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Mozilla The Internet

Firefox 3 Already Rules the Roost 591

Posted by kdawson
from the good-press-will-do-that-for-you dept.
Barence writes in with a data point on Firefox 3 adoption: it's been available for 10 days, and already one site is seeing 55% of its Firefox-using visitors on version 3. "Microsoft still has three out of ten people running an old version of its browser more than 18 months after Internet Explorer 7 launched, while Firefox has converted more than half of its users to the latest version in just over a week. That should set a few alarm bells ringing in Redmond."
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Firefox 3 Already Rules the Roost

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  • by fyrie (604735) on Friday June 27, 2008 @12:15PM (#23968735)

    mozilla.org

    • Why alarm bells? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 27, 2008 @12:21PM (#23968855)
      IE survives on inertia, not quality. If anything, this is exactly what you should expect to see. The people willing to change browsers are the same people who want the latest upgrade with the best support for the latest standards.
    • by Tubal-Cain (1289912) on Friday June 27, 2008 @12:25PM (#23968943) Journal

      Actually, it's www.pcpro.co.uk (TFA's site)

  • by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Friday June 27, 2008 @12:18PM (#23968791)

    Microsoft still has three out of ten people running an old version of its browser more than 18 months after Internet Explorer 7 launched, while Firefox has converted more than half of its users to the latest version in just over a week. That should set a few alarm bells ringing in Redmond.

    Huh? This means absolutely nothing. If you want to give us data that's meaningful, tell us how many converts to IE7 there were in the first week, or wait 1.5 years and see how many people are using FF3 versus old versions. Then we'd have some comparable data. A rapid expansion right off the bat, for example, does not necessarily indicate that the final tally will be in FF's favor.

    Furthermore, a decent chunk of IE users are the "computer = magic black box" type, who use IE because it's what came on the computer. If those people aren't doing Windows Updates (likely enough, imo), they won't get IE7. By contrast, the vast majority of Firefox users use it by choice, not because it was there. Those people are far more likely to manually upgrade.

    This whole "data point" is utterly worthless for determining what's actually going on.

  • by Illbay (700081) on Friday June 27, 2008 @12:18PM (#23968793) Journal
    "Microsoft still has three out of ten people running an old version of its browser more than 18 months after Internet Explorer 7 launched..."


    Look, my father-in-law knows NOTHING about computing, but a LOT about using the Internet. We bought him a computer several years ago. His browser?

    IE5, of course. Why? Because that's what was installed on the machine when we bought it.

    The majority of people who THINK about what browser they use, use something other than IE. Firefox 3 is obviously a great leap forward for the Mozilla brand, and...well, there you go.

  • Lame story. (Score:4, Funny)

    by phasm42 (588479) on Friday June 27, 2008 @12:19PM (#23968807)

    Watch out Microsoft. The Fox is gaining fast.

    Booga-booga!

  • Which one works? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 27, 2008 @12:20PM (#23968809)

    In our business environment, we will not upgrade to IE7 because it breaks business applications. No such limitations on FF3 (of course the apps don't work in FF2/3).

    Maybe if MS didn't break the non-standardized technologies that they release and companies build apps on, the community might upgrade faster.

    • by Wylfing (144940) <brian AT wylfing DOT net> on Friday June 27, 2008 @02:03PM (#23970765) Homepage Journal

      Maybe if companies didn't build applications on brain-dead, proprietary, single-vendor platforms they wouldn't run into these kinds of problems.

      • by jesterzog (189797) on Friday June 27, 2008 @10:01PM (#23977037) Homepage Journal

        Maybe if companies didn't build applications on brain-dead, proprietary, single-vendor platforms they wouldn't run into these kinds of problems.

        It's getting better now, but what frustrated me a lot was when Microsoft encouraged developers (perhaps sabotage is a closer word) to make applications IE-only even when there was no reason to whatsoever.

        Back in 2000 I joined a small startup company (2 developers total) primarily to work on an ASP/VBScript application that included a lot of Javascript. The other developer who'd been there before me had evidently been pasting and adapting some of the examples from MSDN, because the majority of the Javascript code was using () round brackets instead of [] square brackets as an array lookup operator. (Square brackets being the standard universally supported way, whereas round brackets adding no benefit yet at the same time breaking support for every browser except MSIE.) From there, the broken code had been duplicated and re-used and adapted to other things all over the place.

        It probably hadn't been the brightest thing to have copied this code verbatim, but it was rather silly and (imho) malicious that it was even expressed that way within MSDN in the first place. The fact that these little and rather pointless things in the MS documentation broke compatibility with everything except Microsoft, for no benefit, meant that the whole product was restricted in that way simply because someone had naively trusted the documentation, or possibly wanted to save a few minutes early on. From that point on, trying to convince managers that it was a good idea to spend time cleaning up the code was very difficult, and didn't amount to much.

