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Firefox is most popular browser

Firefox is most popular browser

Firefox 3.5 is now the most popular internet browser, according to StatCounter.

Firefox 3.5 has surpassed all others to become the single most popular web browser currently in use, according to figures released by analytics outfit StatCounter.

As reported over on The Next Web, Firefox 3.5 has finally overtaken Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7 as the most widely used browser on the world wide web.

The world-wide figures show a trend which started in Germany back in March, when the Mozilla Foundation's popular open-source cross-platform browser beat all others - but now that is reflected world-wide. Although individual countries may be bucking the trend - with the US favouring Internet Explorer 8 with a 26 percent share of the market - overall Firefox 3.5 is a clear winner.

While the 3.5 version of Firefox is specifically the most popular browser, the figures change somewhat if you look at browser branding: Internet Explorer remains, by far, the most widely-used browser worldwide with a whopping 56 percent of the market. However, this figure is declining, having dropped from just over 65 percent at the start of the year.

Internet Explorer's loss is Firefox's gain, with Mozilla's browser having gone from a 27 percent share back in February to 32 percent of the market at the start of December - a steady nibbling of Microsoft's browser monopoly, despite some bumps along the way.

Other browsers remain in the minority, with Google's open-source Chrome browser remaining on top of the competition with a minuscule 5 percent market share - but still greater than Apple's Safari, which only manages 3.5 percent despite being the default browser on the company's computers, and Opera which remains at the bottom of the league with just 2 percent of the market.

Are you surprised to see something as bloated as Firefox take the lead, or is the flexibility offered by the wonderful extension support where the open-source browser really shines through? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

40 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
proxess 21st December 2009, 14:07 Quote
Bloated? Maybe. Bloatware? No. At the moment there's nothing to beat Firefox's extensions, and browsing speed is also high taking into consideration just how flexible it is. Chrome is nice and choppy and beats Firefox's memory footprint, but other than that, there's really nothing to it. Only think that makes me use Chrome (Beta) is xmarks.
wiak 21st December 2009, 14:18 Quote
IE is bloated, Firefox is not ;)
atm i use Chrome, why? best speed, nd in the latest beta it even has extensions support
UncertainGod 21st December 2009, 14:35 Quote
Just as I have abandoned it for Chrome beta which only has one thing left to implement for me to be utterly content with it, an API to enable true blocking of elements of a site.
iamwhoiam 21st December 2009, 14:38 Quote
Yup, I have no idea why firefox was regarded as "bloated" at the end of this article
l3v1ck 21st December 2009, 14:40 Quote
The add-ons for Firefox are a real plus. NoScript for example, is a must have.

I've never really used IE. Back in the day I used Netscape 4. Eventually I moved onto Mozilla then Firefox when it came along.
Veles 21st December 2009, 14:47 Quote
It's all about the extensions, no point having a fast browser if it doesn't do what you want it to do.
Zurechial 21st December 2009, 14:47 Quote
Firefox is no longer an underdog?
Well, I better go change my browser to Chrome now so I can still be cool. :p

The 'bloated' comment is a bit of a loaded statement. Firefox is memory-hungry, but it could hardly be called 'bloated' after the years of IE-dominance that we've put up with.

In truth though, NoScript and Adblock are the deal-clinchers for me. If IE were more standards-compliant and had NoScript & Adblock I'd used that instead - The same goes for any browser, I'm mercenary like that.

That is, except for Opera.
I refuse to install Opera on principle, after they tossed their toys out of the pram over Microsoft's inclusion of IE with Windows. Seriously Opera, get a grip.

