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Mozilla The Internet

Firefox's Market Share Hits 28% in Europe 254

Mitchell's Boy Toy writes "Firefox's market share has hit 28.0% in Europe as of December 2007, according to a French web metrics firm. That's a 20.7% increase from the beginning of 2007. 'Finland currently has the highest Firefox market share in Europe with 45.4 percent, followed by Slovenia with 44.6 percent and Poland with 42.4 percent.' IE share fell to just 66.1% in December, a 0.9 point loss in just a month. It should also be noted that Firefox's success could spell trouble for Opera's antitrust complaint: 'Firefox's continued success in Europe may undermine some of the arguments made by Norwegian browser maker Opera in an antitrust complaint filed against Microsoft in December of last year. Opera accused Microsoft of abusing its dominant position in the web browser market by tying Internet Explorer to Windows.'"
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Firefox's Market Share Hits 28% in Europe

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  • by yagu ( 721525 ) * <yayagu@noSPAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @05:23PM (#22238908) Journal

    The summary suggests that Firefox's success could come at Opera's expense:

    'Firefox's continued success in Europe may undermine some of the arguments made by Norwegian browser maker Opera in an antitrust complaint filed against Microsoft in December of last year. Opera accused Microsoft of abusing its dominant position in the web browser market by tying Internet Explorer to Windows.

    Isn't the issue with Microsoft more correctly framed that Microsoft is using its monopoly and dominance of its OS to stifle competition in other markets, in this case, specifically browsers? I believe that if Firefox is actually close to 30% market share, Microsoft's position in browsers wouldn't (or would barely) meet the threshold for monopoly. It's their position in their OS. Opera's case shouldn't be at risk.

    • Yep,I agree. I don't know how that was missed, but I'm with you Yagu.

      Even if Firefox had a 100% market share, the issue is the bundling of the browser, not the market share. All the other things that result from IE bundling are just results to that.

      Where in contrast linux usually comes with a few browsers so people can pick what they want. MS is screwed because even if they included FF in addition to IE, you still can neither get rid of IE completely and also it would add more bloat to the size of windows i
    • by bunratty ( 545641 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @05:32PM (#22239036)
      Opera's saying that it can't compete because users won't download browsers when they already have IE installed along with Windows, which has more than 90% of the desktop OS market share. But wait! 30% of users download Firefox, what's up with that? I guess users will go out of their way to download other browsers, after all. That undermines Opera's case. Oops!
      • by yagu ( 721525 ) * <yayagu@noSPAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @05:43PM (#22239182) Journal

        The key here is they can't compete... not that they can't get some business. Yes, people may have shown they go out of their way to download a different browser, but if the market is still severely skewed (IMO it is) because of a monopoly abuse, there is a case for a remedy.

        • If you look back at the history of web browsers, one browser has usually had a majority of the usage share. First it was Mosaic, then Netscape, then Internet Explorer. I would agree that IE is the most popular browser currently because of the bundling with Windows, and that the over 90% of IE usage in the early 2000s was skewed from the normal browser usage pattern. But one browser having 80% usage share is normal and has happened before. For example, Netscape had 80% usage share around 1995-1996 [wikipedia.org] without be
        • Who is microsoft abusing exactly ? What this shows is that some do a very good browser and some go whining in courts. We have patent-trolls, I suggest to call Opera an anti-trust-troll.
          • Who is microsoft abusing exactly ?

            Its customers.

            Between 2001 and 2007, IE6 was virtually the only game in town. Viruses targeting it cost companies fortunes.

            In a competitive environment, there would have been a continuous improvement of products as companies leapfrogged each other with new and better features. In the monopoly environment though, with IE6 bundled, Mozilla had to produce a browser that was an order of magnitude better than IE to gain even a small market share.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mqduck ( 232646 )

          Yes, people may have shown they go out of their way to download a different browser, but if the market is still severely skewed (IMO it is) because of a monopoly abuse, there is a case for a remedy.
          I don't really know anything about Opera's case, but isn't the more important monopoly to point out, that they have a monopoly on Windows? (werent they supposed to break up?! :-P)
      • I guess users will go out of their way to download other browsers, after all. That undermines Opera's case. Oops!

