Firefox may have been getting a lot more competition lately from Google’s Chrome browser, but the open-source offering from the Mozilla Foundation still has close to 30 percent market share, according to Mozilla’s first-ever State of the Internet report. The survey also found that the country with the fastest growth in usage or adoption of Firefox during the most recent quarter was Russia (where usage grew about 20 percent). Mozilla describes the report (its official name is the Mozilla Quarterly Analyst Report), as an “ongoing report capturing the state of the internet as seen through Mozilla’s eyes,” and says that it plans to release a similar at the end of each calendar quarter.
Firefox has been under increasingly competitive pressure from Google’s Chrome browser, and some estimates of its market share are substantially lower than what Mozilla came up with in its quarterly survey — closer to around 24 percent, with Google Chrome coming on strong at about 5 percent (Mozilla says its figures came from an average of four separate sources, including StatCounter, Quantcast, Net Applications, and Gemius). Here’s a cool visualization of browser market share, although it’s only current as of last August.
In part to help deal with the need to keep pace in the browser game, Mozilla recently appointed Aza Raskin as the design lead for the browser (Raskin, the son of legendary Apple designer Jef Raskin, joined Mozilla when it acquired his startup Humanized in 2008). Raskin wrote about his new position on his blog, saying, “The average web user spends more time with their browser than with their family,” and noting that he wanted Firefox to evolve to the point where it could incorporate the “user-experience paradigm shifts that gives users the new tools they need to accommodate the new web’s work flows.”
In addition to launching its first State of the Internet report, Mozilla also said today that it’s rolling out a fix to a privacy leak (which is common to all browsers) known as the “CSS history leak.” In a nutshell, sites can determine which web sites you’ve visited before by looking at how the browser has changed the color of links for visited and non-visited sites. This is described in more detail on the Mozilla blog, and the foundation says it hopes that its fix is adopted by other browsers as well.
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