IE Gets Spanked By Firefox

by Preston Gralla

Microsoft continues to take its browser dominance for granted, and it's starting to get spanked as a result.

The market share of Internet Explorer has been slipping since June, and the latest figures show that the decline continues. According to the firm WebSideStory, IE was used by 95.5 percent of all users in June, 93.7 percent of all users in September, and 92.9 percent in October.

Mozilla and Firefox have been taking away Microsoft's market share. Their use grew to 6 percent in October, up from 5.2 percent in September and 3.5 percent in June. October's six percent was split evenly between Mozilla and Firefox.

Expect Firefox's numbers to go up even more, as the final official release hits on November 9. The Mozilla Foundation has also raised over $250,000 in donations, which it will use to promote use of Firefox. Firefox has already been downloaded over 7 million times.

It's true that Internet Explorer still dominates the Web, but years ago, Netscape similarly dominated, until it was flattened by Internet Explorer. IE beat out Netscape not because of Microsoft's marketing muscle (although that certainly helped), but because it was simply a better browser.

But Firefox is a far superior browser to Explorer - it's safer, faster, smaller, and includes modern features like tabbed browsing, as well as extensions.

It's hard to know why Microsoft has allowed IE to stagnate. And it's good to see that users are getting the message that there's a better browser out there, and are turning to Firefox.

If you haven't tried Firefox yet, you owe it to yourself to give it a try. Because of Microsoft's laziness, it's the best browser out there.

What do you think about IE? What about Firefox? Let me know.


2004-11-03 16:42:01
IE = dodo
Switching to a new Mozilla browser is akin the move from a two-button ball mouse to a scrolling optical mouse. The latter will make you much happier, and when you're forced to use the former, you'll likely sound like an angry sailor.

I prefer the Mozilla suite to the individual Firefox/Thunderbird components. The Mozilla suite loads faster and is otherwise more user-friendly. You have the ability to choose which components you want from the Mozilla install, so ignore all of the rants from the entrenched stand-alone snobs with their, "bloatware!" cries.

Need another analogy? If Mozilla is a Porsche, IE is the dodo bird in the trunk of the Flintstone's car.

Mozilla's products are better and safer than their Microsoft brethren in all respects. Download them now, if you haven't already.

2004-11-04 06:16:52
FF exposes new users to OSS
It's all the more amazing because of the significance of it. If FF becomes very popular then it will expose a massive number of people to the whole culture of open-source software -- surely something MS should be wary of.
2004-11-05 09:48:42
Microsoft doesn't care
The evidence (lack of upgrades, development, etc.) is that Microsoft doesn't give a rap about browsers.
2004-11-15 13:17:40
Microsoft doesn't care
Microsoft announced that IE6 SP1 was the last FREE browser from Microsoft. Users could get IE7 through the purchase of a new OS, e.g. Longhorn. Future development is going into that browser.

Microsoft doesn't need to care really. Why? They bundle the browser engine into the OS. Users that use Microsoft products really have no choice but to use IE at some point.

Also the fact that IE dropped support for Netscape plug-ins in favor of proprietary Active-X controls, helps establish their dominance. Other Microsoft technologies like Windows Media Player only support of IE because of this.

This current form of locking customers into ONLY Microsoft technologies is supported by our current political and legal system in USA. Campaign contributions by Microsoft must have made a difference… :-)

2004-11-15 13:32:18
Professional Use
As an IT Administrator for many clients in the financial district of SF, I find that many users (mostly on either WinNT and Win2K) are having serious performance issues as their computers have spyware installed. For this reason, I recommend that they cease using IE, and use Firefox as an alternative for general browsing.

Note though, that recommending Firefox is not in my best interest, as I get paid quite a bit to go from desktop to desktop to purge the malicious software installed by IE. However, I would not feel this would be honest if I did not advise my clients of all their options, both MS and non-MS.

2004-11-28 23:34:11
Devils advocate
I use what browser works best for any given situation. I use IE when I'm surfing the "Normal" web and I use Mozilla when I'm surfing for "Questionable" content ;). It's funny how people love to take up arms for war between anything and everything, which browser do you use? Do you drink Starbucks, ewww? Do you drive a Ford ewww. The list goes on and on and it gets old.

Microsoft has clearly diverted development resources from IE to other projects because they have no reason to keep them there, but rest assured they'll re-build the troops if their market share dips too low.

People seem to forget that although MS is the evil empire they've done a lot for web browsing and standards.

It's funny how 99% of people get viruses when they're viewing and downloading "Questionable" website content not viewing upstanding websites like And as with all software Mozilla\Firefox have and will have its share of vulnerabilities, for hackers it's beginning to look like a tasty morsel worth taking a bite out of.