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Mozilla The Internet

Firefox Share Slipped in July for the First Time 557

prostoalex writes "Between June and July of this year, Firefox lost 0.64% of the users, while Microsoft IE gained the same amount, leaving other browsers at their usual zero point something share. Could recent security problems and lack of stability, reported by some users, lead to the decline of the browser that just passed 80 million downloads?" I think the other thing to remember is that while ~8% seems a lot, there's a still a huge amount of ground to cover -- and a number change like this is statistical noise. I should point out that my issue with noise isn't the absolute numbers; it's the somewhat inadequate measurements tools for this.
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Firefox Share Slipped in July for the First Time

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  • by Thanatopsis ( 29786 ) <despain.brianNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday August 15, 2005 @10:55AM (#13321267) Homepage
    It looks to me as though Firefox's natural marketshare has stabilized. It's just not a large as we hoped.
    • by ugmoe ( 776194 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @11:02AM (#13321351)
      Why should I care what browser other people are using?
      • by yfkar ( 866011 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @11:05AM (#13321382)
        You shouldn't.
        Unless you're a web designer. In that case you'd want them to use anything but IE.
        • No, a web designer wants to design his website to hit the majority of his audience. A web designer may not care what Internet program people use,(even if he prefers one over the other), he just wants to know how he can affect the majority of his audiance.

          While *I* prefer FireFox, I realize the majority of my audience is IE. Now I make my websites IE and FireFox compatible, but if I had to choose it would be IE. If FireFox wants to become my dominate choice - then it better be the dominate OS. This i
          • No, a web designer wants to design his website to hit the majority of his audience. A web designer may not care what Internet program people use,(even if he prefers one over the other), he just wants to know how he can affect the majority of his audiance.

            Actually, a web designer wants to keep his sanity. As someone who just finished a portal website for 2000 users, let me tell you this: The absolutely worst thing about IE is doing a code change, and never having any idea if it'll work or not without clickin
      • by AvitarX ( 172628 ) <`gro.derdnuheniwydnarb' `ta' `em'> on Monday August 15, 2005 @11:16AM (#13321509) Journal
        Because you like designers to use not activex applications.
      • by druske ( 550305 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @11:17AM (#13321522)
        You might care because if most people are using a different browser, web developers may target it specifically and leave you with a less satisfying experience. Standards are great, but in the real world developers often choose to follow the masses rather than standards.

        In short, the browser other people choose does affect you.
      • Copy and pasted from a thing I wrote several months ago, can't be arsed to edit for /. but you'll get the idea.

        Browsers matter for a number of reasons. I'll start off with feature sets, then security, and end with why what browser you use or don't use matters to the future of the net.

        Microsoft has basically decided that they won the browser wars years ago and have since then pretty much paid no attention at all to adding real features to IE. Here is a short list of some of the things you are missing if you
        • by sheldon ( 2322 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @02:11PM (#13322976)
          Both Firefox and Mozilla provide popup blockers as part of the browser.

          IE6 has a popup blocker as part of the browser, has for like a year now. So I don't know how old this cut and paste is, but it's seriously misinformed.

          Cookie management. Proper management of cookies is critical critical to maintiang your privacy and security online. With IE it is *very* hard to do.

          Really? It's in the View Objects list. Sort by cookie.

          I'm not sure what you're trying to do, but this seems more of a case of inexperience than a feature. Mozilla's is a little bit easier to find, but it also provides less information and doesn't appear to let me easily view the contents of the cookie.

          There are so many security holes and ways for crackers to use IE to exploit your system and steal your data that I'm not going to take the time or place to list them here.

          And of course there are none for Mozilla, because it's really super secure and you don't need to worry about patching or anything.


          Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why Microsoft has spent so much time and money on a product that they give away?

          Yep. Because they also sell a lot of server and development tools which make use of the internet. As such, they develop the browser to promote new technologies made available to developers...

          But out of curiousity. Have you ever stopped to wonder why Mozilla has spent so much time and money on a product that they give away for free?

          Is it to fight Microsoft, or is it to introduce new technology which makes the user and developer experience better? Frankly, I think it's the latter... Netscape tried the Former and failed.

