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After 100M IE7 Downloads, Firefox Still Gaining 425

Posted by kdawson
from the denting-the-monopoly dept.
Kelson writes "Internet Explorer 7 hit the 100 million download mark last week. Yet in the three months it's been available, Firefox's market share has continued to grow. InformationWeek reports that nearly all of IE7's growth has been upgrades from IE6. People don't seem to be switching back to IE in significant numbers, prompting analysts to wonder: has Microsoft finally met its match?"
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After 100M IE7 Downloads, Firefox Still Gaining

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  • If you're like me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gelfling (6534) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @08:30AM (#17644428) Homepage Journal
    You upgrade IE6 with the assumption that MS will require it for one thing or another. We don't actually use it but we install it just in case.
    • Re:If you're like me (Score:5, Informative)

      by omeg (907329) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @08:34AM (#17644448)
      True. Or you just want to check to see for yourself whether it really fixes some of those nasty CSS problems. There are plenty of reasons for installing IE7, but none of them imply that you will also be actually using it. Site statistics will have to assess whether IE7 is really being used a lot, not the amount of downloads.
      • For me.... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Corporate Troll (537873) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @09:03AM (#17644678) Homepage Journal

        It's been there in the "Software Update" for weeks. Or better said, I always log in as "Restricted User" (as does my wife) and I then don't get notifications about that particular "Software Update". It's only when I have to login as "Administrator" that I get the notification. Logging in as "Administrator" doesn't happen often, and when I do, it's usually to fix something and I don't have time nor motivation to launch the IE7 update.

        So my machines all still have IE6, but nobody uses it... They all use Firefox. The rest of the family all have their machines setup to be used in "Restricted User" configuration and that way IE7 doesn't install. Why, I do not know, because other updates do install. So people doing the "right thing" (running non-admin) don't get it automatically. Funny, isn't it?

        • Re:For me.... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Tatarize (682683) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @10:22AM (#17645672) Homepage
          Ditto. I think that I am one of those "downloads", but when they are roughly automatic and I don't care at all about installing it, should you really get to count raw download? If so, am I making a mistake by downloading Firefox once and using that single little install to spread it around the network at home? If raw numbers count, my house systems have about 4 "copies" of IE7 and 1 copy of Firefox, even though nobody in the house uses IE.
      • by Calinous (985536)
        Hmmm, I wonder if one would need to force IE7 to present itself as IE6, so it will work on some sites "optimized" for IE6.
        After all these years of Netscape Navigator, Opera, Firefox, Mozilla masquerading as IE6.
              Ohhh, the irony...
    • Bad Metrics (Score:4, Insightful)

      by blowdart (31458) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @08:38AM (#17644484) Homepage
      Or, if you're any type of web designer you use both to check your sites work. Simply quoting download numbers is a completly bogus way of proving popularity. You'd think something like InformationWeek would know better than to report this pointless bit dick waving.
      • Indeed I do (Score:3, Informative)

        by rpjs (126615)
        Use IE on the sites I develop, but that usage is only hitting the internal dev server, and won't appear in any site stats. I certainly don't use IE for going anywhere else, unless the site breaks in Firefox, and even then I use IETab.
      • by Big Nothing (229456) <big.nothing@bigger.com> on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @10:08AM (#17645424)
        And since 92% of the population in the western hemsiphere are now "web designers", that would actually account for all downloads made so far.

    • by Moraelin (679338) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @09:05AM (#17644698) Journal
      Let's consider the following facts:

      - IE7's requirements say it will only run on XP or Windows Server 2003. Hence you'd expect that (most) people who downloaded IE7 are indeed on XP or Win 2003 machines.

      - all XP and Windows Server 2003 computers came with IE6

      I'm sure you can fill in the blanks there, because it's a simple case of "X => Y, Y => Z". If X="you upgraded to IE7", Y="you're on XP or Win 2003", Z="you had IE6". Did anyone really need a statistic or study to tell them that, surprisingly, unexpectedly, those who upgraded to IE7 had IE6 on their machine before?

      Pretty much the only mildly interesting word in there is: "most". Did some people actually go through the trouble of making IE7 install on a system that doesn't run it? E.g., on Win 2000? I can only hope there weren't too many.

      So basically this is such a useless revelation, that I can only hope that it was some attempt at manipulation. Because the depressing to think that someone was genuinely stupid enough to think they're onto some brilliant discovery and market trend.

