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Mozilla The Internet

Firefox Continues Gains against IE 585

kurtz_tan writes "News.com reports that the popularity of alternative Web browser Firefox continues to rise at the expense of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, according to a new study by WestSideStory. The study measured market share by embedding sensors on major web sites such as those of Walt Disney, Best Buy, Sony and Liz Claiborne. WebSideStory retrieves data from 30 million internet users a day passing through its monitored sites. The company then takes a snapshot of two days and compares the growth. Since beginning its measurements last summer, WebSideStory has been cautious to draw any broad conclusions about Firefox's popularity. This time around, the company said many people are not only downloading Firefox, they're sticking with it and using it."
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Firefox Continues Gains against IE

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  • by EnronHaliburton2004 ( 815366 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @11:48AM (#11441553) Homepage Journal
    according to a new study by WestSideStory.

    It's WEBSideStory , not WestSideStory

    I feel pretty, oh so pretty...
    • by reporter ( 666905 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @12:13PM (#11441725) Homepage
      At the risk of revealing a proclivity, I too use FireFox almost exclusively now even though FireFox is much slower on my computer than Micro$oft IE. For reasons of speed, I initially hesitated in using FireFox, but eventually I could not tolerate all the viruses and malware targetted at IE. On several occasions, my system was so badly infected with malware that I reinstalled Windows.

      Admittedly, I am not a typical user. I visit numerous porn sites and am addicted to looking at gorgeous, naked women who would never spend time with me. Unfortunately, those sites are also boobytrapped with pop ups, viruses, and malware. If you do not believe me, then use IE on Windows and surf 1000 sites over the course of a month. At the end of the month, your computer will be unusable, and you will be forced to reinstall Windows.

      With FireFox, I am relatively safe when I visit those sites. So far, none of the boobytraps have infected my computer. The only negative is that downloading the pictures takes a while with FireFox since it is not as tightly integrated into the OS as IE. Nonetheless, I am no longer reinstalling Windows on a monthly basis.

      Now, where's that can of vaseline.... Just kidding.

    • Not to be confused with Webstrands Platform, from the first Spiderman movie.
  • hah (Score:3, Funny)

    by 2MuchC0ffeeMan ( 201987 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @11:49AM (#11441561) Homepage
    granted you see this in every article...

    A Microsoft spokesman did not immediately comment for this story

    but i love that.
    • Why should they? They still retain market dominance and will for the foreseeable future.

      No matter what they might say at this stage in the game, you and others would mock them, instead, they stay quiet, biding their time and enhancing their own product for their counter attack with will no doubt come in good time.
  • .88%? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Peyna ( 14792 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @11:51AM (#11441570) Homepage
    Not much, could probably be explained away by pure error.

    Also, the websites they use probably skew the results as well; Disney, Best Buy, Sony, and Liz Claiborne?

    If they want accuracy they should try throwing a few porn sites in, or maybe popular search engines.

    I imagine if you had a more accurate sample that Firefox's share might be a little higher.
    • Yeah, no kidding. The sites you choose make a HUGE difference when looking at stats like that. I'm sure slashdot has like 80% firefox usage... maybe higher. At the same time, sites like msn probably have a 99% IE usage. It's realy difficult to get an accurate picture of what everyone's using just by monitoring a couple sites.
      • by eln ( 21727 )
        Actually, IIRC Slashdot has had a substantial majority of users using IE for quite some time now. The percentages may have shifted recently, but it may still be majority IE.
        • Re:.88%? (Score:2, Interesting)

          by chris09876 ( 643289 )
          Really... I'm surprised. It would be nice if slashdot published some apache log analysis.. :) Is that available somewhere and I just don't know about it?
      • this is true - and their sites seem to be the firmly in the home-user market; where PCs are more up to date and users more open to trying out alternatives.

        business/work PCs aren't moving so quickly.
    • Re:.88%? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by autophile ( 640621 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @12:40PM (#11441932)
      Also, the websites they use probably skew the results as well; Disney, Best Buy, Sony, and Liz Claiborne?

      If they want accuracy they should try throwing a few porn sites in, or maybe popular search engines.

      I disagree. At first I thought that you could increase measured non-IE browser share by including, say, Slashdot. But then I realized that the whole point of choosing the studied websites is that those websites appeal to Joe Sixpack, and not the geeks who would normally gravitate towards using non-IE browsers.

      So in this case we have the worst case scenario (websites used by few geeks), showing that Mozilla is gaining over IE. Ane you're complaining?