          What browser you use doesn't matter. Just like it doesn't matter what car you drive, or what golf club you want to use.
    • by Bullfish ( 858648 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @11:22AM (#13321561)
      This is a bit like wailing over a one game losing streak. If the trend continues for six to eight months,then maybe there might be a cause for concern. In the meantime, it's interesting, but not a trend.
    • pfffft (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rbochan ( 827946 )
      No, it looks to me like slashdot is once again getting it's "news" about OSS projects from a ^&#$^&%#^& zdnet blog.

  • by TripMaster Monkey ( 862126 ) * on Monday August 15, 2005 @10:55AM (#13321268)

    Could recent security problems and lack of stability, reported by some users, lead to the decline of the browser that just passed 80 million downloads?"

    Actually, the decline is probably because everyone who wants it has it by now. ^_^
    • by Evro ( 18923 ) <evandhoffman.gmail@com> on Monday August 15, 2005 @11:01AM (#13321344) Homepage Journal
      That would account for a decline in the rate of downloads, but not a decline in use. Maybe millions of web developers testing IE7 is lowering Firefox's share, or maybe people tried Firefox, didn't like it, and went back to whatever they'd been using.
      • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @11:42AM (#13321718) Homepage Journal
        The first time your average users hit a site that doesn't work with Browser X (be it Mozilla, Firefox, Safari, Amaya or whatever), they will try the first other browser available, which is likely to be IE. And then they'll never look back until they encounter pages that won't work in IE.

        It's unfortunate, and arguably isn't the best thing the users can do, but as long as there's enough sites out there that require IE, users will switch to IE, even from "better" browsers.

        • You're probably right and it is unfortunate.

          This may have been proposed before, but what if there was a standard way to deal with non standards compliant websites?
          What if there was a simple feedback form as part of firefox? These would send error reports to a database at mozilla or somewhere. The reports can be gone over and a standard polite email can be sent to the webmaster informing them of the problems with their websites.

          There would be quite a bit work involved I imagine. Who collects webmaster ema
        • as long as there's enough sites out there that require IE, users will switch to IE, even from "better" browsers.

          How many sites ARE there that require IE and/or fail miserably in Firefox, though? I keep seeing people cite this as a major factor in IE's retention of so much browser market share, and yet outside of a few shameful intranet pages at work, I don't think I've encountered an IE-only page in the wild since I made the switch to Mozilla Phoenix, over two years ago.

          Has anyone compiled a list of public
      • I like firefox, but I don't like the browser, I like the plugins.
    • The question then is, why aren't more and more people wanting it?
  • by darylb ( 10898 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @10:55AM (#13321271)
    Could be that it's the time of year for lots of people to buy new computers (back to school, lots of deals to be had), none of which SHIP with Firefox. And it may just take a bit of IE use to remind them why they need to get to mozilla.org after all.
    • by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Monday August 15, 2005 @10:58AM (#13321314)
      40,000 sites - 0.64% drop/gain. The results are neglible and worthless.

      When it goes down/up 8+% over 100k sites then there's cause for news.
    • Too bad someone doesn't pick this up. Imagine the PC ads, "Now with the latest Firefox [echo, echo, echo] Internet explorer!" "Surf the web at incredible speeds, with Firefox [echo, echo, echo]"
    • And it may just take a bit of IE use to remind them why they need to get to mozilla.org after all.


      None of the target market here have tried Firefox. Are we honestly going after people who are frustrated with IE (but need to be reminded of it by using it), aware of Firefox, but just forgot to get it?

      Are you saying "More people using IE is good because they'll get frustrated with it and turn to Firefox?"

      That's awfully silly.
    • by swb ( 14022 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @11:15AM (#13321497)
      I think new PCs is a major reason. There are a lot of people (in fact a client I just worked at) who had Mozilla/Firefox on their old PCs but when they got new ones wanted to use IE.

      They switched to Moz/FF because their old PCs were encrusted with spyware and IE became unusable. The "fix" for this problem by many is to buy a new PC (can't argue if consultant-paid OS install plus apps equals the cost of a new box).

      The new PC has IE, IE works because there's no spyware, voila, FF "loses" marketshare.
    • by diegocgteleline.es ( 653730 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @11:40AM (#13321706)
      Why all this fud about "if it comes installed, everyone will use it"? Why is that everyone uses winzip and winamp, then?

