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Firefox loses market share
FiRe




msg:1589969
 4:09 pm on Aug 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Firefox's share shrunk to 8.07% from 8.71% in June, while Internet Explorer grew its market slice to 87.2% in July from 86.56% last month.

Between January and June, Firefox had posted monthly market share gains of between 0.5% and 1% at the expense of Internet Explorer, according to NetApplications.com, which compiles its browser usage data from more than 40,000 Web sites monitored by its HitsLink.com service....

Apple Computer Inc.'s Safari ranked third and grew its share slightly to 2.13% from 1.93%, while America Online Inc.'s Netscape, which once ruled this market, slid a bit to 1.5% from 1.55%. Opera Software ASA's Opera came in fifth with a 0.49% market share.

Full story - Computerworld [computerworld.com]

[edited by: tedster at 6:36 pm (utc) on Aug. 13, 2005]
[edit reason] attribute the quote [/edit]

 

AlexK




msg:1589970
 12:20 am on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

FWIW, here are comparable figures on my .com site so far for Aug:
  1. MS Internet Explorer 85.1 %
  2. Firefox 10.7 %
  3. Opera 1.4 %
  4. Mozilla 1.1 %
  5. Netscape 0.7 %
  6. Safari 0.4 %
July was 10.6 % for Firefox, so my site shows a slight rise. It still astonishes me that IE has such a stranglehold on the market.
drhowarddrfine




msg:1589971
 12:29 am on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

point seven percent. Less than one percent difference. The error range is probably much more than that.

Unfortunately the average Joe isn't going to get why he should switch to Firefox without some Joe Evangelist. Before I got into web coding I never understood why I should switch either. Now I am an evangelist and preach wherever I can because I know the crimes committed against the state.

kaled




msg:1589972
 12:46 am on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

I can think of one sure fire way to make a few people happy - make it possible to disable flash. On my (ancient) laptop, it tends to grab 100% of the cpu time, and require the fan to switch on.

I HATE FLASH MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE ON THE INTERNET.

Kaled.

2by4




msg:1589973
 3:39 am on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Firefox Flashblock or NoScript extensions will cure your flash problems. I almost never see flash ads though even just using adblock.

kaled




msg:1589974
 9:41 am on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

I almost never see flash ads though even just using adblock.

Disabling flash should be as easy as ticking/clearing a box. As a general rule I don't like extensions and bolt-ons to anything (as a programmer I know just how crap most software is, so if it's not essential I won't infect my system with it). If you're seeing even one flash advert every million years then flash isn't disabled is it?

To make a few more people happy, Firefox programmers should scrap the total garbage that they use for caret-management. Standard carets work just fine in Windows, I see no reason why Firefox/Mozilla programmers have replaced an adequate Windows feature with their own totally crap feature.

Kaled.

2by4




msg:1589975
 7:34 pm on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

kaled, much as I agree with your dislike of most flash, what Firefox did was decide to not cater to individual likes and dislikes, and put out a fairly lean browser. Obviously their idea worked. They decided to allow minority user requirements to be handled by extensions, which was I think a good decision.

If you NEVER want to see flash, then just create the following adblock extension rule:

[*.swf...]

and you will NEVER see a swf file. Pretty simple. Keep in mind that Firefox is not a windows browser, many of the core developers don't even use Windows primarily if I remember right.

encyclo




msg:1589976
 7:40 pm on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Firefox programmers should scrap the total garbage that they use for caret-management.

The thing about Firefox is that it is a cross-platform browser, with versions for Windows, Unix and Mac amongst others. This is the main reason why it does not use the standard Windows widgets - although as you say, it would be a better Windows browser if it did.

