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Firefox Browser Usage and Support Forum

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Why Is Firefox Stilll Way Behind IE?
Is FF more popular among a certain demographic?
walrus




msg:3430074
 12:21 pm on Aug 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Is FF more popular among a certain demographic or is it just gaining popularity slowly?

When i was checking analytics i noticed under browsers that FF was still only 15 % compared to IE at 80 %. I expected FF to be a lot more popular by now, just wondering what others are experiencing.

 

Old_Honky




msg:3430141
 1:27 pm on Aug 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Most people just use what comes bundled with their machine so FX has a hard slog ahead. What puzzles me is why don't people update - I have 18% of visitors using Fx 1.x and only 2% using version 2. Why! It's free after all.

I can understand why IE6 is still at 41% compared to only 30% on IE7 because a lot of us still use w2K so we can't upgrade if we want to.

So my stats say:
IE6 41%
IE7 30%
FX 1.x 18%
Safari 5%
FX 2.x 2%
Opera 1%

This is for a non-techie site (selling steam cleaners) so the users are probably nearer to the norm than the "in the know" web design fraternity.

walrus




msg:3430390
 5:35 pm on Aug 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

The old average user and bundled software syndrome, of course!
It is surprising to see how few update, especially since there have been a few holes found and patched this last year.

[edited by: walrus at 5:42 pm (utc) on Aug. 23, 2007]

Tapolyai




msg:3430394
 5:39 pm on Aug 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Because it is easier to keep what is installed, than learn how to download, install and configure.

Most machines that are sold today, I believe, still comes with IE6 or IE7 installed and configured.

walrus




msg:3430400
 5:48 pm on Aug 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Another good point. I hav'nt been up on a lot of the news but i thought it was more popular like 40% or something.

dreamcatcher




msg:3431780
 6:41 am on Aug 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

What puzzles me is why don't people update - I have 18% of visitors using Fx 1.x and only 2% using version 2. Why! It's free after all

Sounds silly, but maybe they don`t know an update is available? Did the earlier versions have the auto update feature?

I know people who have the shield in their task bar for months for a windows update and never bother to install them.

Not everyone is that computer savvy when it comes to updates.

dc

vincevincevince




msg:3431793
 7:18 am on Aug 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

The firefox I use which was bundled with Fedora doesn't have an auto-update, although the same version number for windows does. Very disappointing. In fact, 'Check for Updates' is disabled as well.

optimierung




msg:3433296
 2:41 pm on Aug 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

For a techie site the situation is totally different:

IE: 44% (IE6: 27%, IE7: 16%)
FF: 33% (2.0.0.4: 25%)

lorax




msg:3444947
 12:55 pm on Sep 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

In a word, convenience. As has been noted, it comes installed on every new PC in the major market space and most users don't even know there's an option.

FWIW I've been doing my darndest to spread the word about FF.

tedster




msg:3445069
 4:07 pm on Sep 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

The counter staff at my favorite coffee shop overheard me talking about a problem with IE and immediately volunteered that I should try Firefox.* Firefox penetration is now on a viral track that goes beyond the geek community, but IE's inherent market advantages keep it dominant.

*I returned the "favor" by telling him about Opera.

mattur




msg:3445080
 4:19 pm on Sep 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

The other problem is there are *still* sites that are effectively IE only. Redirect/user-agent blocking barriers have mostly disappeared, but problems remain within sites on particular pieces of functionality.

Renewing my AV at Symantec in Firefox a year or so ago, I came upon a page with no button to proceed. Had to use IE, which of course displayed the button. Argh. Thankfully such problems are becoming less common, but it's still a barrier to Firefox adoption.

dcheney




msg:3445148
 5:43 pm on Sep 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

For last month, here's my stats:

IE 78.7%
7.x 28.5%
6.x 47.4%

FF 12.0%
2.x 9.0%

jecasc




msg:3445159
 5:56 pm on Sep 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

What puzzles me a little is that the market share significantly differs from country to country. While in the US and Britain the market share is relatively low, in continental Europe Firefox has nearly 30% market share in some countries even more. Germany 38%, Poland and Hungary 39%, Finland even 45%.