      Netscape didn't lost the browser war because of not being installed by default. It helped, but that was not the main reason: Ars Technica sits down with Scott Collins from Mozilla.org [arstechnica.com]:

      "Ars: You mention mistakes made by Microsoft. What do you feel are mistakes that Mozilla has made in the past?"

      One: There was a fundamental mistake made by Netscape management, twice, which cost us a release at the most inopportune time. I think we can attribute a great deal of our market share loss to this mistake that was pretty much based completely on lies from one executive, who has since left the company (and left very rich) and who was an impediment to everything that we did. He was an awful person, and it is completely on him that we missed a release. We had a "Netscape 5" that was within weeks of being ready to go, and this person said that we needed to ship something based on Gecko within 6 months instead. Every single engineer in the company told management "No, it will be two years at least before we ship something based on Gecko." Management agreed with the engineers in order to get 5.0 out.a

      Three months later they came back and said "We've changed our mind, this other executive has convinced us, except now instead of six months, you need to do it in three months." Well, you can't put 50 pounds of [crap] in a ten pound bag, it took two years. And we didn't get out a 5.0, and that cost of us everything, it was the biggest mistake ever, and I put it all on the feet of this one individual, whom I will not name.
      • by thesp ( 307649 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @01:32PM (#13322608)
        Everyone doesn't use winzip and winamp. Most people here in the University with shiny new laptops do use the default software loadout. On the rare occasion they need a zip - mostly anything they need is a self-extracting installer or uncompressed - they use XP native zip folders. For media, they DO use Media Player or itunes if they own an iPod or are into playlist sharing. The only major winamp users are the mp3 early adopeters (read old-timers), and even many of these were pushed off the Winamp platform due to the problems with Winamp3.

        People see the computer as a tool, and don't often distinguish the software from the operating system. No other consumer device, and few other professional devices, maintain this distinction. Hence, the New P.C. factor very definitely is a factor, and this is why MS is keen to push Media Center and the like, and not keen on supporting older hardware because it derives New P.C. sales. Most people won't migrate old applications, only old data. The exception is migration of old devices, because poeple WILL install software bundled with their digital camera or scanner or whatnot, becuase they feel they need it to make it work. And even sometimes not this, because XP has quite a bit of native support for consumer peripherals. Hence, I now see people who used to use Canon's photo management software ZoomBrowser copying their Photo Albums folder into My Photos, and using XP's thumbnails, slideshows, print wizard and the like to manage their images.

        The distinction between hardware, O.S. and application is not strong at the consumer level, and hence we DO see upgrade-displacement (which is why bundle agreements are attractive for software providers and I.S.P.s).

        Ever since the user could action files directly with the mouse, rather than invoking a piece of software by mouse or C.L.I., the boundaries have blurred to the degree that the file is the data, and everything else is the single, albeit complex, tool that manipulates it.
    • by digitalgiblet ( 530309 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @11:49AM (#13321787) Homepage Journal
      Geeze, guys I'm really sorry. It was me. I bought a new computer with XP (long-time critic, first time user) and actually liked the way IE rendered text. I SWEAR I'm planning to go back to using Firefox ANY DAY NOW. The numbers should be back up then...
    • by 0xABADC0DA ( 867955 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @12:11PM (#13321935)
      If you look that the traffic for mozilla.org [alexa.com] you see a slight downward trend during summer and a massive spike just recently in august, coinciding with the kids going back to school.

      So basically the kids using firefox at school stopped for the summer because some of them were using their parents computers that had IE. Now that the kids have gone back to school the ones that weren't using firefox are downloading it in huge numbers (probably mostly to be cool). Next set of statistics will probably show a 2% rise for firefox, imho due to this.
  • OMG M$ LOL (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aznxk3vi17 ( 465030 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @10:55AM (#13321274)
    One must remember that IE has just added tabbed browsing, among other "features." The average Joe, who is not hugely concerned with security, probably downloaded Firefox for the tabs and MAYBE extensions. With a browser that will come equipped with tabs, a significant number of people will lose their interest in a browser like Firefox.
    • Re:OMG M$ LOL (Score:4, Insightful)

      by bedroll ( 806612 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @10:59AM (#13321324) Journal
      The average joe that you mention doesn't know how to get the beta of IE7. Longhorn doesn't ship for quite some time, too early to attribute it to a slip in FireFox usage.
      • to reply to my own post..

