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Firefox Now Serious Threat to IE in Europe 384

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the our-logs-show-nobody-using-ie-anyway dept.
Tookis writes "Mozilla's Firefox web browser has made dramatic gains on Microsoft's Internet Explorer throughout Europe in the past year with a marked upturn in FF use compared to IE over the past four months, according to French web monitoring service XiTiMonitor. A study of nearly 96,000 websites carried out during the week of July 2 to July 8 found that FF had 27.8% market share across Eastern and Western Europe, IE had 66.5%, with other browsers including Safari and Opera making up the remaining 5.7%. In some key European markets FF has already reached parity and is threatening to overtake IE as the market leading browser."
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Firefox Now Serious Threat to IE in Europe

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  • Browser usage (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 15, 2007 @09:12AM (#19866417)
    CmdrTaco reports from the our-logs-show-nobody-using-ie-anyway dept. but this has got me interested: what are the percentages of usage of browsers for accessing Slashdot?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by jimbug (1119529)
      oh, you know it's links!
    • Re:Browser usage (Score:4, Interesting)

      by A beautiful mind (821714) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @09:27AM (#19866497)
      Mod parent up, please share some details!
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Crayon Kid (700279)
        How relevant would the Slashdot figure would be, anyway? Of course a bunch of geeks worth their salt wouldn't use IE unless somehow forced (work computer, office policy and such).
    • Re:Browser usage (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @09:37AM (#19866581) Journal
      Mod parent up, but can we also have a breakdown on weekday Vs weekend figures. During the week, a lot of people are accessing Slashdot from work, where they are not allowed to install non-IE browsers. At the weekend (hopefully) the percentage of Slashdot users at work will be lower. Just don't forget about time zones...
  • Great (Score:5, Funny)

    by niceone (992278) * on Sunday July 15, 2007 @09:21AM (#19866455) Journal
    Now I'm going to have to find something more obscure to avoid the attentions of the malware makres... what was the name of that other one... Icemeasles?
  • IE 7 (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 15, 2007 @09:24AM (#19866471)
    Once you've seen IE 7, you too will want to switch to any other browser.
    • Re:IE 7 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by quintesse (654840) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @10:35AM (#19867033)
      You might be modded funny, but it's TRUE! I don't know what MS was thinking but IE7 is butt-ugly! It's turning in one of those christmas tree decoration interfaces like those media player skins. Out the window with consistent design etc, let's make it actually more difficult to use our products, maybe then the people will understand the added value of windows! No, really , I have NO idea why they're doing it, it just seems illogical.
  • Wish for US (Score:5, Insightful)

    by markdavis (642305) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @09:28AM (#19866503)
    Well, I wish that were the case in the US. There are still *FAR* too many sites that have IE-only components. So, although the vast majority (90%+) of sites we use (at work) work for us (we use only FireFox), there are still a few important sites that cause a nightmare for us. Since we use Linux only, running IE is not an option. (And yes, I know about emulators and IES4Linux, which are nice, but don't work everywhere, don't work well for thin clients, and/or are difficult to maintain).

    What is more irritating is that those few IE-only sites are about 95% working with Firefox. There are usually only a few parts of the site that don't work (but that is all it takes). With minimal correction/effort, those sites would work on any platform. But even after repeated begging (on one, for YEARS), a few such sites have still had no interest in "fixing" things. I do wish there was a version of Firefox/Mozilla that had an IE-compatibility mode... "FireIE Fox" or something, for use in such cases.

    Fortunately, another few broken sites finally "saw the light", probably due to complaints from people like us, and fixed things.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      IE Tab [mozilla.org]
    • Re:Wish for US (Score:5, Interesting)

      by janrinok (846318) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @09:48AM (#19866641)

      I was reading a few weeks ago that, in Europe, the impetus to change web sites that only supported IE was significantly increased by showing how large a market share they were missing out by tying their site to proprietary software 'standards'. I am trying to find the professional journal in which I read the article and, when I find it, I will try to find if there is an electronic link that I can post here for others to read. The usage of Firefox, Opera et al in Europe is much higher than in the States and so our businesses have much more to lose but the principle is the same wherever you are, particularly in these days of globalisation.