      So the one-word wisdom there is: duh.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @09:43AM (#17645040)
        Did some people actually go through the trouble of making IE7 install on a system that doesn't run it? E.g., on Win 2000? I can only hope there weren't too many.

        I did - on Linux. It's extraordinarily handy for quickly testing sites I am developing without having to dig out Windows. In fact, I'm running 4 versions of IE (5.0 to 7), Iceweasel, Opera and Konqueror all on one desktop.

        Simple instructions for anyone interested are here [tatanka.com.br].

      • by Shaper_pmp (825142) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @09:45AM (#17645078)
        Errrrm, not quite.

        The article shows that, yes, people who use IE6 are now upgrading to IE7. However, it also shows that the Firefox adoption trend hasn't wavered.

        In other words, people are switching from IE6 to IE7, but not from Firefox to IE7.

        The story isn't that people are upgrading from IE6 to IE7 - as you point out, that's pretty much a given.

        The story is that people aren't "upgrading" from Firefox 2 to IE7.

        In other words, MS's attempt at a Firefox-killer is provably failing miserably in its aim, and Firefox continues to go from strength to strength.
    • by Dobeln (853794)
      Correct - I just upgraded after being prompted by Windows update. I mean, why not do it - it's better.
    • by Calinous (985536)
      Or you install it, and find out that for some reason or another, it won't work with one of your sites (Sharepoint Portal, configuration site for Virtual Server, just to put two examples from Microsoft).
            Also, take into account that IE7 is automatic update (from Automatic updates in Windows XP)
    • Strategic advantage (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Idbar (1034346)
      I think the strategic advantages of IE6 over Firefox were lost when switching to IE7 and there is no return.

      To me, these advantages where:
      1. Program loading time: IE6 used to open quicker than firefox and also some pages. Not anymore
      2. IE6 used to show pages differently to what firefox did, I think that was changed. Or people is really interested in writing the code for Firefox (or compatible) and It has been a while since a page was incorrectly displayed or told me so.
  • 100M IE7 downloads (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ReallyEvilCanine (991886) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @08:32AM (#17644438) Homepage
    Based on my experience with corporate networks and home machines, about 85% of those were pushed via Automatic Updates. I expect a maximum of about 20% of those downloads to be intentional or wanted.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by gx5000 (863863)
      It was a high priority update that bollucked more than a handful of my home clients...
      I remove it before I do anything else (search for spywares, update AV and so on...)
      As far as work is concerned, I work for the Canadian gov, and we're still using WIN2000/IE6 Corp with no near plans to upgrade to either IE7 or Vista. I wouldn't mind XP on the workstations, but Vista/IE7 if definitely not in the cards...I figure sometime soon we'll need it for functionality, but hopefully that will be a long time in coming.
  • A fair test? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mattpointblank (936343) <mattpointblankNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @08:34AM (#17644444) Homepage
    Is it fair to compare these stats? Most IE users don't choose to upgrade, it's simply foisted on them by Windows' Auto Update. When I returned home this Christmas both my mum and sister asked me to "fix the internet" because IE7 had been installed and its new layout confused them. They certainly didn't choose in the way that someone chooses to download and install Firefox does, so the victory is even more in FF's favour.

    Please note that this isn't a Firefox fanboy post (despite my love for it), merely pointing out the facts.
    • by thebdj (768618)
      This is true. I had this same problem while I was home X-Mas. I just installed FireFox. Of course, I am hoping to transition my mom to Linux, so the best way to do this is for me to get her on Open Source apps now (like FF, OOo, and Gaim), so the transition will be a lot smoother when the time comes to rid her machine of XP.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by blowdart (31458)
      Actually WU downloads an installer which then says "There's an update available to Internet Explorer. Do you wish to install it?" It's not a silent, in the background install like you seem to suggest, the user must choose to let it update. Of course users do blindly click yes...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Kjella (173770)
        Well, if you ask me if there's an upgrade, it could be a feature patch, security fix and whatnot. "Major upgrade with significant UI changeS" should probably be flagged a little more like what it is?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by J0nne (924579)
          It *is* flagged as a little more. When you update to IE7, you have to run through a complete wizard, complete with genuine advantage check (IIRC).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jettawu (1030820)
      Until a different OS has market dominance, I highly doubt any browser other than IE will gain market dominance.
    • by commodoresloat (172735) * on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @09:48AM (#17645110)
      both my mum and sister asked me to "fix the internet"
      Well, did you? A lot of other people would appreciate it too you know!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by filet0fish (1002137)
      I had a similar experience. My Dad started complaining about how he didn't like "the new google." I asked what he meant since google hasn't changed anything other than their logo on holidays. He explained that since you "click the little blue 'e'" and it says google, then that is google. I then explained that he should be clicking the orange firefox. I haven't heard any complaints since.