        This got me thinking about IE7 and it's possibilities to sway the stats. Perhaps that margin of usage is people testing IE7 for compatibility and bugs. If early adopters and web developers are using IE7 then that would take away from FireFox's user base. It was the "average joe" part of the grandparent's post that threw me from this initially.

        With that said, the description of the statistics is too vague to know if this is true. IE7 could even be at 1% during this month which wo

    • Re:OMG M$ LOL (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Sierpinski ( 266120 )
      Don't be surprised when Microsoft applies for a patent on 'Tabbed Browsing'. I would bet that its at least been discussed at some point somewhere at some large round conference table.
  • Pseudopod (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Stanistani ( 808333 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @10:55AM (#13321277) Homepage Journal
    A few of the folks I set up with Firefox have gone back to IE because their default browser settings changed with a Windows Update, and they were not interested enough to change them back.

    Then the spyware came back...
    • The biggest offender in this case is MSN Messenger. That messenger thing ALWAYS use IE as browser, no matter what system defaults you have. Ej: If someone sends you a link and you click it, it will be IE who opens it even if you configured your system to use Firefox.

      And this will prompt the user: "Do you want to make IE your default browser?"

      When I install firefox in someone's machine, the first thing I do is setting it as the default browser, then running IE to get that window prompt to me, and press
  • How? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by wlan0 ( 871397 )
    I'm sure one can measure ~8% roughly, but how can you know if a browser loses .60%?
    • They must be running at that good old 99.5% confidence interval...

            What, you expected statistics on slashdot to actually MEAN something? It's just numbers, man, chill. This site is about politics, not truth. So what do YOU think about this latest outrage?
    • Re:How? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Golias ( 176380 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @11:09AM (#13321433)
      I question these numbers in general.

      Apple has something like a 2% to 4% share of the sales market (depending on who you ask) and something like a 5% to 8% share of active personal computers in use (depending on who you ask).

      Given that nearly all current Apple systems are running OS X, and well over half of them are running Safari, how do they arrive at "Less than 0%" of users for all browsers other than IE and Firefox?

      Even using the most anti-Apple zealotry numbers available, Safari use has gotta be at least 1%.

      I also think Firefox use has got to be a bit higher than the 8% claimed here. Sure, IE is "what's there" on a new Windows installation, but I've yet to meet anybody who actually prefers IE. Sure, I could see some people jumping ship to it when the new version ships (if it even comes close to delivering current promises), but the current state of IE is that it is inferior in almost every way that matters to Firefox.
      • Re:How? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by telecsan ( 170227 )
        but the current state of IE is that it is inferior in almost every way that matters to Firefox.

        Except one. Compliance with existing base of websites. I ran into problems with enough websites that were coded badly as to not like Firefox that I just plain switched back. When it was between one browser and 2, I chose a single browser. Put IE together with safe browsing habits, and some skill with Alt-Tab, and it is sufficient for my (admittedly non-taxing) browsing requirements.

        I've grown out of the phase
  • by scsirob ( 246572 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @10:56AM (#13321281)
    Most likely users are trying the IE7 beta to find out what's new.
  • Distribution Model (Score:4, Insightful)

    by truckaxle ( 883149 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @10:57AM (#13321288) Homepage
    As long as the distribute of IE comes on virtually all new machines IE will remain around 90%. People will not go thru the trouble to downloading a different component of software for what is now a commoditity.
  • I tried (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thc69 ( 98798 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @10:57AM (#13321294) Homepage Journal
    Don't blame me. I recently got a die-hard IE/OE user to switch to FF/TB. He was tired of paying me my standard rates to come and clean spyware...
  • I have started going back to IE, to my surprise because firefox regularly locks up and has to be restarted, and also starts eating the pagefile like it's going out of style.

    I assumed it was just my machine, but then saw the same behavior on two other machines.
    • It must be something odd with all those machines or some particular site you are going to has some issue w/Firefox. I rarely have trouble with Firefox locking up on both Windows XP/2K and Linux on a number of different machines. When I do, its usually something funky with an extension I installed, or something like flash or media player causing the issue.
  • Share fluctuation (Score:3, Informative)

    by Winterblink ( 575267 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @10:58AM (#13321313) Homepage
    You can't gain all the time. Market share is a concept that is more akin to a rollercoaster than a straight upward or downward sloping line.
  • by Yahweh Doesn't Exist ( 906833 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @10:59AM (#13321321)
    I don't know because the numbers you give are meaningless.