(I know it wasn't just Opera, but they struck me as the worst whiners out of the lot and Opera evangelists on the whole have annoyed me more than even the Apple fanboys with Safari.)
bob 21st December 2009, 14:51 Quote
Yeah NoScript and AdBlock Plus are amazing. Firefox should be quick enough with these two installed, so not bloated :)
l3v1ck 21st December 2009, 14:51 Quote
I just wish Mozilla would make a mobile version of Firefox for the iphone.
lacuna 21st December 2009, 16:00 Quote
I tried firefox once but it looked like it was going to be a hassle to make it as good as opera so I decided not to waste time and stick with opera
sear 21st December 2009, 16:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zurechial
That is, except for Opera.
I refuse to install Opera on principle, after they tossed their toys out of the pram over Microsoft's inclusion of IE with Windows. Seriously Opera, get a grip.

(I know it wasn't just Opera, but they struck me as the worst whiners out of the lot and Opera evangelists on the whole have annoyed me more than even the Apple fanboys with Safari.)
They're basically just butthurt over the fact that their subpar "indie" browser isn't as popular as the big boys... of course their entire marketing gimmick relies upon them being the "underdogs"; if they became popular they'd probably kill themselves the realisation of what they'd become. They won't be happy until Microsoft's operating system comes packaged with Opera as the default, anyway, so it's best to just ignore them.
RichCreedy 21st December 2009, 16:18 Quote
i actually prefer ie8, i would use 64bit version all the time, if adobe could hurry up and release a 64bit flash player.
TSR2 21st December 2009, 16:42 Quote
So Safari still has a miniscule share despite Apple attempting to install it along with iTunes?
MaverickWill 21st December 2009, 16:46 Quote
Maybe a little misleading? IE is the most popular browser, but once you split it into IE7 and IE8, Firefox overtakes it. Perhaps we need to take this news with a pinch of salt?
alpaca 21st December 2009, 16:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TSR2
So Safari still has a miniscule share despite Apple attempting to install it along with iTunes?
someone non-computer literate enough to let that happen, is the same someone who has no idea what safari is, and the same someone who would only click the internet explorer button to go on the interwebs.
Jenny_Y8S 21st December 2009, 17:01 Quote
This is really great news (has been a fact in Europe for a while) but bit-tech's headline isa little dare I say it "wrong".

"Firefox" is not the most popular browser. "Firefox 3.5" is the most popular browser. If you ignore specific versions, then IE is by far the most popular when you tot up the versions.

Firefox is full of win for getting people to upgrade by making it such an easy (and often unintended!) upgrade
ch424 21st December 2009, 17:29 Quote
Having used Chrome for months, Firefox does really feel bloated and slow, even though I don´t have plugins for either! Also, pointing out that Firefox has more users than IE7 *or* IE8 but not both seems a bit pointless - if they included FF2 users as separate from FF3, would that give a different result?
evoyear 21st December 2009, 17:52 Quote
hope they get better and better, especially the capability with different addons, and sometimes the speed of loading
Gareth Halfacree 21st December 2009, 18:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ch424
Also, pointing out that Firefox has more users than IE7 *or* IE8 but not both seems a bit pointless - if they included FF2 users as separate from FF3, would that give a different result?
They do - if you read the article, you'll see that the figures are for Firefox 3.5 - they don't include 3.0, 2.0, or any prior version.
steveo_mcg 21st December 2009, 18:38 Quote
How many people are still using earlier version of FF though? It prompts pretty insistently to upgrade.
pimonserry 21st December 2009, 19:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo_mcg
How many people are still using earlier version of FF though? It prompts pretty insistently to upgrade.

And rightly so, hackers are always finding holes that then need to be patched.

Chrome for me, it's faster, and uses less screen space :)
Star*Dagger 21st December 2009, 20:10 Quote
I find it hard to imagine any one with a iota of tech knowledge using IE.
Scootiep 21st December 2009, 20:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxess
Bloated? Maybe. Bloatware? No. At the moment there's nothing to beat Firefox's extensions, and browsing speed is also high taking into consideration just how flexible it is. Chrome is nice and choppy and beats Firefox's memory footprint, but other than that, there's really nothing to it. Only think that makes me use Chrome (Beta) is xmarks.

