Mozilla: Firefox is still No. 2

Mozilla is doing some damage control following last week's double-data whammy from Net Applications and StatCounter. Both firms show Chrome gaining usage share on Firefox. StatCounter claims Chrome will unseat Firefox from second place as early as the end of year. I don't believe it, but that's because I trust NetApps stats more, and they're different.

The statement begins: "Firefox demonstrated just how important browsers are but it's important to remember that the reasons for building Web browsers are significantly different from one company to the next". There's a lot of hidden meaning in that one sentence. Google's intentions are pretty clear, as the company builds up a development platform and seeks an anchor for search and ensuring its dominance -- all while integrating its many web services.

"Mozilla's mission is to promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the web", according to its mission statement. I should point out that Google makes similar claims about promoting openness.

"Mozilla is unique in that we build Firefox to provide a truly independent offering, focused solely on individual experience and the overall good of the Web", the PR statement I received continues. Remember Mozilla's "Take back the web" slogan. It worked. Firefox took back a large number of web browser users from Internet Explorer.

But Chrome is taking back the web from Firefox, which growth has stagnated. Its usage share fell to 22.48 percent from 23.52 percent between November 2010 to September, which marked the fourth consecutive month of decline. Meanwhile, Chrome usage share rose to 16.2 percent from 9.57, consecutively gaining share for all 11 months.

"Firefox is holding its own in the face of increased competition, with 450 million users worldwide choosing a web browser that answers only to them", Mozilla's statement ends. "Holding its own" is the problem. Firefox was once the big gainer. But "450 million users" matters. That's a big number, and it's about three times greater than Chrome.

Firefox surely has its supporters among Betanews readers. "I use Firefox because of the addons and compatibility with all websites", writes MathNerdzRule.

Commenter ksponge "tried to use Chrome for a bit over a month. I found myself returning to Firefox due to the way tabs are handled in Chrome and no customization in how I want them handled. Chrome plus offers some customization for tab behavior but still does not offer what I'm looking for. If it had more customization options I would possibly use it. But for now, I'm sticking with Firefox".

Donte Cen is excited about what comes later: "Firefox UX is the best. It's got speed, compatibility, and good UI . Only wish the nightly builds will support more add-ons and themes".

Why do you use Firefox?

19 Responses to Mozilla: Firefox is still No. 2

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