Going back to the original question about Firefox market share, it is really too early to tell whether this is a statistical blip or the first signs of Firefox growth reaching a plateau. It is an interesting study, but other similar studies will be needed before we can say that it represents a trend.

topr8




msg:1589977
 7:51 pm on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

imho the firefox percentage will level out at some point, not saying it is now by any means, but probably not far away.

there is always a cost to change your habits it differs for different people - opera browser takeup for instance remains at a low level and will stay there despite being an extremely good product because most people won't pay for a browser - period!

with firefox it is free but it will still level off becuase there is a percentage of people who just won't change even then, even to a better product, because it is too much effort (for whatever reason)

there are countless examples of this in the 'outside' world, the opening up of the utilities market in the UK is a prime example ... in this case the EXACT same product is being delivered (electricity,gas etc) by exactly the same method, the only difference is who sends you the bill - yet despite the competition being cheaper the original suppliers before deregulation maintain HUGE market share, because MOST people just don't change!

drhowarddrfine




msg:1589978
 10:30 pm on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

I agree with topr8. I am wondering about Vista. What will the average Joe do if he has to shell out $200 for it and IE7 only runs on Vista but MS won't give any more updates for XP down the road. I'm thinking that a lot of soul searching may take place among those who don't really need a computer but what happens after that, I don't know. Of course, MS will change their marketing strategy but will this be a crack some competitor can work on?

kaled




msg:1589979
 11:54 pm on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

what Firefox did was decide to not cater to individual likes and dislikes, and put out a fairly lean browser.

I can disable gif animation but not flash from within FF. That is hardly rational. Nor is is related to the platform.

RE: carets
Cross-platform functionality may well be the explanation, however, such code would be located in platform-specific libraries. To use standard carets under Windows would require no more effort than to replace existing functions with null functions (returning true/false as necessary but doing nothing else).
Using standard carets would result in smaller, leaner code.

Kaled.

Farix




msg:1589980
 3:04 am on Aug 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Interestingly enough, I just checked TheCounter.com and they give the exact opposite numbers. While they round their numbers to whole percentages, they have FF going up by 2 points--from 6% to 8%--while IE5 declines by 2 points--from 7% to 5%--and IE6 has declined a point--from 84% to 83%.

On the other hand, W3Schools has been showing a decline in FF for the last two months. However, W3Schoools' reporting of FF appears to be unusually high to begin with, so take their report with a hefty amount of salt.

So what does this all mean? Absolutely squat in the end. There isn't enough evidence that there is a trend nor should webdevelopers ignore FF in the grand scheme of thing.

2by4




msg:1589981
 4:47 am on Aug 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Not to stray off topic kaled, but flash animation is not available in the default firefox install. Adding a default switch to turn off something that isn't installed by default wouldn't make much sense if you ask me, and I doubt it made much sense to the developers. Gif animation is of course supported, so it has a native off switch.

What you're looking for is for Firefox to cater to your specific pet peeve in its default configuration when that plugin is not even included in the default setup. There are far too many pet peeves out there to make that a practical choice. Firefox made a clear decision to not do this kind of thing, I sort of questioned that at first, but judging by the success it's had, I think they pretty much made the right choices. Pet peeves are what extensions are for, you can, as I noted, easily block all swf files with adblock, it takes a few minutes to grab it, then a second or two to turn off flash.

Re Carets: If there's concrete ways you feel Firefox can be improved, the Firefox project is always looking for good programmers, with good ideas, it is an open source project after all.

kaled




msg:1589982
 9:27 am on Aug 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't want to hijack the thread but...

If I block flash, will I be left with holes rather than alternative non-animated images? My dislike of flash is not a pet peeve, it is shared by millions of users. If you are reading something, the last thing you want on the page is movement. The only people who like flash are kids and webmasters that use it to try to make money.

Using adblock to block *.swf files would, presumably, let through all flash files called by any other name. Since the content-type is determined by the http headers, flash authors will quickly start to use other names if necessary. Also, as I said previously, I don't like bolt-ons. I am not one of those people who think FF extensions are marvellous. I expect basic functionality to be included in a product. Enabling/disabling features is unquestionably "basic functionality". Also, there will probably be a backlash against Firefox/Extensions as soon as a hacker manages to exploit this feature - I doubt that is a long way off.

If flash isn't installed by default, how did my system become infected with it, and how do I uninstall it? From memory, flash was included with the first version I installed (0.92 I think).