      But that made me start thinking about how many people out there are going around saying "I hate the new msn interf
  • by pla (258480) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @08:35AM (#17644458) Journal
    Internet Explorer 7 hit the 100 million download mark last week.

    Gee, perhaps that has something to do with Microsoft marking it a high-priority update, so everyone with automatic updates turned on will unwittingly get it?

    Not much of a claim to success to say that 100 million people, running an OS that has automatic updates turned on by default, have wasted bandwidth on a program they didn't even choose to download.
    • Indeed. I would be more interested if they could collect the numbers on people like myself and the small company I work for. We run about 35 Windows XP boxes. They have all been configured to hide the IE 7 upgrade when running Windows update. We specifically avoided it by turning off auto updates just before we knew it would be released. We then updated manually for a few days on one machine until it appeared. So we went to each workstation, ran WU manually, hid IE 7 and then turned back on auto updates.

      So
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by lukas84 (912874)
        That's a really complicated way to manage this for 35 machines.

        I would suggest you to use WSUS [microsoft.com] to manage your Windows Updates. If that's too much for you, you can also use the IE 7 Blocker Toolkit [microsoft.com].

        Administrating a windows network requires just as much technical competency as does administrating a linux, solaris, mac or whatever network.
        • We had a WSUS server running on an MSDN copy of Windows 2003 Server. It was great. But that's all that server was going to do in the long run and we can't justify the cost of a 2003 License just for that. We are slowly but surely replacing all of our Windows 2000 Servers with Debian GNU/Linux.

          So, yeah updating 35 machines this way once was kind of a PITA but now that auto updates are back on the clients I really don't see the one time scramble we did to avoid IE 7 as such a big deal. I guess you could point
  • Upgrades (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Grey Ninja (739021) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @08:36AM (#17644478) Homepage Journal
    I installed IE7 on my Windows box. I use Firefox exclusively. The only reason that I installed it was because the automatic update manager wanted to, and since IE is a deeply embedded component of Windows, a security update for IE is a security update for Windows. Otherwise, I wouldn't have bothered.

    I switched (mostly) to Linux to get away from IE. But I still installed IE7. So no, I don't consider this news to be surprising in the slightest.
  • by jellomizer (103300) * on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @08:37AM (#17644480)
    So we can assume out of all the windows users out there only 100 million out of all the people who have Windows PCs are actually upgrading their system. Is it just me or is that kida scary.

    So lets assume that 2/3 of the people in the US have windows computers that means half of the people in the US has been updating their windows systems and the the other half and the rest of the world hasn't.

    I know most companies are waiting for a SP release of IE 7 before upgrading. Even though a person uses firefox it really shouldnt exclude them from using getting IE 7 because of the integration between windows and IE can still be a security problem. I am not saing IE 7 is more Secure then firefox or even IE 6 but IE 7 will be updated longer into the future then IE 6 and IE 7 Problems will be fixed faster then IE 6's
    • by cyxxon (773198) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @08:51AM (#17644592) Homepage
      Don't forget that a lot of companies don't just install Windows upgrades because MS releases them. They undergo rigid inhouse testing and then later are deployed from their own update servers, so they would not be counted as donwloads from Microsoft anyway.

      Also, IE7 is (at the moment, fix upcoming in SAPGui release 20 IIRC) incompatible with SAP software, so any admin worth his salt will block this update if the company also uses SAP software (which I bet are quite a lot of desktops). And this problem is AFAIK a blunder by SAP, saying things like "uh, nobody gave us IE7 early enough, how were we supposed to fix our code".
      • by div_2n (525075)
        I'd put the blame on both Microsoft and SAP. Microsoft for making such a shoddy browser with IE6 and SAP for building around it.

