400 Million Firefox downloads bruise Microsoft in Europe but not globally


Mozilla has hit the 400 million downloads mark for the Firefox web browser client since it was officially launched in November 2004, a rise of 56 percent in the last 12 months alone. Of course, updates, reinstalls and trials are all included in download figures which have little real world impact upon the only statistic that really matters: market share based upon usage. Again, Mozilla will tell you, and indeed told me, that it commands a 28 percent market share across Europe according to the latest figures from XiTiMonitor which also reveals that Internet Explorer enjoys a 66.5 percent share in the same region.

Which is a good result for Firefox, no doubt about that, but how does it pan out when you take a more global view? Well according to a recent PC World report, the answer would appear to be not so hot actually. Quoting figures from NetApplications.com it reckons that Firefox is going backwards in the global share stakes, dropping from 8.71 percent to just 8.07 percent while Internet Explorer is regaining lost ground up from 86.56 percent to 87.2 percent.

Let's just look at that again, without the rose tinted spectacles that Mozilla PR would have me wear: despite 400 million downloads in three years, and despite gaining impressive ground in Europe, the real deal is that Firefox has still not managed to be anything more than a bruise on the big toe of Internet Explorer. It is the browser client I use myself, and I love it for all the right reasons, which is why I am kind of kicked back when I learn that the 'alternative' to Internet Explorer still cannot break that magic 10 percent market share barrier.

Even if it did, 10 percent is hardly likely to really worry the Seattle giants, is it?

Compared to the other alternatives, of course, Firefox is truly storming ahead. That same report has Apple Safari in third place on 2.13 percent, in front of AOL Netscpae on 1.5 percent, and the increasingly poorly looking Opera on just 0.49 percent.

I know that we all once said that Netscape could never be toppled from its position as the King of the Web, and we were all very wrong indeed, but it sure looks that way now regarding Microsoft from where I am sitting.

About the Author

A freelance technology journalist for 30 years, I have been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro (one of the best selling computer magazines in the UK) for most of them. As well as currently contributing to Forbes.com, The Times and Sunday Times via Raconteur Special Reports, SC Magazine UK, Digital Health, IT Pro and Infosecurity Magazine, I am also something of a prolific author. My last book, Being Virtual: Who You Really are Online, which was published in 2008 as part of the Science Museum TechKnow Series by John Wiley & Sons. I am also the only three times winner (2006, 2008, 2010) of the BT Information Security Journalist of the Year title, and was humbled to be presented with the ‘Enigma Award’ for a ‘lifetime contribution to information security journalism’ in 2011 despite my life being far from over...

mozpkim 0 Newbie Poster

Davey - do note that you are linking to global market share data from August of 2005.

The updated Net Applications data you want is for August 2007 and is here: http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?qprid=3

The August 2007 Net Applications marketshare estimates put Firefox at about 14.56% globally.

Paul Kim, Mozilla Corporation

peter_budo 2,531 Code tags enforcer Team Colleague Featured Poster

Wow, nice to have input from inside ! ! !
Nice article as always Davey :icon_smile:
I'm happy that Firefox is doing so well as IE is not tool of my choise...

happygeek 2,411 Most Valuable Poster Team Colleague Featured Poster

Paul, mea culpa. I have no idea how I managed to mix up the data for 2005 and 2007. However, even allowing for the 14 percent figure, it is still disappointing all things considered. I say this as a huge Firefox fan, who really cannot understand why the market just refuses to budge in any meaningful way when it comes to jumping ship from IE.

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