        Not really, since lots of sites still require IE. Also, the UA switching thing for IE8 shows that Microsoft continues to undermine open standards, which was part of Opera's complaint. How silly of Microsoft to do that even after the complaint was made public.
      • by Bogtha ( 906264 )

        I guess users will go out of their way to download other browsers, after all. That undermines Opera's case.

        No it doesn't. Just because it's obvious that Microsoft hasn't totally eradicated all competition, it doesn't mean that the market hasn't been harmed or that Opera hasn't had an undue burden placed upon it via illegal practices.

        To draw an analogy, this is like arguing that the fact somebody can still walk means that they haven't been assaulted. Just because you can show that the harm hasn't

        • Go back and read what I said. I never said the harm doesn't exist at all. There is some harm to the browser market due to IE being bundled with Windows. However, alternative browsers can not only compete, they can thrive. For example, Firefox.
          • by Bogtha ( 906264 )

            There is some harm to the browser market due to IE being bundled with Windows.

            That is the basis of Opera's claim. If you can accept that is true in spite of this article, then you cannot believe the article undermines Opera's case. They are mutually exclusive opinions.

            • In my dictionary, it says that undermine means weaken. Therefore, what I am saying is that Opera does have a case, but it is weakened by Firefox having 30% share in Europe. I am not saying that fact has completely obliterated Opera's case, just weakened it.
      • Opera and Netscape used to be paid for products, but MS's monopolistic dominance in the OS field allowed them to give the browser away for free.

        Microsofties will go all wobbly on their knees reminding us that IE was better than Netscape, but when your knees are wobbling you are most likely to miss the point: MS killed the incentive to produce a browser, the only way to "compete" was to give the browser away for free, the cost of producing such software was swallowed by MS, making it impossible for anybody e
    • If firefox continues to increase it's 'market share' then Microsoft can simply say that clearly users can download alternatives, because it's now proven they do, and thus Microsoft's inclusion of IE is not causing a monopoly in the browser world.
      • by hkmwbz ( 531650 )
        That they can download alternatives doesn't mean that you can use them everywhere. Lots of sites still require IE.
    • But if FF numbers are raising and those numbers are accurate, than it follows MS isn't (or can't) leverage its OS monopoly. In other words, Opera's complaint falls apart, because an OS monopoly is proving not to be effective to leverage another market.
      • by hkmwbz ( 531650 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @05:58PM (#22239356) Journal
        Actually, MS does and can leverage its OS monopoly. It has done so for many years, to the detriment of other browsers. To this day, many sites still require IE. Opera's complaint does not fall apart since it can be shown that Microsoft has indeed been involved in anti-competitive practices, and the recent IE8 standards switch just proves this point.
      • by Misch ( 158807 )
        But if FF numbers are raising and those numbers are accurate, than it follows MS isn't (or can't) leverage its OS monopoly

        No, it was Microsoft's interference in business contracts that prevented OEM computer manufacturers from bundling alternate web browsers on computers that had Windows installed.

        The fact that I can download and install Firefox isn't the issue. The issue is that Microsoft illegally used its monopoly in the operating system market to interfere with the web browser market.
      • Firefox and Mozilla Seamonkey are both outside the original market (which was web browsers that were created as a profit center).

        Just because free software which comes from outside the market exists and is starting to penetrate doesn't imply that the market isn't being dominated. MSIE is effectively destroying any attempts to create and SELL a competing web browser. Even Opera is free now. It didn't used to be.
    • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @05:46PM (#22239204) Homepage
      What would Firefox's share be if IE WASN'T bundled.