    This is why you should always give error bars for values obtained in a supposedly scientific way, then it would be obvious if it's noise or not.

    You also shouldn't give values to inappropriate levels of precision. if you're going to say share went down by 0.64% and not give an error bar, then it's reasonable to assume your error was +/- 0.005%, in which case it is NOT statistical noise.

    (I know I'm asking a lot for /. to be accurate with scientific analysis when it can't even get the basics of the English language right.)
  • 8% of PC users know what they are doing.

  • Hemos has it right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Otter ( 3800 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @11:00AM (#13321330) Journal
    This is statistical noise, pure and simple. There is no story here.
    • Its statistical noise when it goes down by 0.64%, but its a great achievement when it goes up by a similiar amount.

    • Hemos has it right
      There is no story here.

      Then why exactly did Hemos post the alleged non-story in the first place?
    • This is statistical noise, pure and simple. There is no story here.

      Who says this is statistical noise? Where is the analysis? Considering that the slip in market share of Firefox (.64% according to the article) is larger than the share of Mozilla suite (0.52%) and Opera (0.49%) it seems significant to me.

      It may well be in the noise, but from the minimal amount of data in the article it doesn't look like it to. I need more proof than Hemos' off the cuff editorializing.
    • by swillden ( 191260 ) * <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Monday August 15, 2005 @11:41AM (#13321711) Homepage Journal

      This is statistical noise, pure and simple. There is no story here.

      I don't know about that. To really know if it's noise or not, you would have to understand the details of the sampling process, but even without that, it's noteworthy simply because it isn't an *increase*. Firefox has been increasing every month by an amount of roughly the same magnitude, which means that if Firefox usage is continuing to grow as it has been, and if this is merely a measurement error, then it's a really large measurement error (or else many measurements in the past have been very wrong -- I'm assuming that the measurements in July and in previous months were made the same way, BTW).

      IMO, this is a pretty solid indicator that last month Firefox growth at least stagnated, and probably actually did decline. There may be reasons for it that don't reflect badly on Firefox, but it is news.

  • I would like to use Firefox as much and as often as is possible, but I find more and more multimedia pages are written exclusively for Internet Explorer. Certainly MSNBC is an example, but there are others. More surprising is the fact that WebCT, used to administer 'distance learning' programs doesn't support Firefox. When I'm taking a timed test, the last thing I want to deal with is a browser incompatibility. So, for me, my use of IE has gone up recently... but not because I want it to.
  • by zoomba ( 227393 ) <mfc131&gmail,com> on Monday August 15, 2005 @11:05AM (#13321390) Homepage
    I have to admit, it's an amusing bit of misrepresentation the community uses when citing download figures for Firefox as if they really truely mean something. One user may account for dozens of downloads alone if they have multiple PCs, or upgrade versions, or if they reinstall their OS and have to reget their apps. Then there's the user who gets Firefox but for whatever reason goes back to IE. I'm tired of the download number being heralded as some great victory when it means very little in terms of real market penetration.

    Should we start counting every copy of windows sold or bundled with a PC as a "new IE user"? I bought a cheap dell recently to use as a quick and dirty Linux box. It came with WinXP Home and IE, but I don't use it. But by the reasoning usually given for Firefox, because I have it, I should be counted as a user, as a part of the marketshare.

    Please stop using download counts to prove your argument that Firefox is toppling IE. It's not yet... While it's doing better than any competitor since Netscape, it's not the killing blow to IE just yet.
  • Missing the point. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Iriel ( 810009 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @11:06AM (#13321398) Homepage
    I think a lot of analysis over this loss of market share forgets where a good amount of internet browsers (the people part) are.

    Security and stability? B'ah! Honestly, nearly any issue that Firefox could run into seems rather paltry compared to what domintes the market share of web browsers (IE). What issues that do arise are usually fixed in relatively short order as well. If nothing else, Mozilla developers move at light speed when compared to Microsoft in the browser world.

