As Firefox infiltrates the enterprise, its market share will increase

Summary:As a follow-up to my previous post about Firefox market share increasing, note that the XiTi website has some interesting stats Firefox will continue its upward trend, as Enterprises start using it more and graphics showing that Firefox take-up is much higher in parts of Europe and Oceania than in the US, Asia and other parts of the world. With 20% market share across Europe and just below 20% in Australia and New Zealand, Firefox is really a major player in those markets now.

As a follow-up to my previous post about Firefox market share increasing, note that the XiTi website has some interesting stats Firefox will continue its upward trend, as Enterprises start using it more and graphics showing that Firefox take-up is much higher in parts of Europe and Oceania than in the US, Asia and other parts of the world. With 20% market share across Europe and just below 20% in Australia and New Zealand, Firefox is really a major player in those markets now. Even in North America, the XiTi site puts the Firefox market share at 15.6%. It's the single figure market share in Asia, Africa and South America that causes the global average for Firefox to be just under 13%.

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In a corporate blogging program that I'm involved in, a bunch of us were discussing the reasons why Firefox usage is growing. One person noted that in the XiTi survey of European patterns of use, Firefox is most often used at weekends. He inferred that this means personal and household adoption rates are higher than corporate ones.

This trend for Firefox adoption to be driven by the consumer market is a positive sign IMO, because we're currently seeing a larger trend of 'Web 2.0' consumer apps infiltrating the Enterprise. Just today I was speaking to some Salesforce.com execs and one of them pointed out that its Skype mashup is proving very popular amongst its customers. I can point to many other instances of social Web tools becoming utilized a lot more in enterprises - IM, wikis, Web Office services, indeed the software-as-a-service tools that Salesforce.com runs.

My point is that I think Firefox market share will continue its upward trend, particularly when Enterprises start using it more. As most ZDNet readers know, Microsoft has a dominant hold on a lot of Enterprise software - which extends to the browser. In every company I've ever worked at, IE has always been the default browser. That's because corporations are generally reluctant to use open source software, when there is a Microsoft product that fits the bill. Many IT workers use Firefox at home and probably a lot of them try to get Firefox installed as the default browser at their work too - only to be foiled by their company policies and reticence about open source software.

So I think the 15-20% market share will increase over time in Europe, North America and Oceania - as Enterprise takeup of Firefox increases. It still may never become the default browser across most corporations, particularly if Microsoft successfully rolls out Vista to the Enterprise. But that's a big 'if' - a lot of companies have expressed relative indifference about upgrading to Vista. Either way, I expect the Enterprise to drive more Firefox adoption over the next few years. Also I would hope that Asia, Africa and South America begin to migrate more to Firefox - or at least move it into double figures market share!

See also: Firefox usage continues to increase - IE down again; Gnomedex: Blake Ross on open source marketing of Firefox

Topics: Browser

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