      There is no need for a IE-Compatibility mode in Firefox/Mozilla, simply get MSIE to use the accepted standards and the problem is solved.

      • According to some large site's owners/administrators (in the top25 traffic-wise in the country) that I was talking to, they're actively supporting web browsers that pass 5% marketshare in their logs. I guess it is just sound business sense.
    • My rate of failure these days is less than one percent. It's very rare to find a site that I NEED that is IE only.

      I do wish there was a version of Firefox/Mozilla that had an IE-compatibility mode... "FireIE Fox" or something, for use in such cases. Fortunately, another few broken sites finally "saw the light", probably due to complaints from people like us, and fixed things.

      It's better to complain and get the issue fixed than it is to waste time on the endless task of chasing M$'s tail. The great t

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by markdavis (642305)
        >It's better to complain and get the issue fixed than it is to waste time on the endless task of chasing M$'s tail. Well, I agree with that, which is why I *do* complain, and give lots of info and why. I also tell my staff the same thing, and also my LUG. But if they don't fix it, it is still me that suffers. This is a case where I can't choose to just "use another vendor", unfortunately.
  • Methodology (Score:3, Informative)

    by echucker (570962) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @09:31AM (#19866529) Homepage
    While the article doesn't mention how, a previous study [xitimonitor.com] on XiTiMonitor's site shows that they're using share of visits by each browser type to the sites in question.
    • by arivanov (12034)
      Are the sites representative of the overall web demographic?

      If you are trying to sell wine for 25+ quid a bottle over the web you very soon realise that Safari and Firefox on Mac is actually 40+ of your audience followed closely by Firefox on other platforms. IE simply does not show up on the radar.

      If you are trying to serve pornography for the soul like Daily Mail or Sun IE is 99% of your readership and is not going to change any time soon.
  • by thona (556334) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @09:43AM (#19866609) Homepage
    From the largest site i have access to - a medical online shop, in fact: last 30 days: IE: 78,26% of visitors Firefos: 16,33% of visitors Gets funnier if you look at the revenue: IE: 85,9% of revenue Firefox: 9,46% of revenue. I can not really see "great advances". Firefox is a respectable and solid nr 2, but that basically is it.
  • by abhi_beckert (785219) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @09:44AM (#19866623)
    This is not at all what we're seeing with a UK based employment site with ~40,000 hits per month. What we see is 55% IE 6, 25% IE 7, 12% FireFox, 4% safari, and all other browsers below 1% (every browser from opera to lynx (!!)).
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dvice_null (981029)
      It is no wonder if you see low statistics in UK. That is because it is one of the worst countries in Firefox market share:

      Slovenia 47.9%
      Finland 45.4%
      Slovakia 40.4%

      6 nations 35-40% ( Ireland jumped here (55% more users since last monitoring 4 months ago) and now has 38.6% share )
      6 nations 30-35%
      0 nations 25-30%
      8 nations 20-25%
      8 nations 15-20% ( UK is here with 18.7% )

      http://www.xitimonitor.com/fr-fr/barometre-des-nav igateurs/firefox-juillet-2007/index-1-1-3-102.html [xitimonitor.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by SiChemist (575005) *
      If you had read the article (and ignore the typo where they put IE instead of FF), they say:

      "Although clear market share gains for FF were reported in every single European territory, countries where [FF] still has not reached 20% market share include Britain, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Norway and Denmark."

      So, your results DO match up with theirs.
  • IE7 WGA? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by physicsnick (1031656) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @09:45AM (#19866633)
    I wonder if this has anything to do with Microsoft refusing IE7 upgrades to non-genuine Windows installations. Everyone I know who has a pirated copy of Windows (mostly self-made boxes) uses Firefox, while nearly everyone I know who has a genuine copy of Windows (mostly laptops) uses IE7.

    I'm not sure why they refuse it to non-genuine users anyway. I can understand security patches, but this? No one is going to go out and buy Windows just to use IE7.

