The impressive figure
encompasses all downloads of the browser since its release in 2004.
More interestingly, W3Schools.com,
an internet research firm, is reporting Firefox to have seized 47.9
percent of the market, jumping ahead of Internet Explorer, which it
says has a combined marketshare of 39.4 percent for versions 6, 7,
More conservative StatCounter,
another research firm, puts Mozilla's marketshare at 32 percent,
while putting Internet Explorer's at just about 60 percent.
Both firms' figures are suspect due to inherent difficulties in
determining true browser marketshare. Most firms collect
metrics from a broad array of sites, but even collecting from as many
as 1,000 sites two firms may show great differences in market
pictures, due in part to different kinds of user populations for
their surveyed sites. Furthermore, W3School's analysis is
mostly of tech-related websites, which are visited more by the kinds
of users who would use alternative browsers at a higher
Mozilla does have tough competition for the title of
full-standards third-party browser king. Opera, Google's
Chrome, and Apple's Safari all strive for the title. However,
all of these competitors are dwarfed by Mozilla in the PC market,
with a mere 5 percent of this total market, according to
StatCounter. Meanwhile Microsoft still enjoys a healthy lead of
approximately 60 percent.
Firefox 3.5's popularity comes
thanks largely to its strong support of standards. Like Opera
and others, Firefox features support for SVG graphics and other
modern standards -- many of which are not supported by Internet
Explorer 8's default install. The browser also features brand
new standards such as HTML 5, which is viewed as a possible
non-proprietary successor to Adobe's Flash and Microsoft's
Silverlight rich web platforms. HTML 5 features support for
videos among other things.
Mozilla, Opera, and others should
enjoy a healthy boost overseas if Microsoft's offer to include a
ballot screen in Windows 7 is accepted by the EU. The move,
designed to fulfill antitrust compliance, would allow users to pick
between IE 8, Firefox, Opera, Chrome, and Safari upon installation of
In honor of the billion dowloads mark, Mozilla has
launched a new promotional website OneBillionPlusYou.com. It is
also hard at work, preparing iterative updates 3.6 and 3.7, which
new themes. It also is working on Firefox 4.0, which should
raise the bar even higher.
quote: It's a very impressive number, regardless.