        Lately I've been doing some DotNet development and although there are the obvious things that are incompatible (like Silverlight), there doesn't seem to be as much blatant sabotage of people's applications to make the Microsoft only. An ASP.Net web application, if you stick to the basics of HTML, Javascript, etc, without throwing in any proprietary stuff, will tend to work nicely in a lot of browsers.

  • 70% 55% (Score:4, Funny)

    by nuzak (959558) on Friday June 27, 2008 @12:20PM (#23968841) Journal

    So in two more weeks, 165% of firefox users will be at version 3. Let's see the numbers after 18 months.

    Anyway, my work machine still has IE6, because they're not bothering to upgrade it on the corporate servers and I use nothing but Firefox on it anyway.

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Friday June 27, 2008 @12:21PM (#23968853) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft still has three out of ten people running an old version of its browser more than 18 months after Internet Explorer 7 launched

    IE 7 was never backported to anything before Windows XP Service Pack 2. How many Windows users are stuck on operating systems prior to Windows XP, such as Windows 2000 or Windows 9x? Like IE 7, Firefox 3 doesn't work on Windows 9x, but unlike IE 7, Firefox works on Windows 2000.

  • by outZider (165286) on Friday June 27, 2008 @12:22PM (#23968889) Homepage

    Or, maybe Firefox 2 sucked that much. I was running the Firefox 3 alphas long ago, only because the RAM situation in 2.x was so atrocious. I had to upgrade my wife as well, because I got sick of hearing from the living room, "I thought you said Firefox was better?" as her system ground to a halt.

  • by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Friday June 27, 2008 @12:23PM (#23968895)

    "Microsoft still has three out of ten people running an old version of its browser more than 18 months after Internet Explorer 7 launched, while Firefox has converted more than half of its users to the latest version in just over a week. That should set a few alarm bells ringing in Redmond."

    Whatever is the choice of most businesses is always going to lag behind in adoption.

    Case in point, my current client is a Fortune 100 company that mandates IE6 as the browser of choice and is planning to move to IE7 sometime next year. There's thousands and thousands of people right there still using IE6 essentially through no choice of their own.

    Big, non-software business is always about the last to adopt any technology.

  • The reason why (Score:3, Insightful)

    by KaizerttheBjorn (1039348) on Friday June 27, 2008 @12:23PM (#23968899)
    Think about it, most IE users aren't the kind to pay attention to what version of software they have. Many people I've spoken to don't even understand that there's an actual application that you launch when you browse the internet. They just see it as "the internet". They aren't aware that their browser needs an upgrade, and they certainly wouldn't know how to actually install it.


    Firefox users, on the other hand, tend to be more computer savvy. They are the kind who pay attention to tech news, and most likely they've known about Firefox 3 since before it came out.

  • by tcgroat (666085) on Friday June 27, 2008 @12:23PM (#23968903)
    I just ran the Firefox 3 installer, then loaded the Slashdot front page for its test-drive. This article was in the #1 slot. How did mozilla.org arrange for that to happen?
  • by clodney (778910) on Friday June 27, 2008 @12:23PM (#23968913)

    While I am a happy FF3 user myself, comparing the adoption rates of Firefox and IE is misleading. IE is installed when the computer arrives, and the people still using it either:
    1. Don't care what they use
    2. Have no choice since it is locked down by work
    3. Prefer it over the alternatives.

    People in buckets 1 and 2 (which I would argue is the vast majority of IE users) are unlikely to upgrade IE beyond whatever version is on their machine now. People in group 3 are the only voluntary upgraders to IE7.

    In contrast, Firefox has the same three buckets, but since it is not preinstalled very few are going to fall into buckets 1 and 2. Almost everyone using it is using it because they want it, and that means that they are far more likely to upgrade to the latest and greatest.

  • My own site stats (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BigBadBus (653823) on Friday June 27, 2008 @12:26PM (#23968969) Homepage
    My own website, admittedly very modest, shows that Firefox 3 has only a 3% share, but it has grown more rapidly than any other browser I have seen since I started collating statistics (February 2007): the numbers are here: http://www.paullee.com/computers/index.html [paullee.com] and were only updated 2 days ago. Funnily enough, my logs show that there are people still using MSIE 4, MSIE 5 ... as well as Windows 95, and Win3.1 ! Upgrade, guys, upgrade!

    PS Sorry for the small sizes of the graphs. Gnumeric was having a bad day :(

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by hansamurai (907719)

      For my small site I'm at 42% for Firefox 2 and 17% for Firefox 3, everything else is basically IE and a small representative for Safari.

  • Another stat (Score:5, Informative)

    by Stalus (646102) on Friday June 27, 2008 @12:34PM (#23969113)

    Just another statistic: if I have my dates right, it took IE7 2.5 months to reach 100 million users [msdn.com]. Firefox is currently at 23 million [mozilla.com] and given the current rate (1080/min), FF3 on pace to beat that - even without being distributed as part of an OS (granted, IE7 was only part of volume licensing at that date, and not retail sales).