My intention in pointing out obvious Firefox failings was to make clear that big improvements are possible with virtually no effort. These two changes together should not add up to more than one day's work. Of course, if it's designed by committee then the decisions would take longer than that.

Kaled.

collymellon




msg:1589983
 10:20 am on Aug 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

So what does this all mean? Absolutely squat in the end. There isn't enough evidence that there is a trend nor should webdevelopers ignore FF in the grand scheme of thing

I cannot stress enough how much this bothers me! - I spend days / weeks / months getting a site FF/I.E compliant etc. Yet 1 visitor who look at my page for 1 second may visit once a month using FF..

Lets just say in 5 years time everyone should use 1 browser; the development side of things would be such a happier place :)

Farix




msg:1589984
 1:16 pm on Aug 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

I cannot stress enough how much this bothers me! - I spend days / weeks / months getting a site FF/I.E compliant etc. Yet 1 visitor who look at my page for 1 second may visit once a month using FF..

Lets just say in 5 years time everyone should use 1 browser; the development side of things would be such a happier place :)


I've never had not many problems making a site that works in both FF and IE. Either you are using IE proprietary markup or your design methods needs to be reexamined if you are having to spend that much time creating a site that is compatible with both browsers.

And the last thing we need is there to be only one browser. That just encourages stagnation from both the user and developer ends.

Marketing Guy




msg:1589985
 1:43 pm on Aug 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

there are countless examples of this in the 'outside' world, the opening up of the utilities market in the UK is a prime example ... in this case the EXACT same product is being delivered (electricity,gas etc) by exactly the same method, the only difference is who sends you the bill - yet despite the competition being cheaper the original suppliers before deregulation maintain HUGE market share, because MOST people just don't change!

Been on the sales end trying to convert people before and I can tell you it isn't as black and white as that, although the analogy does stand up.

The issue is that although the basic product is the same, the brand, experience, etc are not and that is what makes the difference.

In terms of the utilities industry, this is a huge part to play. The old player has years of experience working in the industry and the new ones don't. They can offer the same product but when it comes to the provision of subsidiary services (customer service, billing, support, changeover), they are shockingly bad and that's where they fall down - sheer inexperience.

Back on topic, regardless of what people think of MS, IE is still a widely accepted brand and even with regular security issues, the brand and regular patching is a huge boost to IE's credibility with the masses. Hell, the average doesn't care about security vunerabilities or development issues - they do care about what they can use, what is easy to use, what they feel safe using - strong branding and regular patching goes a long way.

People view browsers as important facets of their PC's and most would rather trust the maintenance of these to MS over some random company they don't know (and perceived to be a lot smaller and as such less able to offer the same level of service).

MG

collymellon




msg:1589986
 2:10 pm on Aug 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've never had not many problems making a site that works in both FF and IE. Either you are using IE proprietary markup or your design methods needs to be reexamined if you are having to spend that much time creating a site that is compatible with both browsers.

Yeah get the point - maybe your a better webmaster than me.. I didnt just mean FF/IE but netscape / opera /mac issues etc.

Also designing accessible sites and database driven sites, cross-browsing allways brings up issues that effect my timeline of that project

2by4




msg:1589987
 7:36 pm on Aug 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

kaled, I'm somewhat surprised at your posting.. 'how did my system get infected with flash'? Please, it's because you, or someone using that computer, installed flash. From your other postings, I'd always assumed you were fairly tech savy, but I guess I must have misread them. Firefox has never come with flash, although some Linux distros release it together with Flash. Flash isn't a virus, it doesn't install itself. If you don't want flash installed, then just uninstall it [johnhaller.com]. That page lists several good options.

You seem to have missed what I said about flash not being in the default install package, which is why there is not default controls for it.

You're giving most flash authors far too much credit in terms of them doing something like header manipulation, but in your case, if you really don't want flash, then remove the flash player. This isn't rocket science. No flash player == no flash playing. However, flashblock provides a better route, since you always have the opt in to view flash, which on some sites you need to use the site.

And besides, if you look at the download numbers for adblock, you'll see that adblock using firefoxes are not a big percentage of the total, so it's doubtful that the flash industry is suddenly going to jump into more advanced methods.