UserFriendly




msg:3445160
 6:00 pm on Sep 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

My site is also pretty tech-based:

IE: 49.17% of unique visits;
FF: 39.72%;
Op: 4.45%;
Sf: 3.04%.

Of the poor, lost souls still using Internet Explorer, 51.94% are now using IE7. I'd be pleased about that if it weren't for the fact that I recently discovered another CSS bug that still hasn't been fixed in IE7, so I still have a reason to wish people would use Opera or Firefox.

ergophobe




msg:3445200
 6:41 pm on Sep 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I know many people who, when I ask what browser they use, give me the name of their ISP. I would say at least 25% and maybe 75% of the people on the web do not realize that this is something they can change and, more to the point, something they would want to change.

Remember somwhere between 90 and 99.9999% of the people who use the web have no interest in it whatsoever as a phenomenon, but just as a tool. They are no more interested in switching browsers than they are in switching their DVDs from PAL to NTSC

zjacob




msg:3445202
 6:42 pm on Sep 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I checked one European site that does not have English content, and for that specific language demographic, IE is in front at 95.8%, while FF had only 1.9% market share for site visitors.

I think we'll see a significant change in browser user base when Windows operating system gets real competition and that competition does not bundle IE with it.

europeforvisitors




msg:3445213
 6:49 pm on Sep 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I use three different browsers (IE, Firebox, and Opera), and I've got to say that most pages simply look better in Internet Explorer, which typically does a nicer job of rendering type and layouts. Even if it weren't the default Windows browser, I'd probably use it most of the time.

Go60Guy




msg:3445233
 7:23 pm on Sep 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Personally, I think the average slob on the street has no idea about the origin or version of his browser. I've sat at some of my friends' machines and referred to "Internet Explorer" or "IE" and gotten a "huh" in response, and then "oh, you mean that "e" thingy. Beyond about a dozen computer related terms, their eyes glaze over.

oddsod




msg:3445241
 7:34 pm on Sep 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Not everyone is that computer savvy when it comes to updates.

I ran an IT company with a lot of computer savvy people who choose NOT to upgrade when new software came along. Not for Acrobat and certainly not for new versions of Windows (few exceptions apply). After spending some years with them I now wonder why anyone jumps to be the guinea pig and install the beta that software companies now sell as the finished product.

kapow




msg:3445262
 8:12 pm on Sep 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

1.) Probably the single biggest influence on browser usage is what comes pre-installed. No prizes for guessing the standard pre-installed browser.

2.) Many people use the web at work. So the issue there is what their IT department think is right, and (in my experience) most corporate IT folk are MS believers because thats where most of the jobs are. They take a long time before they upgrade too (for sensible reasons mentioned in the other post above). I recently visited the offices of one of the worlds top brands (can't say who), but all of their PCs are still on IE6. When there is an IT problem these guys have several thousand PCs to think about so they are not about to boldly upgrade into unknown teritory.

3.) ISP support
I havn't checked this for a while - I think its still true: People with home computers need support from their ISP for email/browser problems. If they say "I can't get my email..." or "I've lost my internet connection..." - and then reveal they are not using the stardard IE/Outlook the support line will not help.

Until the above change, the marjority will be MS Sheep.

BillyS




msg:3445263
 8:16 pm on Sep 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Because the average user could care less what browser they use.

ClassyPete




msg:3445316
 11:05 pm on Sep 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I am at:
60% Firefox (90% of which is 2.0+)
28% IE (50% ie6 and 50% ie7)
7% Safari
4% Opera

This is for a web design related website.

Something to consider... should you design your website differently if your audience is mostly IE? Should it be "dumbed down" and not be cutting edge?

farmboy




msg:3445352
 12:50 am on Sep 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I know many people who, when I ask what browser they use, give me the name of their ISP. I would say at least 25% and maybe 75% of the people on the web do not realize that this is something they can change and, more to the point, something they would want to change.

And there is the fear of "messing things up" if they try to change.

Not to mention the prior experience trying to communicate with an indifferent 18 year old service geek at the local computer store and not wanting to do anything to have to go back to the store.

FarmBoy

Laker




msg:3445359
 12:59 am on Sep 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

As FYI, Gizmodo reported [gizmodo.com] today [Sep 08, 2007] that Firefox reached 400 million downloads.
"Since its launch on November 9th, 2004, Firefox's downloads have continued doubling on a yearly basis."

amznVibe




msg:3445422
 3:30 am on Sep 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

If Firefox came pre-installed on all the computers sold, I think you'd see it used more than IE.