    It seems everything Microsoft does to curb piracy these days hurts its monopoly.
    • It's my understanding that there is a version of pirated XP floating around out there with a standalone, runs-from-a-folder copy of IE7 slipstreamed in. I know I've seen references to it on Digg or OSNews or somewhere like that.
  • Popularity Contests (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gerrysteele (927030) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @09:56AM (#19866677)
    FOSS should not be obsessed with the popularity contest of userbase size. It will only come back to haunt you in the end. Like the man said, "The majority are always wrong"
    • Did I mean the "majority are always wrong"? I think i did.
    • Apache has largest market share on web server market. Are they haunted?

      You have to understand the difference between propriety software and FOSS software. It is much easier to fix problems in FOSS software than it is for propriety software. That is because with FOSS, I can just fix a problem if I like to. With propriety software, I need permission from the management and a very good money-related reason to do so.

      And even if Firefox would fail badly after gaining remarkable market share. At that point world'
      • ok.. i appreciate the mini lecture on the benefits of FLOSS and such, but i'm fairly involved in several communities and run 1, soon to be 2, projects. My point is, the obsessive public giving a crap about meaningless percentages is not helpfull to a project. Apache never did that, they just got on with the job. I also happen to be a big big fan of the Konqueror browser. I think the KHML engine does a really good job. I am formerly an Opera user.. however they have managed to do something terrible with th
    • by roca (43122) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @07:16PM (#19871367) Homepage
      Browser market share matters. As long as IE had all the market share, Web developers tended to ignore Web standards and build sites that only worked in IE --- it's a simple economic decision on their part. Wherever Firefox has major market share, they can't do that anymore. They are forced to build sites that at least work in Firefox too. That has the nice side effect that those sites are now usable by Linux and Mac users, and they're also much more likely to work in other browsers. Everybody wins --- except Microsoft.

      This is why it's not enough for us to just believe in freedom and build free software. We have to make sure it succeeds in the market, or we'll lose the ability to communicate with the non-free world and ultimately our free software will be useless.
  • by janrinok (846318) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @09:57AM (#19866689)
    There are many Firefox users who select MSIE as their User Agent string in order to get sites to even allow them access, banks being one particular group that springs to mind, but I am sure that there are others. I cannot imagine that any MSIE users would need to select Firefox as the User Agent. In which case the figures will be conservative for Firefox usage and optimistic for MSIE usage. What we don't know, or at least I don't know, is how much this skews the figures.
    • by 6Yankee (597075)
      Can you change the User-Agent in IE?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Crayon Kid (700279)
      Please give it a rest. If this old argument carried some water when used with Opera, it's silly to use it with Firefox. Common sense dictates that there's far too little to gain by simply changing the UA string, and even so there are far too few people knowledgeable enough to attempt it to make a sizable difference.
      • by janrinok (846318) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @10:22AM (#19866905)
        Well changing the UA string with my UK bank's website makes the difference between 'Your browser is not supported' to a fully functioning web page which obviously doesn'trequire anything in IE to make it work. Mock all you want, I have to do this all the time - and I have just checked again to make sure that I am correct.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by glwtta (532858)
      Seriously? Still on this?

      It might have been conceivable that a noticeable proportion of Firefox users did this when the market share was %0.005 or thereabouts, but do you seriously think anyone from the "general public" does this?

      And what are these impenetrable banking sites that people keep harping on? I haven't seen one that doesn't work with Firefox (at least in the last 3 years or so).
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by SharpFang (651121)
        bph.pl

        It "theoretically" supports Firefox, but you need to jump through hoops to get it running (e.g. extract a filename from source of the page, download it to hard drive, save it in a directory somewhere in Firefox plugins). Otherwise you can log in, you can view your account, but you just can't sign (and in effect finalize) any transaction.
  • ...and pretty much most of US office workers. The Internet Explorer is corporate choice. Although I have local admin account, the "remove firefox" script runs daily. There's not much workaround it, most of corporate intranets do not work with anything but Internet Explorer - mostly because authentication issues.

