Browser wars and market share

Browser wars and market share

Summary: A few days ago I commented on the browser wars between Internet Explorer and Firefox. These wars are getting more heated as Mozilla and Microsoft are both coming out with newer and more feature full browsers.

TOPICS: Open Source

A few days ago I commented on the browser wars between Internet Explorer and Firefox. These wars are getting more heated as Mozilla and Microsoft are both coming out with newer and more feature full browsers. What I've taken notice is how Firefox has been slowly chipping away at Internet Explorer's market share. Even before the Browser Ballot was introduced in Europe, Firefox has been stealing away market share from Internet Explorer since 2006. Several organizations sample server data to try and get a handle on the exact ratio between the two. It seems that from most data, Firefox is around 25-30% of global market share, and Internet Explorer around 55-62%. Other browsers like Opera, Chrome, and Safari make up the remaining share. What is especially interesting about this is that Windows still has about 92% of this market share in operating systems, as opposed to alternative operating systems like Mac OS X and Linux. This means that a good portion of Windows users are going out of their way to avoid Internet Explorer, and choosing an alternative browser like Firefox, Chrome, Opera, etc.

I've taken samples of web server data myself, and over the past few years this data has been pretty much in line with data from sites like Net Applications NetMarketShare. But recently in February, I noticed a huge jump with Firefox and decrease with Internet Explorer. Our own data shows global current usage of Firefox at 42.54% and Internet Explorer at 42.29%. While this is only a small sample, it is interesting at the trend and shows both browsers head to head. It will be interesting to see where this leads over the next year or so. It definitely shows the same trend, that Internet Explorer is losing share despite Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 9 (which will NOT install on Windows XP). Microsoft has some work to do if they want to continue to dominate the browser wars. I think that competition is good, and finally Microsoft is being forced to innovate and compete more and more. This should hopefully result in higher quality and more feature rich software for all.

Topic: Open Source

Chris Clay

About Chris Clay

After administering Linux and Windows for over 17 years in multiple environments, my focus of this blog is to document my adventures in both operating systems to compare the two against each other. Past and present experiences have shown me that Linux can replace Windows and succeed in a vast variety of environments. Linux has proven itself many times over in the datacentre and is more than capable for the desktop.

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  • Thats good news that firefox is making such gains as it means more people are showing some sense. I'm afraid though that hoping Microsoft will start innovating is a bit too much of a stretch of imagination. They have only ever used others' ideas and tried to restrict development, can't see that changing any time soon. With a bit of luck the people who are using firefox on windows will wise up more and try mac or linux and escape the stranglehold (both with flexibility and financially) put on them by Microsoft
  • People seem to be getting smarter, and starting to do some homework. With IE integrated so tightly into the windows OS, it makes it much easier for a hacker to gain access to your entire system, whereas Firefox is free standing it is much harder to go much farther than the browser. Third part software is still a problem no matter which browser you use, on a windows system. Linux, by making security a priority, is always going to be a better choice, and is getting easier to use everyday. Installation is much faster than windows, and must be getting some attention from Microsoft since they have copied some of the features from Linux.
  • @ator1940, I definitely agree. Linux is such a solid platform that using Firefox and Linux mixed together is a great and highly secure platform. Firefox does have vulnerabilities however I have noticed that often times they are only present on computers running Windows, and that Firefox for Linux does NOT have such many issues. There was a recent story about a bank in Florida that was considering mailing out Live CDs with Ubuntu Linux to its clients, to let them run a secure platform for their online banking needs.
  • @apexwm, I read an article somewhere, and it said it was safer using a Linux live CD for online shopping and banking, as you can't write to the CD, and it can't be hacked. You just can't have auto log-in, or save anything to it, but it is a much more secure way make internet transactions.