But seriously, you are just looking at worldwide stats, now look at specific countries or niches and Firefox use is more than IE.

I've learned to stop worrying about the numbers and just enjoy the fact there is competition so we all win. It's a healthy market with four major browsers, just like if Google didn't have Yahoo+ASK+MSN they wouldn't feel the need to innovate.

Trax




msg:3445513
 8:59 am on Sep 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

it will take years for the big mass to adapt... IE comes pre-installed and the majority doesnt care i guess

danny




msg:3445515
 9:09 am on Sep 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

The firefox I use which was bundled with Fedora doesn't have an auto-update, although the same version number for windows does. Very disappointing. In fact, 'Check for Updates' is disabled as well.

If you are running Fedora, updates to Firefox should be arriving through the standard system update (so they don't need to be done by Fedora itself). It can sometimes take a week or so for the Fedora people to package new Firefox releases, so just wait.

(If you're not getting system updates, then you have a bigger problem and should look into what's going on - try running an update manually.)

shallow




msg:3445517
 9:26 am on Sep 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

>> Even if it weren't the default Windows browser, I'd probably use it most of the time.

europeforvisitors, I agree. I'm trying to but....

I think some of the Firefox crowd is kicking themselves in their virtual behinds. I personally prefer IE but some developers are trying to force me to use Firefox. They use the same tactics they claim to disdain about Microsoft, the company they love to hate.

I visit certain sites that announce that they note I'm using IE and urge me to switch to Firefox;

One site I visited recently told me the site wouldn't function properly unless I used Firefox;

Some of the developers for web-based editors I use have chosen to make them more functional using Firefox, rather than IE. When contacting them about problems, I am often told to work with Firefox.

But Firefox doesn't do all the things I want it to do, so I'm forced sometimes to jump between two browsers.

For example, the latest version of Firefox doesn't allow me to right-click to copy, cut and paste in an online editor I use to work on my site. Whenever I try, I get a popup window about where to get instructions so I can tweak the code to enable this feature, but they don't work in Vista.

At least the latest version of IE gives me a choice if I want to copy and paste.

For many reasons, I want to use a single browser for my work, not be forced to jump between two because some high tech gurus judge that we common folk, or do they call us "slobs," should no longer be able to use a copy, cut or paste functions we've been using for decades. To tweak the code, you have to turn on hidden folders...how many "slobs" know how to do that...and, personally, I don't think they should have to.

The Firefox evangelists really tick me off, to put it nicely.

gibbergibber




msg:3445598
 12:58 pm on Sep 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

At the end of the day, for most sites there's virtually no difference in viewing them through IE, Firefox, Opera, Safari etc. If you changed someone's browser from IE to Firefox (or vice versa) I doubt most people would notice anything except that the buttons above the browser window looked different.

People just don't have any compelling obvious reason to change browsers. Yes, there are more security risks in some browsers, but these are increasingly subtle behind-the-scenes attacks which the user wouldn't notice even if they happened. If the user never sees any problems with their browser, they will never think about changing it, so they'll just stick with whatever came pre-installed on the computer.

And you have to wonder if most people even understand the concept of a browser. Someone above mentioned that many people say their ISP is their browser, well I often come across people who say that Google or Yahoo or MSN is their browser because this is their default home page.

The problem at the heart of all this is that most PCs today are bought as "plug it in, it works" consumer appliances, not as serious professional tools. They're very cheap, and they only occupy a small part of most people's lives, so most PC users aren't going to invest much time thinking about how to improve their PC.

HarryM




msg:3445617
 1:57 pm on Sep 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

The Firefox evangelists really tick me off, to put it nicely.

Couldn't agree more. I use FF for testing, but never for general use. IE makes a good attempt at rendering all pages, even if the html is broken.

As far as I am concerned, FF has two major problems. A poor bookmark system (I can remember raising Mozilla bug reports about it years ago), and poor fonts for the Chinese language. In FF, a Chinese site with small fonts can be virtually illegible. As the major growth in the internet is in Asia I can't see FF's takeup improving.

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