Firefox supports xmarks sir: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/2410
TSR2 21st December 2009, 22:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpaca
someone non-computer literate enough to let that happen, is the same someone who has no idea what safari is, and the same someone who would only click the internet explorer button to go on the interwebs.

Very true, I suppose I was assuming that they would at least have a look to find out what it was, and maybe find it better than IE. (I haven't personally had to use Safari)
RTT 21st December 2009, 22:54 Quote
FF is a slow beast!
gnutonian 21st December 2009, 22:56 Quote
Despite the "bloatedness" it's still the best browser out there (in my opinion). The non-artwork derivates (as I don't use Firefox itself; see below) show vast differences between 3.0.6 and 3.5.5 in RAM usage, which is what I based my "bloatedness" claim on - but to be fair, this PC wasn't exactly considered high-end four years ago.

One complaint about the article (guess what it's about ;)) though... Firefox is free software (obligatory explanatory link), not open-source. The only restricted portion is the artwork, which (software-wise) is both neglectable and understandable to say the least.

Open-source and free software are very, very different and it's upto users, coders (Mozilla, unfortunately, doesn't make much effort to say they're free and not just open-source) and publications to stress this difference; as at the end of the day it's the end-user who's affected by the license.
leexgx 22nd December 2009, 01:02 Quote
still like opera my self, i may have like 50 tabs open and its only using 400-500MB of ram (cant beat its remember tab support not yet any way)
Autti 22nd December 2009, 02:04 Quote
I just use safari because it is so simple, its fast and it always works....
FF doesn't offer anything that i would actually use as opposed to safari or IE8 on my PC.
GravitySmacked 22nd December 2009, 07:53 Quote
Gotta love Fiefox and all the great extensions.
RichCreedy 22nd December 2009, 11:08 Quote
anyone tech savvy would know how to configure ie so as not to have as many problems, and anyway, no browser is perfect, better the devil you know ;)

also anyone tech savvy would avoid the questionable sites which cause the problems
UncertainGod 22nd December 2009, 11:29 Quote
Anyone tech savy would choose a browser that did a good job at rendering websites correctly and in a timely fashion.
impar 22nd December 2009, 12:07 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
Are you surprised to see something as bloated as Firefox take the lead, or is the flexibility offered by the wonderful extension support where the open-source browser really shines through?
Great post inducing comment! :p

Bloated compared to what?
If you say that something is bloated then you must compare to something that has the same usefulness and is not bloated. Is there anything like that?
Quote:
Originally Posted by pimonserry
Chrome for me, it's faster, and uses less screen space
After trying Chrome I had the same feeling. So I trimmed my Firefox:
http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/2879/ffui.jpg
The left button is the Menu, the Star button is the Favorites.
Courtesy of Compact Menu 2 and Toolbar Buttons extensions.

I tried other browsers but Firefox is like those old shoes that fit just right. The other shoes may be prettier, newer, fashionable but is with Firefox that I feel most confortable with.
MrBurritoMan 22nd December 2009, 19:03 Quote
I love how they say that Firefox finally beat out an outdated version of Internet Explorer. That would be similar to any car company touting the day that they overtake the number of Model “T”s sold. It is simply foolish to denote it as a mile marker and even more sad for a news organization to parrot this.

I love to talk to people who think that Firefox is the end-all-be-all of browsers and if you use it you will never have a problem with “that there interwebs”. This simply isn't true. It isn't the browser that makes your computer more secure. Similarly it isn’t the writing utensil that you use to spell words correctly. One can have different features from the other but to claim (like Mozilla does) that theirs is better in every way simply isn't true.

The truth of the matter is no browser or antivirus will ever protect a computer against a malicious or ignorant user. I have been using Internet Explorer ever since the days of its first release and have never had problems with it, been attacked through it or had any adverse feelings about recommending its use as an IT professional. There is one disclaimer to this and it applies to any piece of software or browser on your computer; YOU MUST KEEP IT UPDATED. Again I must repeat: It is not the browser that you use to make your computer more secure or your “interwebs” faster but how you use it.