    So this should be taken into consideration, IE share at home might be lower than statistics show.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by gratemyl (1074573) *
      Just as a tip - try PortableFirefox (http://portableapps.com/ [portableapps.com]), it should bypass the "remove firefox" script.
      • FORCED? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by huckamania (533052)
        Or maybe you should open up a dialogue with the IT staff about why FF can't even be loaded. Going around company policy would not be my first choice. At my company, FF is the only way to use the intranet, go figure. However, I don't think there are any restrictions for others. I am a developer so I get to load anything I want.

        Personally, I don't see how anyone is forced to do anything, however the original poster could be in China, North Korea, Russia, South Eastern Europe, the Middle East, South Ame
    • by Dan Ost (415913)
      Talk to the people who make and enforce the corporate desktop standard. Show them why you prefer Firefox and, if support is their issue, explain how you won't be burdening their support infrastructure with Firefox issues since you're perfectly capable of supporting Firefox yourself (even if that's not true, the internet community is more than capable of supporting you if you make the effort).

      If you can do it without coming across as an asshole, it's possible they'll give you some consideration. Best case is
  • the worst that would happen to MS is that they would be better protected against future antitrust cases. Web sites built using ASP.NET 2.0 work as well on Firefox as they do on IE, so it wouldn't impact the server side.
    • by Dan Ost (415913)
      That's fine with me. As long as my client and their server can play nicely, I don't care what their server is.

      If they don't tell me what to use, I won't tell them what to use.
  • by walter_f (889353) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @10:26AM (#19866961)
    ...like Opera and Safari.

    That makes Steve Jobs' recent presentation using a diagram with just I.E. (ca. 75%) and Safari (supposedly ca. 25%) shares shown for some time in the future an even more ridiculous event... :-)
  • and found that IE gets 67%, FF gets 22% Opera is at 4.4% and everything else is less than 0-5% (probably our geeky staff using obscure browsers!) So I am guessing that the last time I actually looked at those stats, FF was a lot lower.
  • by dbolger (161340) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @10:50AM (#19867175) Homepage
    Where I work, one of the systems has us completely locked in to using Netscape 4.0. I can't see any reason for it in terms of what the system does, but it refuses to even give you access with any other browser. Netscape is installed on every PC so they can access this system, and because management hope to "eventually" get rid of the system entirely, they refuse to update it to work on any other browser.

    So, when you are cracking up because of idiot webmasters locking you in to using IE7 to view their sites, just know you don't have the absolute worst of it :)
  • I'd like to know... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Cleeq (1066590)
    What the % of IE developers use FF.
  • by Toreo asesino (951231) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @11:46AM (#19867737) Journal
    Can I just first I'm a huge FireFox fan, and am indeed writing this very message from it.

    That said, IE is the only browser where you can easily configure it enterprise wide, extremely easily. Want to lock down specific websites to text & images only for thousands of machines remotely? It's as easy as doing it in "Internet Options" in Windows. Want to switch off JavaScript internet-wide for specific departments/offices in your enterprise? Same again - just set the group policy option.

    Basically, ALL of the IE options are over-ridable at a Group Policy level, built into every AD system since Windows 2000 Server. IE is the only browser that makes this possible. That, folks is quite often why IE is the corporate browser of choice - it's the only one that can be centrally managed like that.
  • It's FX, not FF! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tutsumi (1128403) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @01:01PM (#19868409)
    Bloody hell, it's people like you who spread a false abbreviation. FX is Firefox. FF is Final Fantasy. Check the spreadfirefox website for FX. They ask people to stop calling them FF. DO IT.
    • FX is an abbreviation for effects... or fed ex...or an instrumental song from Black Sabbath's 1972 album Black Sabbath, Vol. 4

      FireFox F...F..

      See how that works?

      I dare you to find a 2 letter abbreviation that is unused. :)
  • Funny... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Torodung (31985) on Monday July 16, 2007 @12:49AM (#19873311) Journal
    This article is featured in the "Internet Explorer" category, and has a big blue IE logo next to it.

    It's an odd way to celebrate Firefox and Mozilla's success.

    --
    Toro

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk

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