Browser Switchers – Fewer Than Expected


If you read the news reports you would think that harried consumers sick and tired of malicious spyware and all the other online crud normally blamed on Internet Explorer would be switching allegiances in large numbers. That percentage seems to be around 11%, according to research conducted by Harris Interactive for Opera Software. Well maybe because people are not really aware or understand that browser is the weak link. Of the 2,800 regular Internet users quizzed by Harris, a significant number (49 percent) did not believe that browser choice is a key factor in protecting their computers from malicious software attacks: 17 percent thought it had no effect and 32 percent admitted they don’t know whether the choice of browser makes a difference. Most participants said security would prompt them to change browser, however, with 66 percent confirming they would consider using another browser for improved security. In other words, Mozilla Firefox is not a full fledged revolution, instead its just an insurgency. For now!


Blake Ross

Let’s not forget that 11% is a staggeringly high number of people, not only given the timeframe, but given the enormous size of the market. So I would say that people *are* switching in large numbers.

Digital Evangelost

Om I have to say that I am a happy user of Opera.

As well as easier to user than both FF and IE it is fast secure and in quite moments I can control it using voice.

Have been a happy user since my days using the PSION Netbook over five years.

Rob Leathern

I would love to see the cross-tabs of these users by sophistication level, years of online experience, AOL status… I’m betting that the (relatively speaking) online smarties are going for Firefox. I do think it may take quite a while for this to trickle down. In fact, I just this weekend convinced my wife to switch to Firefox. Many people still have no idea that it’s an issue – many I believe think its part of the Windows system, obviously.

We’ve also been working hard on some really cool Firefox plug-in features over at LinkedIn, including our JobsInsider which appears on job sites like Monster and lets you see who you’re connected to when you’re looking at a job listing. It’s definitely worth checking out if you are a big Firefox fan…


The average PC user has no idea where their download sklnmklm8567vmvl.exe goes, let alone know how to install it.

nathan steyn

Better security is often put forward as the reason for the rapid growth of Firefox. These findings seem show that security may not be the main driver.

So now MSFT is working on IE 7.0 with the objective of … improving security (and offering tabbed browsing.) But neither of these is why I switched from IE 6.0.

FF is simply a better browser. IE 7.0 won’t win me back.


That’s exactly right. Most people still think their computer problems happen from malicious e-mails. The funny thing is watching a casual user run an installer program. Most don’t read the dialog boxes at all — they just click “next” to get through the installer as fast as possible. In the meantime, companies such as AOL and even Adobe have loaded the installer with bloat/spyware that will get installed on your machine unless you read the prompts carefully.

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