    • Re:.88%? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jusdisgi ( 617863 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @12:46PM (#11441973)

      Also, the websites they use probably skew the results as well...

      If they want accuracy they should try throwing a few porn sites in, or maybe popular search engines.

      Granted, their method isn't perfect...that probably isn't possible. But it's a lot better than your idea. These guys want a picture of normal, actual internet users that they can count. Neither search engines nor porn will provide that.

      In the porno case, you just hand everything to IE, as all those hits from the popup windows roll in. Also, the control in those situations is passed mostly from the user to the site, which isn't ideal for these tests either. And search engines are visited by scripts a lot, most of which misidentify themselves as one browser or another. So, either way you're adding a lot to your inaccuracies.

      Choosing high-traffic sites from major providers does sound like favoritism (or at least just corporate whoring), but it's really probably about as accurate a picture as we can get of how people browse.

    • Re:.88%? (Score:3, Informative)

      Want to make that number rise?

      Do this. [hackaday.com]

      Spread it around...
      • Re:.88%? (Score:3, Funny)

        by Peyna ( 14792 )
        Let's see... spread this around on Slashdot, and then in a few weeks servers will succumb to the Slashdot effect 10-15 times faster than normal.
      • Re:.88%? (Score:3, Informative)

        by CTho9305 ( 264265 )
        Mozilla and Firefox internally cap [mozilla.org] the value of the pipeline depth to 8 requests [mozilla.org]. Setting it any higher than 8 has no effect.
  • by cavetroll ( 602361 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @11:54AM (#11441586)
    Figures I have seen on w3cshools [w3schools.com] show a falling usage rate for opera, from 2.3% to 1.9% - almost a 20% drop. If this is a trend is across the entire userbase, then might firefox end up killing opera rather than (as well as?) IE?
    • by FinestLittleSpace ( 719663 ) * on Saturday January 22, 2005 @12:13PM (#11441719)
      to be honest, opera is totally incredible for some things, but terrible for others. The amazing thing about opera is that you can make it do EVERYTHING... the settings are just huge.... its also unbelieably fast and low-footprint memory wise. However, what it isn't is a simple browser for general public to use day to day. when I use it i feel like im almost in a 'sub OS'... i feel engulfed by it all and it doesnt make me feel comfortable, whereas with firefox, its very much like its almost part of the OS and just subtley adds its own features.

      Opera ---is--- a brilliant browser, i just feel it's not suitable for the general public.
    • That'd be too bad, it's my preferred browser, and I'm sorry to say I doubt they'd opensource it any sooner than Netscape did. That is, too late to save the company and the browser.

      However, Opera has another niche in mobile phones, which they might focus more on in the future. Does anyone know it there is there any progress in porting Gecko to these platforms? Goota love competition.

  • by anandpur ( 303114 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @11:54AM (#11441589)
    Do not know why MS discontinued IE for Unix. I can see thay can expand there.

    http://www.microsoft.com/unix/ie/default.asp/ [microsoft.com]
    • Probably because no Linux distribution or UNIX vendor would consider bundling IE.
    • Back when they actually had it available for Solaris, I tried to use it... horribly broken. Fonts wouldn't render correctly, and when you finally got them to render, it would take forever to read them "from cache".
    • by craXORjack ( 726120 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @12:44PM (#11441970)
      It was probably never more than a sham product anyway. During the anti-trust trials microsoft did a lot of things solely so the lawyers could make ludicrous claims yet have something to back them up.
    • by sloanster ( 213766 ) <ringfan AT mainphrame DOT com> on Saturday January 22, 2005 @02:10PM (#11442646) Journal
      Do not know why MS discontinued IE for Unix. I can see thay can expand there.

      As one who has tried out msie for solaris, I can assure you that it gave new meaning to the terms buggy, bloated, and crash-prone. It was such a disaster that noboy would ever use it. OTOH, netscape ran fairly well, and stable, on all the major flavors of unix, so there was simply no contest. It's fairly certain that microsoft did the "port" as a political stunt, and an attempted propoganda coup, for 2 reasons:

      #1, the blaring hype in ms ads saying "microsoft brings the internet to unix" (yeah right, the internet was pretty much a unix thing until microsoft woke up and came late to the party)

      #2, the fact that they ported to an obscure platform like hpux, rather than linux, despite the fact that there were several hundred thousand linux desktop users for every hpux desktop user.

