FireFox pushes Explorer's market share below 90%

vbimport

#1

As if everyone didn’t know but Mozilla’s Firefox web browser is making a small dent in Microsoft’s market share in the web browser game. The popularity of Firefox has been astounding since it’s debut in Nov. 2004.

With it’s Pop-Up Blocker and other browser extensions, Firefox has been the most popular browser download since it’s release. With so many useful tools, Microsoft will have to take the people at Mozilla seriously. It will be intersting to see what Microsoft comes up with to attract new users away from Firefox.

[I]In addition, the study found that FireFox’s market share in the United States has grown to near 7% (6.75.) Since FireFox 1.0’s debut in November of 2004, its market share has nearly doubled. This growth has been fuel by nearly 50 million downloads since November.

The results of WebSideStory’s research varied significantly depending on the coutnry surveyed. For example, FireFox’s market share in Germany is significantly higher, totaling 30.55% of the total market share. Conversely, the Japanese seem to still favor Microsoft Explorer, as it continues to have a dominating 93.92% market share.

According to WebSideStory, it does not appear FireFox’s success will wane any time soon. In fact, it is possible FireFox will reach 10% of the market share by the end of 2005.[/I]

See why Firefox is making ground on Internet Explorer at Slyck.com


#2

If done well, there is a big future ahead for Mozilla’s browsers. I read a few days ago that IBM encourages all their employees to use FireFox instead of any other browser, IE in particular. My guess is that corporations are taking FF serious and see it as a way to get rid of lots of problems.

Of course, the more popular FF will grow, the more exploits etc we’ll see for it (although the open-source software model somehow protects against that)… and, IE7 is on it’s way.


#3

I am a IE convert - and I AM CONVINCED OF FIREFOX’s sucesses! /// I think there is no real reason to get IE out since i upgraded - anyone using IE should definitely take this as a sign to upgrade!


#4

Kill Bill (Gates’ dream of world dominance). IE is on the way out.


#5

I wouldn’t count on that. MS has a very good marketing department and they really know what to copy from whom… My guess is that they will learn from the successes of FF and implement likewise features in IE7…


#6

There are two sides to every story… while I like Firefox and use it on my PCs at work, it is still far from being as secure as a lot of people seem to think.

Firefox loses its shine
By Robert Lemos, SecurityFocus
Reproduced on The Register

The Mozilla Foundation’s Firefox web browser has made security a major part of its marketing, but a spate of vulnerabilities found over the last nine months had sullied that message.

In the latest incident, a 16-year-old security researcher - who asked only to be identified by his first name, Paul - found three vulnerabilities in the Firefox browser that together could be exploited to run arbitrary code. The incident is the latest black eye for the open-source software project’s security image. While vulnerability researchers frequently flogged Microsoft for the number of security holes found in its Internet Explorer browser, now flaw finders are pinpointing more security holes in Firefox and, in many cases, using the same techniques.

“Much of what we learned security-wise from Internet Explorer is being applied to Firefox to find vulnerabilities,” said Paul in an email interview. For example, Internet Explorer had its own Javascript flaw that allowed one page to execute scripts by navigating to another page that had higher privileges, he said. “That is one of the vulnerabilities used in this exploit.”

The Mozilla Foundation changed its update server last week to prevent the exploit from working in the browser’s default configuration, and on Thursday, the project released version 1.0.4 - a more permanent fix for the hole, said Chris Hofmann, director of engineering for the Mozilla Foundation.

“That was the main reason for this update,” he said. “Though, as far as we know, this has not been actively exploited on the Web.”

The security issues come as Firefox has rewritten the Cinderella story for the browser market by succeeding in gaining market share against the juggernaut of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

Last month, the Firefox campaign announced that more than 50 million people had downloaded the browser. Almost seven per cent of visitors to major websites use the Firefox browser, an increase of more than a percentage point over two months, analysis firm WebSideStory announced on Tuesday.

However, the open-source software browser’s security story has had to deal with some hiccups.

For the last six months of 2004, researchers found more vulnerabilities in Mozilla’s Firefox than Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, according to Symantec’s bi-annual Internet Security Threat Report. The report tallied 21 vulnerabilities for Mozilla Firefox versus 13 for Internet Explorer. However, a smaller percentage of the vulnerabilities found in Firefox were considered a severe security threat, said Symantec’s Oliver Friedrichs, senior manager with the company’s security response team.

“Severe vulnerabilities in general allow for drive-by installs,” he said. “So just by visiting a website, you could have [anything from] spyware to malware to Trojan horses installed on your system.”

Friedrichs stressed that the number of vulnerabilities found by researchers is not necessarily a good indication of product security. He pointed to the Mozilla Firefox’s relatively young age, the browser’s increasing popularity, and commercial software vendors tendency to silently fix vulnerabilities as factors that could affect the vulnerability count.