    I really honestly don't want to sound like a Troll, but I think bringing up topics like security and stability bugs to explain a loss of market share seems like a way out of pointing out the obvious: The majority of internet users are too lazy to install something when there's an alternative that's 'good enough' already.

    Heck, I think it's pretty antiquated that most of the laymen internet users still use the term 'surf' when describing actions performed on the internet ;)
  • by domipheus ( 751857 ) * on Monday August 15, 2005 @11:06AM (#13321404)
    There were a few major win2k updates last month, and as Windows update is IE only, surely most will have had to get it from there. may account for a *tiny* amount of deviation. But hell, there is deviation in every statistic. We will jsut have to wait till next month - if it was a blip, hey, it may shoot up to 10% for August ;)
  • by wild_berry ( 448019 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @11:07AM (#13321407) Journal
    http://arstechnica.com/journals/microsoft.ars/2005 /8/13/957 [arstechnica.com], which points to the statistics from http://www.infoworld.com/article/05/08/12/HNfirefo xloses_1.html [infoworld.com]
    Their view was that sampling errors were not discussed, and this affects the reliability of the numbers.

    I must admit it's all my fault: I've been viewing Flash pages in IE because I haven't installed a Flash player to MoFo's Deer Park Alpha 2.
  • by mrRay720 ( 874710 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @11:07AM (#13321409)
    Now I'm no Firefox fanboi (I use it but don't evangelise it, and also still use IE), but didn't they consider the possibility that the change is instead in the readership of their monitored websites?
    Of course, that would bring doubt into their business model so of course not - "the figures show it so it MUST be true."

    Anyway, I think it's more than Firefox users have a better memory - so have less reason to revisit pages. :-D
  • I've got Windows XP SP2 with IE and the MSN toolbar here and I have pop-up blocking and tabs.

    Yes, neither are particulary fantastic, but good enough to make it difficult to persuade people to move from something they already know.

    We've discussed malware to dead and whilst it's a threat, the people I know don't go to sites which would try and do this sort of thing to. Which naturally means that they also have no need for the many (fantastic) extensions out there.

    With IE now and the release of version 7

    • SP2 IE failed to deliver for me. I have popups blocking set to max level, and I get more popups than before SP2. I've tried every setting possible, but they won't go away.

      There's also the IE wonder-fun of, when I turn off crap like java and flash, displaying endless "helpful" dialogs (and they are *MODAL* dialogs) that the page I'm viewing needs that piffle turned on, and it won't give me the "never bother me with this useless bullshit again, you evil pile of pig excrement OS" checkbox.

  • This Isn't a Blip (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    As I included in the version of this I submitted, this isn't the only study reporting a downturn.

    http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.a sp [w3schools.com]

    That study shows not only a one-month loss, but a 3-month downtrend for the first time ever. For the first time going all the way back to 2002 even. And the actual Mozilla browser is showing the same downtrend as well.

    It may be backlash for the security promises Firefox couldn't meet. It may be that its shinyness has worn off. It may be people are just sic
  • Firefox seems snappy at forst, but it seems to get slower as time goes on. It even takes an increasingly long time just to start when running it for the first time after a reboot. Uninstalling and reinstalling fixes this, but then it just gets slow again.

    Which sort of makes it the ultimate WIndows application, I guess.

    I still won't go back to IE, though. With IE these days I have to force quit hung browser windows on every fifth site.

  • by stinky wizzleteats ( 552063 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @11:13AM (#13321470) Homepage Journal
    I get a fair amount of traffic on my personal web site (4gigs monthly traffic, 27,000 hits/month). As with all things, data I directly personally measure trumps any media report. It seems the more direct information I have about anything reported in the media, the more aware I am of what they get wrong, distort, or just plain lie about. While last month was certainly statistically interesting for my site, it was for another reason. For the first time ever, IE was NOT the most popular web browser used to reach my site. Firefox came in at 45%, and IE scored 43%. Firefox has been steadily gaining each month, with the gains being more and more dramatic as each month goes by.

    Is my personal web traffic representative of the Internet as a whole? Certainly not. Does it rebut the cited article? No. Is it the only information in which I have any confidence at all? Yes. My advice to you? Look at your own web logs and react accordingly, in so much as it matters to do so.
  • by Cyphertube ( 62291 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @11:19AM (#13321535) Homepage Journal

    A small percentage shift for the visitors, etc. doesn't really mean much. No one really explains how these visitor numbers are calculated.