        The problem is that even if SAP got the fix in place by now, I'd wager it wouldn't be massively deployed if the admins running it value their job. Testing updates in ERP software is (or should be) mandatory regardless of how minor they may be.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by freeweed (309734)
        Your SAP comment is good.

        The bigger issue, though, is that most businesses still haven't moved off Win2k. No XP/2003, no IE7.
    • So we can assume out of all the windows users out there only 100 million out of all the people who have Windows PCs are actually upgrading their system. Is it just me or is that kida scary.

      Actually, you also have to take into account IE7 requires validation of the license/installation of Windows to be installed and used. So 100mil is a decent figure (counting or not counting people who auto updated). But then you have to figure in the millions of people who can't install IE7 or at least don't due to it n
  • That's poorly worded at best. Firefox has pushed all the innovation in web browsers (unless you count Opera, other FOSS browsers). IE hasn't done anything new in nearly a decade. Open Source is always superior to proprietary (long term), for the simple fact that Open Source gets fixed faster, and by a bigger pool of coding talent.

    Plus, last I checked, Mozilla doesn't have a vendor locked in OS X clone that is the hegemonic dominant force in the industry with which to leverage their sub-par browser.

    The fa
    • I am very dissatisfied with Sunbird. It is a pity the project does not take up although Mozilla has all the cash to broaden its product portfolio. With KDE ported to Windows we will have Amarok for Windows soon. That project will kill iTunes. And if Amarok won't Songbird will.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by thebsdguy (1050952)
      Ofcourse. Tabbed browsing is the innovation the world has been waiting for so long. You claim IE has not done anything new in a decade. Well, what new can be done in a web browser? Oh yes, if your talking about some mindless widgets or something similar which only 14 year olds have time to play around with, then yes, firefox takes the lead. Don't waste your time giving a lecture on the security aspects of both browsers. Firefox had its share of security issues and even though IE might have had more, its no
    • by vhogemann (797994)
      Actualy,

      I think Microsoft should drop IE today. They're just wasting resources... IE makes no money for them, and nowdays every site out there works on almost every browser. If Microsoft wants to dominate the internet, they should focus at the server side, where FOSS is a real menace to them.

      Also, I think Microsoft is loosing money by being this giantic monolith. They should split the company into an OS company (Windows), an Enterprise Solution provider (SQL Server, Office, .NET), a Hardware company (XBox,
      • "I think Microsoft should drop IE today. They're just wasting resources... IE makes no money for them, and nowdays every site out there works on almost every browser."

        I think they should dump IE and bundle Firefox. The only problem is that if they did that, Firefox instantly becomes the number 1 target for malware, and given that Firefox already has constant security updates, I don't have much faith in them handling the resulting attacks as well as MS has (which isn't that well to begin with). Same goes f
      • by Calinous (985536)
        They are keeping some projects alive by pumping into them billions of dollars from the Office/Windows monopoly (XBox division didn't have a profitable quarter from their launch, I think, and Zune seems to have the same goal).
              Also, consider that Microsoft is using its stack of software (if partial) to force the rest of the stack on the consumer (incompatibility with other applications, forced obsolescence)
    • by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @09:32AM (#17644904) Homepage
      Open Source is always superior to proprietary (long term), for the simple fact that Open Source gets fixed faster, and by a bigger pool of coding talent.

      That has to be ignoring half a kazillion markeds where the leading product is a commercial product which is vastly superior to any OSS equivalent (but usually with a price tag to match). If I wanted to point out where OSS has usually succeeded, I would say that OSS thrives in markets that have stagnated and have little or no competition. Linux, Firefox and OpenOffice are all good examples of that. It seems that in these markets OSS products can improve and live where commercial products would fail to sell and die.
    • by Khuffie (818093) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @09:44AM (#17645046) Homepage
      Firefox has pushed all the innovation in web browsers (unless you count Opera, other FOSS browsers).

      Of course! Let's not count Opera because it doesn't match with our precious open source theory! Ignore tabs! Mouse gestures! All these 'innovations' that Firefox pushed! Yay puppies and kittens!

    • by Calinous (985536)
      "That's poorly worded at best. Firefox has pushed all the innovation in web browsers"
            What should I say? Some inovations of Firefox were present in Netscape Navigator 6 and 7. Also, Firefox (ex Firebird) was split from the Mozilla suite.

