. I've gotten it so modified now that when I occasionally have to view a site using IE I don't like it anymore. Firefox has been dramatically more stable for me than IE was. It also has more functionality. Add in that M$ pisses me off from time to time and it's a perfect match.

Moooo
07-16-2006, 12:27 AM
I love the tab function...

But it seems like it takes up a lot of memory to run. I never paid attention to how much IE took, so it could be less...

Go Safari! I wish I could run it (If you know what I mean)

Moooo

Mr. Laz
07-16-2006, 08:49 PM
can't believe parker isn't here stomping his feet

morphius
07-16-2006, 08:56 PM
any competition for MS is a good thing.

greg63
07-16-2006, 10:31 PM
"Microsoft is losing share for one reason, Firefox right now is the better browser."
'Nough said!