      Then they backpedaled, saying "we didn't realize how difficult it was to program for unix". tee hee, a comparison to netscape and it's solid cross platform support puts the talents of microsofts programmers in a fairly bad light here.
  • by macklin01 ( 760841 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @11:54AM (#11441591) Homepage
    Without any info given on the margin of error, this 0.88% increase is hard to put in perspective. If the margin of error was 0.7%, then we're not talking about much here. Nonetheless, it's very interesting to see FireFox taking hold, even if very slowly. (I suppose that really shows just how entrenched MSIE is.) -- Paul
    • by swright ( 202401 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @12:06PM (#11441676) Homepage
      the margin of error will be huge!

      seriously, we do the same thing in the UK, but mostly with retail sites (B&Q, Comet, H Samuel, etc) and there are soooo many things that cause inaccuracies!

      firstly, the monitors are clientside - so depending on where in the host page they live, howmany images there are on the page, how fast the user's connection is and how long they spend on a page you may or may not even register a hit.

      then misconfigured caches can hided it before it gets you your logging server (but there are ways around that).

      but for tracking unique users (rather than pageviews), you need cookies as well:

      - some peopl have cookies turned off

      - some people have cookies demoted to session-only

      - some people clear their cookies periodically (e.g. they've been looking at pr0n and dont want their missus to know)

      - some people use 'security' software that strips cookies and/or rewrites page content on the fly.

      its a mess. numbers are never accurate and its impossible to accurately determine how inaccurate they are!

      but they're right - there is a consistent and significant move toward Firefox

      But having said that - it has just been Christmas, and there does seem to be a big difference between home computers and business PCs (home = more up to date, more Firefix, work = older, no alternative browsers)

      we're actually seeing a *decline* in firefox figures post-Xmas, but hoping that will change!
    • by l2718 ( 514756 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @12:25PM (#11441825)

      Mod parent up!

      Statistical figures (or any "scientific" figures, for that matter) are mostly meaningless without an error estimate (a.k.a. "confidence interval"). In fact, the lack of such estimates has been found to be a strong indication of bad research in 57.3% of all cases.

      TFA claims IE market share to be "92.7%". As parent succintly explains, that claim is clearly bogus: there are two separate percentages:

      1. What they actually measured: entries to 5 specific websites over a 2-day period.
      2. What they wanted to measure: IE market share.
      Now there are two problems with the analysis: the first is that there is random noise in the measurement of (1). The second is that you cannot simply equate (1) with (2) without some justification. Normally you would combine the measurement errors coming from the noise and from the non-prefect correlation between (1) and (2) to give a confidence interval.

      Somehow I doubt that you will find the claimed figures to even be accurate to within %1. Hence the observed rise could be entirely due to random fluctuations or other errors and is likely completely insignificant.

  • Meaningful Figure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by StevenHenderson ( 806391 ) <stevehenderson.gmail@com> on Saturday January 22, 2005 @11:56AM (#11441602)
    I feel that this is, for once, a meaningful figure. These are sites that appeal to everyone, not just a figure of browsers on /. or ThinkGeek or something.

    If people going on to Liz Claiborne or whatever are using FF, then you can assume that is someone's mom. Either that, or the IT guy trying to look at women's underwear pics through his work's web filtering. :)

    Good analysis, though. Let's hope this continues...

    Baby steps, right?

    • Try a slashdot poll asking how many times in the last month people have visited any of those sites. They don't appeal to "everyone." They appeal to certain groups of people, but a large number of Internet users are left out of that survey. A number that may actually have a higher Firefox usage rate than the people that visit the sites used in the survey.
      • They don't appeal to "everyone."

        Best Buy doesn't appeal to everyone? I mean sure, Newegg or whatever is a better alternative, but I bet 90% of the people on this site have been to a Best Buy in the last year...

        • have been to a Best Buy

          But not necessarily their website. It's certainly not a valuable research tool; and with the exception of music, movies, and games, you can get everything else they sell cheaper elsewhere.
        • I bet 90% of the people on this site have been to a Best Buy in the last year...

          Been where? Oh, you must be assuming everyone is American. I'd wager more than 10% of Slashdotters aren't American and therefore haven't been anywhere near Best Buy in the last year.

          • 10%? Really? Fair enough, if that is the case. I would have assumed a lower number, but I guess regardless, I ought to say 90% of Americans. Do you happen to know if BB is in any other countries?
    • Re:Meaningful Figure (Score:5, Informative)

      by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @12:34PM (#11441894)
      I have a popular auction site that is along the lines of what you're mentioning. It's very Liz Claiborne (people shopping for Lip Service, Hot Topic, custom jewelry, used CDs, crafts, custom fashions) and not at all "ThinkGeek or something".