But more to the point, if you don't like Firefox's extension model, then don't use Firefox. No one is holding a gun to your head forcing you to use it. There's options, Opera, IE 7 when it comes out will be OK. Your opinion isn't shared by most Firefox users, do you really expect Firefox to abandon a model that is proving wildly successful just to satisfy your particular needs? The reason Firefox is the way it is is precisely to avoid this situation. That's what the extension model is for. Since you don't like the basic premise that has propelled Firefox to almost 10% market share, it's safe to say you don't like the browser. Don't confuse that with the Firefox team having to change their entire development model just to satisfy your individual preferences. That model was created precisely to avoid having to do that, everyone has tastes and preferences, if Firefox catered to all of them, it would be a massively bloated app.

What's particularly odd is that the reason I really like Firefox is that I really hate flash. Firefox gave me a degree of control over which flash I see, and when, that I could only dream about in 2000, especially with adblock. I almost never see flash ads, and when I do, I add the domain sending the flash ad to my adblock wild card blocked list, result: I almost never see flash ads, but can still use flash when it's required on some sites. I can't imagine a better scenario re hating flash. And this is why I use Firefox, it meets my particular wants/needs really well. And for other people, with different wants or needs, that's why people use Opera, or Safari... or even MSIE.

Robin_reala




msg:1589988
 9:03 am on Aug 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Getting back on topic Robert Accetura brought up some interesting points in a recent blog post - namely that a highish percentage of Firefox users are students and schoolkids who'll be outside enjoying the sunshine, and not indoors surfing. I'd be interested to see total hit stats correlated against the browser stats.

TheDoctor




msg:1589989
 9:24 am on Aug 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've noticed for some years now that the proportion of IE users on my site goes up outside UK university term-times (it's a London-based site, academic-related site). This was also the case back in the days when the alternative to IE was NN4.

If you're going to examine trends, you need a data series that's long enough to cut out seasonal fluctuations.

kaled




msg:1589990
 9:59 am on Aug 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

2by4,

Thanks for the link. I found that page a few days ago, but in my exasperation did not notice that it worked for all browsers (I didn't see FireFox mentioned) and moved on assuming that it applied to IE only.

I have now uninstalled Flash.

Insofar as
1) I did not ever knowingly install flash on my computer
2) Flash seriously degrades the performance of my computer
3) It is very badly implemented even using masses of cpu time when the window is minimized
I am entitled to consider flash as I consider other malware - ie an infection that needs to be wiped out.

To me, blocking unwanted material (e.g. javascript/popups/flash) should be a core function of any browser. You may understand the reasoning of the Firefox designers but I do not.

If your average joe doesn't like a feature in a program he/she expects to be able to change/remove it using a properties/options dialog. Requiring the user to find a website to download extra software is entirely unreasonable.

If a program includes a bolt-on feature (plugin,extension, whatever) the program should also include all necessary dialogs to control/enable/disable that bolt-on. If you disagree with this general principle, please explain you reasoning.

Kaled.

Robin_reala




msg:1589991
 10:12 am on Aug 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Tools / Options / Downloads / Plug-ins, and decheck the flash types. Yeah, it's needlessly hidden, but it's there.

2by4




msg:1589992
 6:09 pm on Aug 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

"I am entitled to consider flash as I consider other malware - ie an infection that needs to be wiped out."

You might find someone who likes Flash less than me, especially when it's used for advertising purposes, or to build websites/navigation etc, but they you'd probably be looking in the mirror, so I can't really argue with your overall dislike of the stuff.

The joy I feel everytime find a new adblock wildcard combination that removes even more flash ads is hard to describe... but since I do web development, I need to see websites and how they use flash, revolting as I find almost all its real world applications. But that sub 1% of well done flash makes it necessary to keep flash for me.

You're right that it should be a little easier to uninstall flash from the browser, that is something of an oversight, but my guess, and it's just a guess, is that the Firefox developers assumed that if someone takes an action to install a plugin, they want it. I agree there should be an easier way to disable plugins though, and more intuitive.

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