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Firefox 4 Adoption Tops XP-Skipping Internet Explorer 9
Firefox 4 Adoption Tops XP-Skipping Internet Explorer 9

By Mark Long
May 10, 2011 2:08PM

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Skipping Windows XP may have been a poor decision, as Firefox 4 adoption has outpaced Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9. A recent update offer boosted Firefox 4's global market share to 11.41 percent, according to StatCounter, while IE9 stood at 3.82 percent and Chrome 11 had 14.2 percent. On Windows 7 PCs, Firefox 4 was neck-to-neck with IE9.

Mozilla has reported a sharp rise in Firefox 4 downloads since offering an update to all users of older versions. As a result, Firefox 4's global market share rose more than 3.5 percentage points, Mozilla's Firefox Community Coordinator Asa Dotzler says.

By contrast, Microsoft's new Internet Explorer 9 browser, which rolled out ahead of Firefox 4, held just more than a four percent market share, according to the latest figures cited by Mozilla. What's more, Dotzler doesn't expect IE9 to catch up with Firefox 4 anytime soon -- despite Microsoft's rollout of IE9 as part of its Windows Update service.

"It will be a year or two before they can move the bulk of their IE7 and IE8 users forward," Dotzler wrote in a blog. "So today -- and for the foreseeable future -- Microsoft will be number three in terms of usage among the modern browsers."

Leaving XP Users Behind

IE9's inability to keep pace with Firefox 4 -- at least in the short run -- is due in large part to Microsoft's decision to limit the new browser's compatibility to PCs running Windows Vista and Windows 7. By contrast, Firefox 4 is compatible with PCs equipped with Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, as well as Apple's Mac OS and Linux.

Given that more than half of all PCs worldwide are still running Windows XP, Dotzler said abandoning the software giant's largest group of users was a poor decision. "It's a shame for the hundreds of millions of users they've left behind who could get huge benefits from HTML5 and the modern web -- even without hardware acceleration, [which is] something all the other browser vendors are going to provide," Dotzler wrote.

StatCounter's latest data indicates Firefox 4 held a global market share of 11.41 percent during the first nine days of May, while IE9's share stood at 3.82 percent. By contrast, the new Chrome 11 browser had a 14.2 percent share at the end of the same period, according to the Dublin-based web-metrics firm.

The latest numbers for Firefox 4 are a big step up from the 5.3 percent market share that Net Applications reported in April. Moreover, data from the U.S.-based web-metrics firm indicated IE9 held just a 2.41 percent market share at the end of last month.

The Battle for Windows 7 PCs

On Windows 7 machines, however, IE9 doubled its usage share from 3.6 percent in March to 7.5 percent in April, according to Net Applications. Yet even on PCs running Windows 7, Firefox 4 held an even higher 8.4 percent share in April -- though the U.S. firm did note that IE9's daily usage share on Windows 7 machines reached 9.95 percent worldwide on the final day of last month.

Meanwhile, however, Internet Explorer continued to lead the browser field overall with a 55.11 percent global market share in April, based on Net Applications' data. Mozilla's Firefox browser was a distant second with a 21.63 percent share.

Some industry observers see Chrome as the greater long-term threat to Firefox's market standing -- especially now that Google has launched a U.S. TV ad campaign touting its browser. However, Dotzler thinks Chrome is a nice browser that is "doing good things for the web" and isn't worried about the competition.

Tell Us What You Think



Posted: 2011-05-18 @ 2:23am PT
I'd like IE9. Runs fast. Avant Browser2011 is based on IE9. it runs stable and fast, releasing memory thoroughly. In my humble opinion, if you choose to use Windows, an IE-based browser is still the best choice, as it's much smaller.


Posted: 2011-05-10 @ 11:36pm PT
What browsers are others using? IE9 is good in my opinion compared with IE7 and IE8. I used IE8 and Avant browser in the many problems. All the problems have gone since I updated to IE9.


Posted: 2011-05-10 @ 10:30pm PT
Yes but Microsoft cares only about the money. It is a greedy irresponsible corporation.

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