            You should replace Firefox at least with Mozilla in your argument
      • by crhylove (205956)
        Ok, for the sake of accuracy, you're right. But I'm not a huge fan of all things mozilla, however I AM a huge fan of all things firefox.. :D
  • by LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @08:40AM (#17644500) Homepage
    Now I'm not usually one to get all up in arms about the appearance of a program, but IE7 looks well and truly ugly to my eyes, and for the 5 minutes or so that I bothered buggering around with it I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to move the toolbar icons and the addressbar in any useful way. Contrast that with Firefox, which handles the toolbar UI configuration very well and MS looks immediately to be onto a loser.

    While people might argue about all manner of things like standards support, security, and rendering speed; the initial ugliness and apparent difficulty/impossibility to configure the UI to my liking is probably going to put more people off IE7 within 5 minutes than anything else.

    I presume there is a way to change the UI (hell, even IE6 could do that) and maybe it's actually quite obvious if you take the time to look, but quite frankly why should I when Firefox can do it right off the bat in an intuitive manner? I think that's the way a lot of casual users see it too.
    • I do have Firefox installed on my system -- actually, I'm typing this post in it right now. I like how fast it is compared to IE on some pages. And there are occasionally some sites where it just seems to be having a slow takes-forever-to-load day in IE, so I fire up Firefox and bang, it's right there. But then I also some days find the reverse is true.

      More to the point, though, there are things that, as a casual Firefox user, I just can't be bothered figuring out. Example: about 10% of the time, when I cli
      • EVERY program has to either default or ask the user what to do for every option. If you produce a popup and ask the user how they want to have an option set, they are just going to get confused and annoyed, and select the default (usually by just pressing whatever button appears will get rid of the popup). From what I have noticed, Firefox defaults are pretty intuitive.

        If you don't like the defaults, change the options.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by fader (107759)
        And, by the way, while I'm at it, how about the fact it automatically downloads updates and then forces them to install the next time I open Firefox, without asking me.

        Edit - Preferences - Advanced - Update - Uncheck "Installed Add-ons"

        Why can't I browse and tell Firefox where to put it instead of being arbitrarily forced to put it in the same inappropriate location?

        Edit - Preferences - Main - Select "Always ask me where to save files" under Downloads.

        The reason these things are like that by def
  • by MartyJG (41978) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @08:40AM (#17644502) Homepage
    That's one download because it's a 'critical update', and another download to get a second copy of the installer to actually complete the installation when you realise the first one is broken.

    Seriously, the number of borked IE installations I've seen recently is stupid. Perhaps they should measure satisfied customers instead?

    I've actually increased the number of Firefox users thanks to IE7 - it was the quickest way to get the laptop back on the net to get the newer build of IE7.
  • Seeing as how IE7 is listed as a Critical Update, many home users "downloaded" IE7 as part of their visit to Windows Update or through Automatic Updates. I doubt many home users downloaded the IE7-blocking tool.. Granted they had to click through a wizard to install the downloaded update, but with it being labeled as "Critical", I'd imagine many just clicked through the wizard to get the update installed to be "secure."

    I think it's more like 98M forced downloads of IE7 and 2M deliberately-installed dow
  • by adnonsense (826530) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @08:42AM (#17644512) Homepage Journal

    At least one of those downloads was by my humble self and now graces my humble Ubuntu desktop, thanks to the excellent IEs 4 Linux [tatanka.com.br] package.

    (Disclaimer: I do web dev work and need it for testing purposes. And I feel all dirty and sordid with every time I fire it up).

  • I mean I haven't actually *used* the program to browse for anything, but I downloaded it to check it out, and then swapped immediately back to Firefox.
  • Download != Use (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Morky (577776)
    Just because I downloaded IE7 doesn't mean I use it any more than I have to.
    • Seconded and Thirded.

      I unwittingly nabbed it as part of the autoupdates, but only keep it around for Windows updates and MAYBE Maple Story (which refuses to display on anything else).

      My Dad picked it up, and finally switched TO FireFox because it sucked so badly. As a bonus I also got him to switch to Thunderbird.

      You have no idea what kind of minor miracle those accomplishments are.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @08:48AM (#17644570)
    Article summary: Here's a vague statistic! Does this mean that we've finally slayed the ancient beast, bringing forth an unprecedented era of free software, good will, unshowered nerds, and 'view source' buttons?