    I know how it is at my mom's house. First off, during the school year, she's the primary user, but in the summer, there are kids visiting sites all day. So their usage and number of sites visited goes up, likely resulting in more hits on those sites tracked.

    Second, my mom uses Firefox all year round, but she dumps the kids into AOL's browser, which, in her version, is really IE with AOL surfing blocking. So, yeah, there's more IE stuff.

    Third, a bunch of people are buying computers for their kids over the summer and graduation and going to college presents (or required items). And gee, I bet those machines have IE preinstalled. Ding! Increase in numbers again.

    Lastly, since I bet that those sites are using cookies to track users, a number of people who use spybot and/or ad-aware will be wiping out those cookies and getting counted multiple times. During the year, my mom runs it once every two weeks, but in the summer, with all the crap those kids try to download, she runs it about every two or three days, meaning that she's wiping the cookie 10 times a month.

    Multiply that to many, many households, and you start to wonder how much the IE figure could actually be inflated.

    It's not that there can't be a drop in Firefox and a rise in IE. But without stats, reports, real academic information with methodology, well, it means diddly.

  • by CyricZ ( 887944 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @11:43AM (#13321732)
    While this doesn't necessary concern the widespread adoption of Firefox, I would like to comment on embedding Gecko. For the past week or so I have been attempting to embed Gecko into a proprietary C++ graphical user interface toolkit. So far I have found it quite difficult.

    The existing documentation is either extremely out of date (ie. 2002 or earlier), or partially complete. Some of the documentation contains old names for various XPCOM interfaces. While the various embedding examples are a start, they are very poorly commented and as such are quite useless.

    Now, I realize that Gecko is a very complex piece of software, but in order for it to become widely accepted there needs to be many pieces of software which use it. But as of this time it is quite difficult for a developer to quickly embed Gecko within an existing application. That may very well be because there is a complete lack of documentation describing how to do so.

    The path to more users is more products. The path to more products is easier development. And easier development is often due to accessible, correct and descriptive documentation. So please, if there is someone reading this who has the knowledge, write us developers a decent guide on embedding Gecko.

  • I can see why (Score:3, Informative)

    by cahiha ( 873942 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @12:20PM (#13321988)
    I should say that I use Firefox on Linux, Macintosh, and Windows and, despite its problems, it's my preferred browser, mostly because of the plug-ins and because it works the same on all platforms.

    But I have to say, while it's better than the other browsers, it's not that good of a browser either. It's still far more bloated and slow than a browser should be. I find its GUI toolkit doesn't integrate well with the desktop and its redraw logic sucks, in particular under X11. I have a hard time finding my way through its mess of configuration files, many of them in inconsistent formats. And occasionally it crashes, and I have lost my bookmarks a few times.

    Overall, I still recommend switching to Firefox, despite its problems. But I certainly can see why IE or Safari users wouldn't want to bother switching, in particular if they aren't aware of all the great plugins. And unless the Firefox team improves their quality, I think Firefox will increasingly face serious problems.
  • standards (Score:3, Insightful)

    by astrashe ( 7452 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @12:32PM (#13322073) Journal
    To me, the issue isn't whether more or fewer people use firefox. The issue is whether or not all of the big browsers follow standards.

    As long as that's the case, I can run my browser on linux, and I'll have access to the web.

    I think that people tend to downplay the value that open source products have as disciplining forces for prorprietary companies.

    Firefox is forcing IE to improve on features and security, and by all accounts the next version is going to be much better on standards. That's the victory.

  • Misleading (Score:5, Informative)

    by dtfinch ( 661405 ) * on Monday August 15, 2005 @12:36PM (#13322093) Journal
    This [johnhaller.com] says that Gecko browsers overall have been growing in popularity every month. In fact, all major browser engines, including IE6, have been gaining share at the expense of IE5.
  • by kilodelta ( 843627 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @12:38PM (#13322110) Homepage
    I have both IE and Firefox on my machine. Why? Because I can't access certain sites that are very MS specific with Firefox.

    That being said, 95% of the time I use Firefox.

    I'd like to see IE go away but it just isn't going to happen anytime soon. But remember, IE was once a marginal and buggy browser too.

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson