I remember the good old days when I used Internet Explorer 6 and it seemed everyone else was using Firefox 2.0. Of course that wasn’t the case as Firefox only had about 15% market share, but users were very vocal about telling you what the best browser was. If I were to write a discouraging word about Firefox, I would get roasted crispy brown like a Thanksgiving turkey.
The funny thing is that because Firefox played so much better with WordPress, I started using Firefox more and more. Over time I tended to stay with Firefox for other tasks as well. Today it’s my most used browser, probably getting about 70% of my time.
Now as I surf the web in my Shiny New Firefox 3.5 ride, I find plenty of people bashing and complaining about memory leaks, frequent crashes,and slow loading pages. Some express that things are not as good as they once were. Has the steady rise of Firefox made Chrome the new underdog?
It seems that the old question, What have you done for me lately, is being applied to Firefox. Slow steady growth and the recent celebration of 1 billion downloads qualifies Firefox as having a substantial following. Is it losing some of it’s “cult” status? It is the well established second choice in browsers and it seems more is expected of it. No longer the underdog, Firefox fans seem a little more critical these days.
Don’t we love to throw figures around? We’re all quick to shout about market share. Pitstop, Bill P, ArsTech, PC World, everyone has market share figures. But the problem with these figures is that while the figures are correct, we must be careful when describing what they reflect. If PC Pitstop figures reveal that 30% of the systems running the OverDrive Scan have Firefox installed, that does not necessarily mean they are using Firefox as their daily browser. Trying to ascribe market share from those figures is nothing more than a guess. It means only that at some point, for some reason, someone installed Firefox on that computer. They may not even know it’s there.
In addition to guarding against faulty extrapolation, it’s important to note the source of the figures. What sort of people use the site? Is the site, or in our case, scan, designed for systems using Internet Explorer? Are the users teenagers listening to music, 50 year old men with a mechanical background? Who is the site appealing to?
The recent rush to cloud computing has set all interested parties scrambling to establish themselves in the browser market. The idea of systems run by browsers instead of operating systems is inspiring strong efforts by all concerned. It’s a mad dash to claim as much market share as possible, but who really knows what that is. As we’ve seen, that depends on who you ask. It’s my opinion that the phrase “My best guess”, should be included with each article offering figures on Browser Market Share.
Search after search produces a gigantic number of people giving their break down of market share, but in every case there is more involved than meets the eye. Take a look at some of the links below and you’ll see why I think everyone’s figures are no more than a Best Guess.
The company putting the data together for this graph is NetApplications. You’ll find them quoted by quite a few sites suggesting figures for market share. The figures look reasonable, but do you know this company? I don’t. They may well be 100% accurate but you couldn’t prove it by me. Do they have an agenda? Of course, but heck if I know what it is.
I could go on and on and include official looking graphs but that’s exactly opposite of the point here. Do your own search. Try to remain as unbiased as you can. Consider where you’re coming from as compared to the rest of the world and tell me what your best guess is for Market Share For Today’s Browsers. Your best guess is as valid as any others out there.
Internet Explorer All Versions = 76%
FireFox All Versions 17%
Google Chrome 1.5%
All others 1.5%
Please be gentle, I’m out of touch and drive a Caravan.