    Go team!! Gimme a 0x46! Gimme a 0x49! Gimme a 0x52! Gimme a 0x45! Gimme a cheer[0]! Gimme a 0x4F! Gimme a 0x58! What's that spell? VICTORY! Gooo team! Push the stack, pop the stack, saaaaaame stack!
  • the killer extension (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 192939495969798999 (58312) <info@devinmoo r e . c om> on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @08:53AM (#17644608) Homepage Journal
    The longer that firefox maintains its current user base, the closer the time comes when a killer extension is released by someone (maybe you!). This killer extension would be something that so dramatically improves the browsing experience that pretty much everyone has to get it to be "really on the internet". By the time Microsoft rips off whatever it is, it will be too late. That is the best reason to support firefox, its extensibility means that at any moment, it could become develop a (albeit temporarily) insurmountable competitive advantage.
    • That killer extension is tabbed browsing. Sure, IE has it now, but it is way late in the game (even Safari was earlier, and it explicitly is disallowed by Apple's Human Interface Guidelines). And it was the killer extension that drove many to Firefox and mozilla. I still get "oh, cool!" from people who watch me use it and have never used it before. Sure, there was a commercial emacs that had this feature as far back as 1988 [wikipedia.org], but when tabbed browsing first hit mainstream web browsers it was revolutionar
  • by teslatug (543527) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @08:53AM (#17644610)
    This is not the right time for comparing IE7 effect on Firefox. The time will be when Vista comes out and new PCs come preloaded with Vista and IE7. At that time, people will get rid of the old PCs and we'll see whether they're sufficiently satisfied with IE7 that they won't bother with downloading Firefox. At the same time we'll also see if people used to IE6, when presented with IE7's new interface, might switch to Firefox. Whichever way the pendulum swings, that's when we should watch it.
    • by mobby_6kl (668092)
      That's exactly what I thought, too. I use Opera, but the same applies here. I'm not going to switch back to IE immediately, even if it's better than Opera (snow, hell, etc). It's a matter of bookmarks, settings and customizations which I just wouldn't bother to move to IE unless I had to reinstall everything from scratch.
  • Met its match? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bhmit1 (2270) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @08:55AM (#17644622) Homepage
    "has Microsoft finally met its match?"

    Um, no. There will always be some microsoft tool that requires their browser causing some form of lock-in. Heck, using microsoft's action pack subscription web page to purchase software requires IE. What the numbers mean is that web designers are finally paying attention and making their sites support firefox and a few other standards based browsers or risk loosing a good chunk of their customers. And now that everyone's favorite web pages work in firefox, they can start making a piecemeal migration away from vendor lock-in. However, just because they can use firefox for most things, you can be sure that microsoft will ensure there is lock-in someone and default to their browser giving them a 75% chunk of the market for life. The next chunk of the monopoly to fragment will be office with various online tools and openoffice making advances. But, I expect that will be another 2-4 years before we see anything like firefox's progress.
  • by Timex (11710) *
    How many of those were imposed by the Automatic Update routine?

    I have two WinXP systems (and several non-XP systems). Both of them got IE7 without me deciding to upgrade-- it just happened. (I've GOT to fix that.)

    On the other hand, all of my systems, be they Linux, Mac, or Win*, have FireFox. I've even taught my kids to use FF instead of IE.
    • by BCW2 (168187)
      I suspect over 90% of those were from automatic update. I have yet to meet one person that went out and intentionaly got IE7. I have already removed it off of a dozen or so customer boxes and explained about "notify" on auto update. It's a great way to avoid WGA too.
  • When FireFox's market share is the same as IE's, then yes. At all other times, no.
  • Its still new, give it time. Firefox vs IE6 was a no brainer .. there were major security issues with IE6, non-standards compliant, feature poor (ie no tabs, pop-up blocker, etc..) and these outweighed the issues with Firefox (separate download, no official MSI or group policy settings).

