Why Mozilla Counts

Mozilla counts in the Web World not just because of some of its pioneering Web development projects but because its Firefox browser really has Web muscle – browser market share. See the the tables below which show the increasing Firefox market share:

The above results are from the W3CSchools Survey


These results are from industry watcher, Net Applications

Now if you go to Wikipedia you will see numbers all over the place for browser share. But there is one clear trend – IE’s market share is down trending while Firefox and Safari are upticking. Chrome also appears to be up ticking but the trend is too short at just 3 months.

And with IE8 about to be introduced very lymphatically  – that is with 3/4 less CSS+DOM compliance than Chrome managed on its first first try. And with IE’s Javascript runtimes 2-4 times slower than Chrome, Firefox and Safari (these browsers are really improving rapidly while IE is just not engaged), expect these numbers to get a lot worse than the 2% decline each quarter that is currently befalling the IE browser.

The fact that the European Union will require Microsoft by this Fall to include on Windows preloaded versions of Opera, Firefox, Safari and other browsers will also cut into IE’s market share. But the underlying problem is that the IE browser technology is just not keeping up. Firefox has better features and extensions, Safari has better rendering and Chrome plus the others are so much faster, a touch more secure and definitely not as security obnoxious as IE.

So watch for Microsoft to come out swinging at its MIX conference in March 2009. The argument will be made that the Total Client Experience on Windows (read IE speeded up by .NET engine plus LINQ + Silverlight) is a better experience than any browser. So users and developers have to go proprietary – so what? Redmonds argument will be that Windows still owns 90%++ of the desktops. And Apple and Linux have not been able to wrest significant market share despite the  … uhhh Vista glitch soon to be replaced by the real Wow, Windows 7. So developers – come on over to the …. uhhh Dark Side. And Microsoft will be offering all sorts of moolah and other $-incentives to get developers to come their way.

And you thought the Browser Wars were interesting.