Firefox take-up slows to a crawl – are they losing their way?

September 30th, 2005

It's stats day!

According to InformationWeek, the take-up of Firefox has slowed to 1% per five months, compared to when it was released when it was notching up 1% per month. Based on these figures it's unlikely that [tag]Firefox[/tag] will reach 10% by the end of the year.

There's no doubt that there are many loyal Firefox users out there and that it's unlikely that the user numbers will decline much (but data from NetApplications is suggesting a small decline) but I think that the problems that Firefox will have to face up to and deal with to even reach double digit figures are huge.

First, the browser market offers a lot of choice, and this month saw [tag]Opera[/tag] going free. As I've said before, current stats show Opera to be a far more secure browser than either Firefox or [tag]Internet Explorer[/tag]. Having marketed Firefox as a secure browser and then these claims coming up short, those looking for security might be tempted to head over to Opera. The loyal Firefoxers will stay Firefox, but those looking for security may move camps. How big a hemorrhage this would be it's hard to tell but they are certainly vulnerable to some losses here. In a free market people become fickle and it could be that the main growth spurt that browser makers will see is when there's the buzz of a new version. Also, just think about it, just how loyal can you be over a browser? Just how jazzed can anyone be over a new version?

And finally, if marketing Firefox under the banner of security is a dead duck, just how is it going to be marketed? The problem as I see it is that the average web user doesn't see anything wrong with Internet Explorer. They don't care about CSS standards and given the speed of internet connections and the power of PCs, speed is now a moot point. In fact, I've seen and heard of many who took the Firefox route who went back to Internet Explorer for a variety of reasons.

There are tough times ahead for Firefox.

(This one again via ZDNet)

This entry was posted on Friday, September 30th, 2005 at 09:47 and is filed under In the News, PC Doctor's Thoughts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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