      Microsft's bundling definitely killed off the competition. That the competition has come back is proof of how shoddy IE really is, and that it should have been completely unable to compete with Netscape in a fair market.
  • by geoffspear ( 692508 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @05:28PM (#22238970) Homepage
    Firefox accounts for 28% of all web browsers being purchased? How can I get into the business of selling people a product they can get from free?
  • Thats still a majority. Implying otherwise is silly.
  • And, they need to stop discriminating against Linux-based or other Open Source-based browsers as regards "initial sign-on".

    So, I say HOORAY to Europeans and others who are helping put a SERING and serious dent into ms' ie on that side of the pond. I am quite irritated that AT&T and others code for the unfairly dominant browser and not for one that follows W3C standards. I can't help but imagine that deliberately programming the Java to permit Konqueror, Flock, Firefox, et al can only be trivial.

    My tidbi
  • Opera (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hilather ( 1079603 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @05:35PM (#22239078)
    Personally I think Operas anti-trust suit is a little ridiculous. Even though Microsoft may sell Windows with IE, how does Opera expect its consumers to download and install Opera without a web browser? Sure you could have someone put it on a disk for you, but its somewhat of a chicken and the egg problem, you need to start with something, and it might as well be a product Microsoft can include in its OS without having to go to a third party. I would be pretty upset if after installing Windows I couldn't browse the net.
    • Re:Opera (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @05:48PM (#22239224) Journal

      Even though Microsoft may sell Windows with IE, how does Opera expect its consumers to download and install Opera without a web browser?
      By being OEMs. Every computer needs to come with a web browser, I'll agree, but if IE were not part of Windows then how many OEMs would bundle it? I'd imagine most would ship some cobranded version of Opera or Firefox and add it to their marketing ('comes with full-featured, secure, web browser with 90% more buzzwords than our leading competitor!').
      • On the other hand, how many OEMs bundle OpenOffice? To me, that is a no-brainer... but it doesn't happen... arguments for or against OpenOffice aside, it is far better than nothing and would do an adequate job for most users.

        If they aren't bundling openoffice, why would they bundle firefox vs. IE?
        • Because people are willing to pay money for Microsoft Office. If they bundle a free OpenOffice, they lose MS Office sales. Therefore they don't.

          That issue doesn't exist with browsers, because it's not something the OEMs make money selling, so they wouldn't lose any profits by bundling Firefox or Opera, since web browsers are free.
      • So yell at Dell, IBM, etc. These people could easily bundle Opera and Firefox.

        Microsoft can't and shouldn't in my opinion. If they bundle it they are somehow indicating that they should support it.

        So now if I'm IBM or Dell should I bundle Firefox and then support it myself. Lets think, I can just bundle Internet Explorer and Ms will support it or at least help me support it.

        IBM and Dell could easily remove all the shortcuts. I imagine if you renamed iexplorer.exe things would probably break.

        Firefox offers f
    • by hkmwbz ( 531650 )

      how does Opera expect its consumers to download and install Opera without a web browser?
      To quote myself: Does Debian require a browser to use its package manager? Or Ubuntu?
    • by Bogtha ( 906264 )

      how does Opera expect its consumers to download and install Opera without a web browser?

      Quite apart from the OEM example already provided, just because you think it's necessary to have some easy way of installing other browsers, it doesn't follow that Microsoft should have bundled a full-fledged web browser. There was nothing stopping Microsoft from bundling a bare-bones browser intended only as a last resort. They did that with their FTP and telnet clients.

      You don't need half the features presen

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by edxwelch ( 600979 )
      Maybe you should try actually reading Operas complaint:
      "...First, it requests the Commission to obligate Microsoft to unbundle Internet Explorer from Windows and/or carry alternative browsers pre-installed on the desktop. Second, it asks the European Commission to require Microsoft to follow fundamental and open Web standards accepted by the Web-authoring communities. The complaint calls on Microsoft to adhere to its own public pronouncements to support these standards, instead of stifling them with its not
      • They have exactly 0 chances of getting their first request. It's been tried, the courts laughed. Yeah, it really helps the consumer to remove IE from Windows. That would be just dandy. Christ. As for carrying alternative browsers, that's silly too. You're going to force a company to include another company's product in their own? Just silly. Note that OEMs can in fact add Opera's (or any other) browser they want.