      I've been very critical of this "Firefox is making a difference" bandwagon for a long time. However, I've been observing my own site's statistics over the last few months and the numbers are, indeed, surprising.

      Until recently, my site has been 95% MSIE, just like it has been for almost five years. Viewing just the most recent stats shows that out of 40,000 unique visitors:

      77.2% are using MSIE
      18.5% are using Firefox, Mozilla or Netscape
      2.3% are using Safari
      1.1% are using Opera

      The reason I take these statistics seriously is that my site is not at all a technical site. It's an auction site with 95% females between the ages of 15 and 50. A lot of AOL users. While there are some very technically savvy people on the site, the majority of them are extremely novice to average. So if a lot of them are moving away from MSIE, it is a significant indication of where the general web population is also going.
  • Yeh but.... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    ...I reckon much of the increase is due to IE users spoofing their user-agent and pretending to be Firefox
  • Web (Score:5, Insightful)

    by someguy456 ( 607900 ) <someguy456@phreaker.net> on Saturday January 22, 2005 @11:57AM (#11441618) Homepage Journal
    but the company said its Windows-only numbers are more accurate because new configurations in Apple Computer's Safari browser inadvertently skewed results. I'm speechless. We (linux/mac users) don't use Windows, so our traffic doesn't count?
    • Can you install Internet Explorer on Linux?

      It might not be wise to measure gains in the browser market by introducing a platform variable... if you just look at platforms where IE is available, you'll more accurately depict the Firefox gains. I think that's what they're trying to do - show gain, not depict actual browser market share. That's ok, because as the number of Linux users inrease, the percentage of IE users will decrease. That's an extra factor to consider here, and might not be something they wa
  • Sensors? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by northcat ( 827059 )
    The study measured market share by embedding sensors on major web sites

    Embedding sensors? You mean it checked the user agent. Probably logs (I don't run a webserver, so I dont know if all webservers log that). I knew media tended to sensationalize things but .... wow!
  • No surprise. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jace of Fuse! ( 72042 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @11:58AM (#11441628) Homepage
    FireFox is actually a good browser.

    This would have happened a long time ago if such a good browser had come along sooner.

    Firefox is fast, secure, easy to use, skinable, free, and compatible.

    For once, IE isn't more popular based on it's merit. It's actually at a technical disadvantage again and it's decline in popularity is a result of that.

    I was skeptical about converting most of my less tech savvy associates over to Firefox at first, but when a few actually actively asked me to help them and their feedback was all positive afterwards, I suggested it to a few more and then even more.

    Now anyone I don't feel is capable of keeping their system clean while using IE I recommend convert and I've yet to hear one single complaint.
    • Re:No surprise. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Stevyn ( 691306 )
      I felt the same way. I've been putting firefox on peoples' computers for them for the past few months. They aren't techies so I was worried they'd have a problem like a site not working and then quit using it. But that hasn't happened. I do install flash for that might be a little too much to ask. All I have to do is tell them that using "this icon" instead of that "blue icon" will prevent a lot of crap from getting on your computer. And I've asked those people if they've had problems with their compu
    • Re:No surprise. (Score:3, Informative)

      by beeswax ( 65749 )
      Firefox is fast? Compare it to Opera and you'll laugh!

      Firefox is secure? Look at these vulnerabilities from last year.

      2005-01-11: Mozilla/Netscape/Firefox Browser Modal Dialog Spoofing Vulnerability
      2005-01-05: Mozilla Temporary File Insecure Permissions Information Disclosure Vulnerability
      2005-01-05: Multiple Browser IMG Tag Multiple Vulnerabilities
      2005-01-05: Mozilla Firefox Download Dialogue Box File Name Spoofing Vulnerability
      2005-01-05: Mozilla Firefox Insecure Default Installation
  • by DOS-5 ( 852324 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @11:59AM (#11441632)
    I think Firefox will continue to be popular if Microsoft makes new additions to IE mainly because I don't see them removing any of the insecurities (ActiveX) or bloat or integration into the OS that made people switch to Firefox in the first place. Since when was the last time Microsoft removed a so called "useful" and "major" feature despite its obvious downsides?
  • According to the article,

    Previous studies from WebSideStory tested all operating systems, but the company said its Windows-only numbers are more accurate

    If You accept that;

    1. Some non-zero number of people aren't running windows.

    2. More that 5% of these are runnning firefox.

    Then these figures are an underestimate for the entire web population.

    Of course accepting (1) but not (2) suggests an over-estimate, so in either case be wary of considering these figures as accurate.

  • by khef ( 681832 )
    Since when is Liz Claiborne a major site?
  • I think that's a buzzword for "we analyzed the logs" :P
    • well, even MORE likely, is that they used some nice javascript block at the top of their page that looks something like:

      <!--WEBSIDESTORY CODE HBX1.0 (Universal)-->
      <!--COPYRIGHT 1997-2004 WEBSIDESTORY,INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. U.S.PATENT No. 6,393,479B1. MORE INFO:http://websidestory.com/privacy-->
      <script language="javascript">
      var _hbEC=0,_hbE=new Array;function _hbEvent(a,b){b=_hbE[_hbEC++]=new Object();b._N=a;b._C=0;return b;}
      var hbx=_hbEvent("pv");hbx.vpc="HBX0100u";hbx.gn="ehg- dig.h

  • Not sure what's going on with January's "3." useragent, but FWIW here's a few months of their browser stats for just Mozilla:

    September 2004 - 2% Mozilla [thecounter.com]
    October 2004 - 2% Mozilla [thecounter.com]
    November 2004 - 3% Mozilla [thecounter.com]
    December 2004 - 3% Mozilla [thecounter.com]
    January 2005 - 5% Mozilla??? [thecounter.com]

    • OT: Fermi solutions (Score:3, Informative)

      by bstadil ( 7110 )
      Way OT but your quote about Fermi solutions is incorrect. Fermi Solutions is the method to Guestimate something using a series of stocastic independent variables.

      The amazing thing is that the more you have the better since you are unlikely to guess everyone on the high or low side. The more variables you have the more accurate.

      Fermi himself used this to estimate the power of the first Atom bomb via dropping paper confetti from above his head (2 meters) and look where they landed after the blast arrive

  • Security Flaws? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pyr0r0ck3r ( 702602 )
    The recent discovery of a potentially damaging software flaw suggested the potential for FireFox attacks. Did that get fixed? Cuz if not, that'll be a problem in the future for firefox. One of the reasons people like firefox so much is the thought that "OOOH, now I don't have to worry about nasty viruses and hackers and evil things." Once there's a virus written for firefox, that little golden halo is gonna come crashing down.
    • Once there's a virus written for firefox, that little golden halo is gonna come crashing down.

      Internet Explorer has one giant glaring vulnerability going for it that was designed in from the beginning: ActiveX.

  • by testing124 ( 772675 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @12:15PM (#11441739)

    Help fight these horrible new statistics... Install IE today! [sidenet.ddo.jp]

  • Spread Firefox! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Pan T. Hose ( 707794 )
    Don't forget to use the www.spreadfirefox.com [spreadfirefox.com] links every time you refrence someone to download Firefox to increase the counter. Also, never let anyone use IE User-Agent when they are using Firefox, because using counterfeited User-Agent unfairly skews the statistics to the side of Microsoft, and we all know that this is a two-handed sword.
  • by SunFan ( 845761 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @12:21PM (#11441786)

    Ace's Hardware recently ran a short article that Firefox passed 50% share at their website in December. They had a nice graph showing IE clearly in the majority, lessening over time, and, finally, passing into the minority.

    We'll miss you, IE...not!
  • by digitalgimpus ( 468277 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @12:25PM (#11441823) Homepage
    Firefox 1.1 is going to be based on the trunk. So it's got a few rendering fixes.

    1.1 also contains some decent enhancements [mozilla.org].

    IMHO adoption will pick up when 1.1 is released and some of these fixes take place.

    1.1 will also have a MSI, which will make it easier for corporations to deploy Firefox to computers within their organization. That will allow for more Firefox gains.
  • by captainClassLoader ( 240591 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @12:28PM (#11441845) Journal
    ...Netcraft confirms it. IE is dying.

  • by diegocgteleline.es ( 653730 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @12:49PM (#11441996)
    Really, do you expect firefox can do something if it doesn't start growing faster?

    First, "% of browsers used" != "% of boxes". Firefox is having a hit because its users are people who spend a lot of time in internet. There're a *lot* of people who don't use internet a lot, and they don't get eflected in the stadistics just because they don't browse a lot.