  • by hal9000(jr) (316943) on Friday June 27, 2008 @12:37PM (#23969169)
    I manage a blog where most of the users are authors and they are not technical folks that might visit a site like pcpro on a regular basis. You might say they are average folk.

    In the last few months, I have been seeing an increase in firefox from maybe 10% in January to close to 45% today. Of that 45% of FF users, 23% are already using FF3. I think that is pretty impressive. By comparison, 52% use IE and the majority of them, 67% use IE7.
  • by Kjella (173770) on Friday June 27, 2008 @12:43PM (#23969249) Homepage

    "Microsoft still has three out of ten people running an old version of its browser more than 18 months after Internet Explorer 7 launched, while Firefox has converted more than half of its users to the latest version in just over a week. That should set a few alarm bells ringing in Redmond."

    "Microsoft still has over seven out of ten people satisfied with running a previous version of its browser more than 18 months after Internet Explorer 7 launched, while users have abandoned Firefox 2 in droves with over half converting to the bleeding edge version in just over a week. That should set a few alarm bells ringing at Mozilla.org."

    Personally, when I see a very fast migration I tend to think the last version must really have sucked. If it did what people wanted already, they'd not be in any big hurry to upgrade. Sure, there's been some exceptions where the new version is the best thing since sliced bread, but they're few and far between by comparison.

  • by malevolentjelly (1057140) on Friday June 27, 2008 @12:54PM (#23969473) Journal

    Internet Explorer is more of a utility and is generally presented as such. If you think Microsoft, with its coffers of gold, is unable to create a wild buzzed-up marketing campaign for IE that competes with Firefox's you're wrong. Firefox is a marketing behemoth while IE's footprint is rather subdued. For this reason, IE will generally get more Automatic Update customers than technology enthusiasts or web enthusiasts who will be using Firefox. To think that many web and blog sites' viewers are not web enthusiasts would be simply naive. Imagine what the web stats would like on samsclub.com, walmart.com, or maybe even amazon.com.

    Microsoft needs to have IE because it underlines the Microsoft platform as an Internet platform- if they were to concede the browser market, little would separate the usage scenario between Microsoft Windows and Ubuntu Linux for most modern (especially younger) users. I think Microsoft seeks to deliver a platform rather than just an operating system and the web is an integral part of that.

    Otherwise, as long as most open source projects like OpenOffice and Firefox still run in Windows (and they run well in Windows), it will continue to be a thorn in Microsoft's side but not fatal. I think Sun invests very heavily in these cross-platform open source projects because they realize that if enough Windows users start using something cross-platform... well... they might just not see why they're needing to buy Windows anymore.

    And that's the real game as I see it.

  • by tbmustache (1187595) on Friday June 27, 2008 @01:46PM (#23970447)
    "...it's been available for 10 days, and already one site is seeing 55% of its Firefox-using visitors on version 3... Firefox has converted more than half of its users to the latest version in just over a week"

    55 % on 1 site != 55 % of all firefox users

    don't get me wrong, i like and use firefox, but come on!

  • by just_forget_it (947275) on Friday June 27, 2008 @01:58PM (#23970667)
    "Microsoft still has three out of ten people running an old version of its browser more than 18 months after Internet Explorer 7 launched, while Firefox has converted more than half of its users to the latest version in just over a week. That should set a few alarm bells ringing in Redmond." The type of people who download Firefox and the type of people who stick with IE are completely different. Firefox is a separate browser that users have to consciously seek out and download. Thus, people who will seek out an alternative browser are more likely to keep up with the latest version. Windows users, however, do not typically seek out new versions. By virtue of the fact that they're using IE, they're likely using it because that's what the computer came with. In order to get IE 7, they have to seek it out and download it. More often than not, they won't do it. Microsoft has geared their software so that even people who don't understand what a browser is can use one. Microsoft has a much tougher job out of the gate when it comes to converting people to new versions of their software. In other words, IE users tend to be less computer literate and less concerned with updating in the first place.
  • Misleading Summary (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MSTCrow5429 (642744) on Friday June 27, 2008 @04:47PM (#23973687)

    "Microsoft still has three out of ten people running an old version of its browser more than 18 months after Internet Explorer 7 launched, while Firefox has converted more than half of its users to the latest version in just over a week. That should set a few alarm bells ringing in Redmond."

    And? We know that MS has 70% of its IE users on IE7, and we know Mozilla has, according to a site, 55% of its users on FF3. We know FF3 reached this benchmark, on a single site, after just over a week. Do we know what IE7's usage rates where after just over a week? No. No conclusions can be drawn. Slashdot should not be posting crap designed to fool stupid people.

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