        They have a tiny chance of any traction on second point. Standards are really just yo

    • Let's say that suddenly Coke was restricted from having sugar put into it by the government. What are the alternatives? Well, maybe premixing corn syrup...nutrisweet...or selling packets of sugar separately. Most stores would have enough common sense to include SOMETHING so you don't have to go without. The "how would I get a web browser if I don't have a web browser!?!" argument is moot. I personally would put all three in...as that would be sweet indeed.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AlanS2002 ( 580378 )
      how does Opera expect its consumers to download and install Opera without a web browser?

      Ever heard of FTP?
  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @05:38PM (#22239108) Homepage Journal
    In Imperial measures, that's how many Libraries of Congress?
    • by corychristison ( 951993 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @05:48PM (#22239236)
      That would be: 7/25 :-)
    • Moderation 0
          50% Flamebait
          50% Funny

      What kind of retard could be inflamed by that innocuous joke?
    • Unfortunately, the Libraries of Congress joke is irrelevant to measures in percent. It's proper use is for measures of data, although sometimes other equivalencies are formulated, like cost or volume, just as pound has similar uses for force, mass, or currency. Of course, you could extend that to the LOC and ratios, but you just end up with LOC's/LOC, which is rather silly compared to more obvious metrics like cubits/annual LOC heating energy (a measure of automotive efficiency commonly used in the pointles
      • Actually, the irrelevancy is the entire point.

        But still, what is the dimension of the Library of Congress? It's not just a quantity of books. It's multidimensional. The real joke is reducing the Library of Congress to a quantity of bytes, which is itself inappropriate to a (largely) analog, complex physical object.
  • Finland currently has the highest Firefox market share in Europe with 45.4 percent, followed by Slovenia with 44.6 percent and Poland with 42.4 percent
    ... oh. Nevermind.
  • by SplatMan_DK ( 1035528 ) * on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:26PM (#22239744) Homepage Journal
    I tried to submit this story to Slashdot some 6-7 hours ago, when it was still not mentioned. So I happen to have the link to the original report :-)

    Relaunch of Mozilla Firefox's visit share in the European countries at the end of 2007 [xitimonitor.com]

    For more information about XiTi in general, visit their corp. homepage. [xiti.com]

    :-)

    - Jesper
    • by hkmwbz ( 531650 )
      It's too bad their stats are useless since they exclude several European countries... Looks like their stats are only valid for sites that use their tracking beacons, and they refuse to let us know who that is... Could be that they only do tech sites, which would boost Firefox a lot compared to the real usage.
      • True! I agree completely!

        But I still think posting the actual source/report was relevant for the debate :-)

        - Jesper
  • by Colourspace ( 563895 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @07:04PM (#22240240)
    There are 3.7 Billion Firefox users in Societe General alone!
  • (depending on who you ask) which is actually up quite a bit over historical standards. Total non-ie usage globally seems to be almost a quarter.

    My question is this, why is European adoption so much higher than global adoption? The article doesn't really explain this. Is windows available unbundled in Europe? Does firefox get more press there?

    In the US, colleges tend to use firefox, and a lot of more technically oriented people; however IE is still the default for most institutions and home users.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Ornedan ( 1093745 )
      The very high Finnish share is probably explained by the government IT security office making a public recommendation that people switch away from IE a while ago when there was yet another major exploit for it going around. IIRC, Firefox was explicitly mentioned as a good alternative to migrate to.
  • And Oceania at 31% (Score:2, Interesting)

    by NotZed ( 19455 )
    Has a map of the whole world, not just a small part of it:

    http://www.news.com.au/technology/story/0,25642,23136815-5014239,00.html [news.com.au]
  • Phhht (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Iron Condor ( 964856 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @10:05PM (#22241894)

    Twenty eight percent.

    Firefox is as popular in Europe as GW Bush is in the US.

    And they both think that gives them some kind of mandate...

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