Beyond that it is all just personal preference and any person touting otherwise should be rightly called an idiot.
airchie 23rd December 2009, 01:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBurritoMan
I love how they say that Firefox finally beat out an outdated version of Internet Explorer. That would be similar to any car company touting the day that they overtake the number of Model “T”s sold. It is simply foolish to denote it as a mile marker and even more sad for a news organization to parrot this.
I think you're missing the point a little.
FF 3.5 has more market share than any other specific version of browser, not just the older versions of IE et al.
Its only when you count all versions of IE against all versions of FF combined that IE is still top.
Also, don't forget that IE is bundled with Windows and for FF to get any kind of market share, savvy users have got to go out and download it and install it specifically.
So this is a very relevant milestone IMO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBurritoMan
I love to talk to people who think that Firefox is the end-all-be-all of browsers and if you use it you will never have a problem with “that there interwebs”. This simply isn't true. It isn't the browser that makes your computer more secure. Similarly it isn’t the writing utensil that you use to spell words correctly. One can have different features from the other but to claim (like Mozilla does) that theirs is better in every way simply isn't true.
I think its better than the competition in every important way, otherwise I'd use something else.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBurritoMan
The truth of the matter is no browser or antivirus will ever protect a computer against a malicious or ignorant user.
I agree with you on this 100%
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBurritoMan
I have been using Internet Explorer ever since the days of its first release and have never had problems with it, been attacked through it or had any adverse feelings about recommending its use as an IT professional. There is one disclaimer to this and it applies to any piece of software or browser on your computer; YOU MUST KEEP IT UPDATED. Again I must repeat: It is not the browser that you use to make your computer more secure or your “interwebs” faster but how you use it.
Again I agree to a certain extent.
The issue I have with IE is that it is integral to the OS and by compromising the browser, you often gain full access to the PC.
I also feel Mozilla moves quicker in fixing vulnerabilities and does a better job in pushing them to users, thus limiting exposure for users to malicious activity.
Combine this with the amount of historical security issues and I feel FF comes out ahead (though how much this is influenced by IE's market share making it a bigger target remains to be seen).
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBurritoMan
Beyond that it is all just personal preference and any person touting otherwise should be rightly called an idiot.
I agree that it should be a user's preference that decides which browser they use but as I've said, FF has everything going for it in comparison to IE or any of the others. FF+xmarks+noscript=happiness IMO. :)
macpeter 23rd December 2009, 07:41 Quote
yes u can say that firefox is most popular. but it is very heavy and take a lot of time.
zolwang 23rd December 2009, 09:37 Quote
I dont' think so,i use IE8,very well!!
RichCreedy 23rd December 2009, 13:12 Quote
the 64bit ie is extremely fast at rendering webpages, the only thing against its full time use is adobes lack of 64bit flash player
Gareth Halfacree 23rd December 2009, 13:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichCreedy
the 64bit ie is extremely fast at rendering webpages, the only thing against its full time use is adobes lack of 64bit flash player
Which isn't a problem if you're using Linux, as there's a 64-bit Flash plugin available.
raafe 23rd December 2009, 15:37 Quote
Oh how i love linux.. I run firefox on my ubuntu box and konqueror on my kubuntu box, i use ie6 over firefox on my win2k box at work, although i will probably make the switch soon as mozilla seem to be the only people left that still support win2k =(
TimB 25th December 2009, 10:32 Quote
It will be a very short lived "victory". The only reason FF3.5 is ahead is because IE's userbase is split between version 7 and 8. As 7 steadily declines 8 steadily increases, almost identically. Very soon IE8 will overtake FF3.5 and leave it in the dust.

FF's biggest issue with me is the initial load time, it is far slower than IE.
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