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Revisting Firefox retention rates

Apparently a few Mozilla folks have a problem with my characterization of Firefox's retention statistics.The main beef: What was I comparing Firefox's retention stats to?
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

Apparently a few Mozilla folks have a problem with my characterization of Firefox's retention statistics.

The main beef: What was I comparing Firefox's retention stats to? It's a good point. And Adrian Kingsley-Hughes addresses it well. In fact, I approached the issue the same way he did.

Here's what Asa Dotzler, Director of Community Development at Mozilla Corp., had to say:

The Mozilla community is engaged in a discussion around user adoption and retention that’s been picked up by some in the tech media with headlines and articles suggesting that Mozilla’s roughly 25% adoption/retention number is shockingly bad.

I wonder what they’re comparing it to. Do any of you all know of any other software organization that offers software for download and publishes information about the number of downloads they get, the number of people who actually install the software, and the number of people that continue using it for a month or a year?

Do Adrian and Larry at ZDNet have something to compare Mozilla’s stats to? I’m assuming that they do since they feel confident calling Mozilla’s adoption and retention rates “shocking” and “poor”

I'll address the shocking part since it's my characterization. My complete sentence was:

"As a loyal Firefox user that retention rate is just shocking."

Why use "shocking?" It's shocking to me because I'm generally baffled as to why people use IE. Perhaps that has changed with IE 7, but not having tabs on IE made it a no-go for me. Perhaps the average bear doesn't have 10 to 20 sites up at once, but for me tabs were a big deal. And tabs meant Firefox in general. As for IE 7 I've tried it, but haven't stuck with it.  To this day I still have trouble finding things on IE 7 since it's a bit different from the prior version. I'm sure IE 7 is easy to pick up, but I just don't care.

As to the comparison stats: These retention statistics aren't readily available. And frankly there's only one comparison that matters with Firefox and that's IE's retention statistics. Given Firefox's retention rates it's logical to assume most of those folks are with IE. I'll try to get IE retention stats, but it's kind of moot since a Windows user doesn't have to do anything to use IE.

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