    As IE7 gets more established and issues with IE6 are determined to no longer be an issue, there is less motivation for both home and corporate users to continue to invest time into Firefox (downloading, making MSIs, maintain
  • by giafly (926567) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @09:36AM (#17644946)
    Most IE users don't choose to upgrade, it's simply foisted on them by Windows' Auto Update
    To the 50% of posters who said things like the above. True, but Firefox does the same thing whenever a new version comes out. So what's your point?
    • by bunratty (545641)
      First, Firefox's download counter [spreadfirefox.com] doesn't include upgrades. Second, the fact that IE7's numbers are rising does not mean Firefox's numbers are falling, just that IE6's numbers are falling. Third, it's not like people are eager to get IE7 -- they just get it automatically.
    • by mpcooke3 (306161) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @10:13AM (#17645516) Homepage
      Firefox updates are only pushed to active Firefox users.
      IE7 is pushed to most XP users (that is probably most computer users) regardless of whether they use or ever chose to install Internet Explorer originally.

      So basically, they are *totally* different since windows update uses Microsofts monopoly position in the Operating System market to push new web browser products.
      If McAfee antivirus was deployed in a windows update then the number of McAfee antivirus installs would shoot up regardless of whether Symantec Antivirus has it's own auto-update system or not.

      Matt.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by compro01 (777531)
      firefox 1.5.0.x doesn't force an upgrade to 2.0, which would be comparable to going from IE6 to IE7.

      firefox does push point updates though, as does IE.
  • by S3D (745318) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @09:59AM (#17645278)
    I myself downloaded IE7 because I just missed checkbox in the custom download options while getting security updates. That doesn't mean I'm actually using it.
  • Met its match? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by prisoner-of-enigma (535770) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @10:19AM (#17645610) Homepage
    Now that's a bit of a stretch, don't you think? I use and love Firefox. It's what I'm typing this in right now. But I use both browsers on a daily basis. There are some sites that only look right in IE7 (due to web developers optimizing for IE at the expense of standards), and there are some sites that don't like IE7 yet (and thus work better in IE6 or -- since that isn't available if you have IE7 -- in FF). And then there's sites using ActiveX (such as Microsoft's Outlook Web Access) which only work at full capacity in IE.

    Sure, FF is making inroads. It's my browser of choice (almost exclusively because of extensions, though, and not due to any other groundbreaking feature in FF). But to construe that "abandoning" IE is ridiculous. Both are useful.
  • by CodeShark (17400) <ellsworthpc AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @10:30AM (#17645794) Homepage
    You have to make sure that your intranet application renders properly (in spite of Microsoft's continued non-compliance with many CSS features) on what has always seemed to me to be a buggy, bloated, easy-to-malware infest piece of junk software application masquerading as a browser.

    In fact, one of the studies we are doing internally at my company is looking at the cost of deploying Firefox exclusively inside the firewall. Interestingly enough, the main resistance at this point is that if we don't continue to support IE internally, our web developers won't have the skills to deploy and secure web applications OUTSIDE of the firewall.
  • Active usage stats (Score:3, Informative)

    by suv4x4 (956391) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @12:00PM (#17647184)
    TheCounter gets a very good sample of the Internet userbase, so instead of arguing like retarded kids what "X downloads for IE and Y downloads for Firefox means" we can see what people USE:

    http://www.thecounter.com/stats/2007/January/brows er.php [thecounter.com]

    19% for IE7, 11% for Firefox. End of story.

    "But IE is preinstalled, but Automatic Updates, but, but."

    Yea, we know. And? Firefox doesn't need skewed stats, nor it needs lame excuses. All of you, grow up :P
  • Switched back to IE (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dave562 (969951) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @04:31PM (#17651696) Journal
    Disclaimer: This tale is completely anecdotal so please refrain from your impulses to respond with how that's not how it works on your computer. Also try to refrain from calling me a moron or anything like that.

    I've been using Firefox 2.0 since beta and before IE7 came out. Like a diligent /. reader I've been keeping up on the arguments from both sides. The one that stuck out in my mind was that Firefox has a pretty bad memory leak. At the time I read it, I didn't pay much attention to it because I never noticed any slowdown or stability problems when using Firefox. That was until a few weeks ago.

    I started playing WoW a while ago and have recently been using Thotbott. I will have WoW open in one window (Full screen) and Thotbott running in Firefox in the background. After a while, WoW started chunking big time. I eventually figured out that if I closed Firefox, the chunk went away. On my system (P4 3.0ghz, 1GB RAM, XP SP2), IE7 doesn't cause WoW to chunk. I can leave Thotbott open in the background all day long.

    Although I do use Firefox for most my browsing, it isn't the IE killer that it often gets made out to be.

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