Microsoft, for example, changed more than 50 features of Internet Explorer in its major security update, known as Service Pack 2, which the company released last August. In total, the software giant changed more than 428 features in Windows XP, including eliminating two classes of vulnerabilities on which the company has yet to provide details.

Those changes have made Internet Explorer a tougher target for vulnerability researchers, said one flaw finder.

“The assumption that Internet Explorer is easier to exploit is a common misconception,” Paul said. “Internet Explorer has become quite tough, and it is very difficult to find vulnerabilities in it.”

Microsoft did not immediately comment for this article, but tackled the issue on the company’s Internet Explorer developer’s blog.

“Security is an industry-wide problem,” wrote one Microsoft developer. “It’s not limited or unique to operating systems or applications, or client or server software. It’s not limited or unique to commercial software or open source.”

Whether the Mozilla Foundation will find that its original development focus on security will mean fewer security updates remains to be seen. However, their is no question that the project has its work cut out for it, said Mozilla’s Hoffman.

“There is definitely engineering work to do,” he said. “We work towards integrating security – that’s a critical part of our mission and what we want to accomplish with the browser and engage people that can help us secure the application and help us build a better browser.”


#7

Someone in this thread said dump IE all together - bad move. FF is great, but until most of the world stops badly coding for MS IE, many sites will not work properly with FF or other ‘proper’ browsers.


#8

I agree, there are still way too many sites out there that won’t work with FF…forcing me to fire IE (even though I hate to)


#9

I agree, there are still way too many sites out there that won’t work with FF…forcing me to fire up IE (even though I hate to)


#10

Such as Windows Update, for the Windows users.


#11

Well, I’m not switching back, it’s bad enough having to use IE in school!


#12

Since Firefox is free and Internet Explorer was just added to Windows after the success of Netscape to increase the Windows sales and profits, to say Firefox pushes Explorer’s market share below 90% is sort of misleading in my opinion.

Would any of you buy Firefox for US$200 or US$500 per copy or per license for one PC? IE was not born the way Firefox was born.


#13

No, no one would do that… but that price is ridicolous :). Of course, FF is also popular because it is free, but I think that most ppl consider IE free as well. And I think that many would like to pay $20 for a good product (+support!).


#14

Poor Microsoft, they just lost about .0000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% of their total value


#15

<center><a href=“http://www.spreadfirefox.com/?q=affiliates&id=105232&t=52”><img border=“0” alt=“Get Firefox!” title=“Get Firefox!”
</a></center>


#16

Free things are not products. Are CDFreaks forum posts products? As soon as Firefox become products for profits, it becomes a competitor to Internet Explorer. Because Internet Explorer is very tightly integrated with Windows 2000/XP/2003, it’s a product and IE helped Windows sales greatly in the last ten years. I said 200 to 500 USD because that’s about the cost of retail Windows copies of 2000/XP/2003. Without matching Windows prices, I can’t imagine how Firefox can seriously threaten Microsoft. Netscape was long ago merged with (or bought by) AOL. Netscape started as a “free” utility for navigating the WWW but AOL’s not. Linux itself was considered free but there are more and more companies and individuals that make profits from Linux. Will Firefox remain free in ten years? If it intends to compete against Microsoft, what else can do it other than charging $200-$500 per copy when there are only less than 100,000,000 users that use FF paying zero? 500 by 100 million still is just 50 billion USD. (50 billion USD annual profits is a lot of money even for Exxon and Microsoft but not all of the 100 million people going to pay that much every year.)

So, what’s the point of saying Firefox taking market share from Microsoft when one is free and the other isn’t? Other than to please Microsoft bashers, that is.


#17

In terms of marginal cost, IE is free. IE just requires a certain sunk cost (the OS). The vast majority of Firefox users also paid that same sunk cost as the vast majority of Firefox users are using Windows (or other OS products that have a sunk cost, such as OS X, Solaris, etc.). Ultimately, when people make decisions, they do it on the marginal cost and not on the sunk cost.


#18

AOL is an Internet Service Provider, first and foremost. Slightly different thing to a browser. :wink:

Nobody makes any money out of the *BSD operating system variants, but you find them on many, many Web servers and internal network servers. You can’t say that that is not taking away from the market share available to Solaris/RH/Microsoft.

If something is reducing the number of people using a browser, then it is taking away from that browser’s market share. Even if that market doesn’t involve products which cost money to purchase. Even if one product is free for all to use and the other isn’t. Even if by having one of those products one has purchased it by proxy, by buying the underlying OS. Market share is not dependant on the cost of the products servicing that market.