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Firefox usage stats

Is Firefox heading towards Netscape

4:27 pm on Mar 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Firefox is slipping fast according to w3schools month-by-month statistics and according to GA tracking Browser & OS, at least from the 6 accounts that I've checked. The once popular browser is now third and fourth place, it only held top reign for a couple of years. My question to the members of WebmasterWorld and users of Firefox is this - Do you think Firefox has a long term future as a major browser or will it follow the road of its predecessor Netscape?
4:54 pm on Mar 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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According to the charts it's getting less popular, but I don't think it's gonna die anytime soon, at least as long as Opera is around.

6:03 pm on Mar 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Interesting your link quite a different story for all. the w3schools has been tracking browser stats for over 10 years. I tend to think they might be a little bit closer to reality. And though FF is at 29.6 % it not looking good there hasn't been a increase in usage for FF since losing top spot in Feb 2012.
6:35 pm on Mar 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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will it follow the road of its predecessor Netscape?

Netscape suffered at the hands of Microsoft and later effectively committed suicide with some extremely bad decisions (around version 4.7 as I recall).

I would expect Firefox to retain a significant percentage as long as it can secure funding.

But its decline is surely attributable to the rise of Chrome.

10:04 pm on Mar 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Look at it behaviorally.

"I don't know what a browser is" = MSIE
"The Internet says if I download this thing it will make searches faster" = Chrome
"I want a different browser" = Firefox

Looks like a solid third place to me.
1:54 am on Apr 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Lucy24 - What you said. The alternative browser. The thinking persons browser :)

I started out on IE for Mac, added Netscape, then on to Safari, added Firefox. It had problems in the early days. But eventually, after interest in web design, I used both Safari and Firefox (because of it's add-ons - developer tools}. Safari for everyday surfing. Firefox became my pick-up truck. Loaded with tools. Now I am using Windows, instead of OS X, and Firefox (because of it's add-ons) almost exclusively.

I just spent the last month customizing Firefox like never before. The add-ons are phenomenal. Bookmark management, download management, developer tools, surfing tools, the list goes on and on. A quick look at Chrome extensions doesn't show quite as advanced a repertoire (yet).

I have just read that Chrome does not allow the complete interface customization that Firefox does, either. After you get into customizing and piling up add-ons, this ability is critical.

So from my personal viewpoint, I think Firefox has a permanent market in the above regards. I keep reading and hearing that Chrome is fast. So was Safari. Faster than Firefox. But it is the extensions and customization that makes it what it is. Chromes newfound popularity could attract more contributors and beat out Firefox someday in this regard. Or people could use Chrome the way I used Safari, and use Firefox like I do, as their 'pick-up truck' for heavy duty.

But Firefox also attracted independent minded users who wanted to avoid using the tools supplied by 'big business'. I don't know where Google sits in this situation. Many pros and cons in user opinions on the giant.

It takes a lot of time and a lot of work to get Firefox tweaked. It's like a hot rod. Spend weekends in the garage/at the desk with it. I am now obsessed with it. I spend more time tweaking it than I do on building web pages.

If anything is going to break Firefox though, it is the constant update schedule that seems to me at least to be accelerating faster than the add-on and theme developers can keep up with. It is the user/developer contributions which have elevated this browser to what it is and I hope it stays there long enough for me to get full use of all the wonderful customizations. I can't get off the internet anymore. It's like having a Ferrari (or maybe a Landrover/sports utility vehicle) that I have to take out on the road, or off-road, every chance I get. In the last 3 months I have come to love using Firefox. I'm even poking around the extension and theme developers web sites (which I really don't have time for :)
6:52 pm on Apr 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I would never use MSIE for browsing (well, I don't use Windows anyway...).

I would never use google tools of any stripe and chrome, from my reading of threat sites, has major holes that are patched more often than most other software. Add to that the android apps store fiasco where G has so many infected apps - if chrome add-ons are anything like that it's lethal.

I have used firefox since it first emerged - prior to that, netscape. I very occasionaly use an alternative linux browser for a test but that's it.

I have a stable of approx 10 add-ons for firefox, including the indispenable NoScript, FlashBlock and TabMixPlus; as a web site developer I also have the web developer tools.

Takes me about half an hour every couple of months, if that, to maintain them.

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