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Summary:

In its first-ever State of the Internet report, the Mozilla Foundation says that the Firefox browser has close to a 30 percent share of the browser market around the world, with usage growing most strongly in Russia. Firefox has been under increasing pressure from Google’s Chrome.

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.

Related content from GigaOM Pro: What Does The Future Hold For Browsers?

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user Thanh

  1. Jacob Varghese Wednesday, March 31, 2010

    I see the future browser wars being fought in the mobile space. Firefox is just now coming into that space and it will be a tough sell to convince people to install a second mobile browser. Apple, Google, and Blackberry all have browsers based on WebKit which is becoming the mobile standard.

    Firefox had a really opportunity to develop a browser OS like Chrome, but we really don’t hear much about it from them. It appears that they lost this battle for mindshare against the Google Chrome OS.

    I’m not saying Firefox will die, but I just don’t see them adding market share.

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    1. That’s a great point, Jacob — mobile is definitely the new battleground for browsers, and Firefox is kind of out of that picture so far. Thanks for the comment.

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  2. Firefox is a quality browser, but Mozilla will continue to see competitive pressure from Google’s Chrome browser. New features keep rolling out that are integrated into Chrome. They include Translate, the plan to integrate Flash into future versions and the expectation that Google will roll out support for 3D applications this summer.

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  3. [...] the company’s long-gestating mobile browser. Mozilla now measures its web browser Firefox at 30 percent global market share, and it laid out a vision yesterday for Firefox 4, its next major [...]

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