    Second, If firefox continues growing at this rate, microsoft will have enought time to rewrite their browser. Remember, 100% of windows boxes have IE installed, and as soon as microsoft gives them a update which is "good enought" they could stop using firefox. Don't understimate the power of microsoft, they control the most used software distribution channel for windows boxes - windows update

    And let's remember that around 50% of the OS used to browser internet is XP. XP SP2 has a popup killer by default which is one of the biggest reasons to use firefox. And SP2 enables automatic updates, so IE is "safer". It doesn't really matters if IE is secure or not, if microsoft patches it fast enought users won't have problems.

    so, what we need is to get *better*, and get better *faster*. Currently, firefox is just "a better IE". Yes, it's more than that, we know, but users only see that "a better explorer". We need to offer something different, innovative. We need to give them more things that are not just "better than the IE equivalent", but cool things that have not equivalent so users will stick with firefox. (don't talk me about extensions, IE has plugins and they could start those to add funcionality!)

    And of course we need to have "automatic updates" for firefox. I think those are already there, right? If you don't updae users' browser, they won't do it themselves, automatic update (or at least a window warning about a "fastest, more secure version) is needed if you want that your users continue appreciating all the work you do.
  • by amemily ( 462019 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @01:10PM (#11442181)

    I work for a Washington State agency [esd101.net]. The majority of the vistors to our main site are K-12 related (teachers, parents, students, etc). Microsoft products are quite popular around this area due to the steep discounts that Microsoft hands out to K-12 schools and their related state agencies. However, the 2004 stats for my employer's main site are quite interesting.

    Operating Systems (Top 10)
    Operating Systems Hits Percent
    Windows 1589512 94.8 %
    Macintosh 62935 3.7 %
    Unknown 22019 1.3 %
    Linux 967 0 %
    WebTV 65 0 %
    FreeBSD 42 0 %
    Irix 11 0 %
    Sun Solaris 8 0 %
    AmigaOS 4 0 %
    Unknown Unix system 3 0 %
    Others 3 0 %
    Browsers (Top 10)
    Browsers Grabber Hits Percent
    MS Internet Explorer No 1185077 70.7 %
    Firefox No 437908 26.1 %
    Mozilla No 21460 1.2 %
    Unknown ? 12121 0.7 %
    Safari No 9478 0.5 %
    Netscape No 8534 0.5 %
    Opera No 651 0 %
    Konqueror No 172 0 %
    Firebird (Old Firefox) No 71 0 %
    WebTV browser No 65 0 %
  • 5% (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Johnny Mnemonic ( 176043 ) <mdinsmore@gma i l . com> on Saturday January 22, 2005 @01:11PM (#11442185) Homepage Journal

    As a mac user who's had compatibility complaints about some sites, the retort that I encountered was that the problematic site in question was designed for "95%" of the browsers going there, and if I wasn't in that 95% it just sucks to be me.

    Now that it appears that FireFox is coming really close to squeezing on the 5% margin, my question is: will web designers really consider making their sites compatible with 92% of IE and 5% of FireFox? That could be a lot of work, depending on the site. Or are site designers just more likely to say "as long as we have 90% compatibility, that's good enough"? Turning away 10% of your customers seems like a lot, though, too.

    Web designers in the biz care to comment? Are you guys seeing new compatibility standards? If so, that's good news for mac users. The faster ActiveX is obsoleted, the fewer problems Mac users are to face--even if the impetus for the compatibility change came from FireFox.
    • Re:5% (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SunFan ( 845761 )

      Given the razor-thin margins in a lot of retailing, giving up even 5% of potential customers seems pretty retarded, IMO. A lot of companies break even by such a slight margin that just the wind blowing differently could push them to a loss. Ignoring 10% would be insane.
    • Re:5% (Score:3, Informative)

      by asa ( 33102 )

      Now that it appears that FireFox is coming really close to squeezing on the 5% margin, my question is: will web designers really consider making their sites compatible with 92% of IE and 5% of FireFox? That could be a lot of work, depending on the site. Or are site designers just more likely to say "as long as we have 90% compatibility, that's good enough"? Turning away 10% of your customers seems like a lot, though, too.

      Well, we're not targeting 5%, we're very likely already past that and headed to 10% i

  • by dioscaido ( 541037 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @02:22PM (#11442768)
    I've always wondered how much browser dominance really matters to Microsoft. IE comes bundled w/ their OS, so even if everyone runs Mozilla, they still have IE in their system, and all the other MS apps (and many others) still leverage IE's plugability into other client software. So in terms of lock-in to the platform, there's still all the web enabled client apps out there (like most MS products).

Those who can't write, write manuals.