A New Firefox Record


ScreenshotFirefox set another new record last month. No, not the 8-million-plus downloads on Download Day – that’s nice, but since this is the first time the Guiness people have ever certified a record in that category, it’s pretty meaningless. Much more important in the grand scheme of things is the browser’s continued market penetration. Net Applications has the data: a 5.5% increase in browser share in the last year, paralleling a 6% drop in IE use and leaving Firefox poised to hit 20% of the browser market this month.

With 1 out of 5 browser hits being from Firefox, we’re at the point where web designers can no longer afford to build “IE only” sites. For web workers in the design and development universe, this is good news; high Firefox market numbers act as a natural push towards standards-based design. I wouldn’t want to see IE vanish completely – an ecosystem with just one browser is bad no matter whose browser it is. But with the current trend continuing, those of us who are committed Firefox users (and the 8% or so who use other alternatives) stand to benefit in cross-browser releases of new technology on any number of fronts.


Mike Gunderloy

Absolutely – the bulk of that other 8% is Safari, and Opera is an important source of innovation even though their numbers are smaller. I tend to be about 90% Firefox, 10% Safari myself, with other browsers only when I need to chase bugs.

But it’s clearly a case of “a rising tide floats all boats.”


Exactly, competition breeds innovation.

I use Firefox at work, but Safari at home — I lean more towards Safari.

Rick Mahn

Mike, I’d like to add that the refocus of developers to code for standards can only help the growth of Safari and Opera as well. I don’t want to see any of these browsers go away at all as they each bring a different perspective to the idea of browsers.

Each has their strengths and contribute to the overall browsing experience, and will bring better features to the category altogether.


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