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back to article Firefox 3.0 ekes ahead of Internet Explorer 7 in Europe

Mozilla’s web browser Firefox 3.0 crawled past Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7 in European market share for the first time last week. According to StatCounter’s latest report on browser popularity, Firefox 3 eked ahead of IE 7 in Europe by just one per cent when version numbers were broken down in the market share study. It …

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Stop

IE6...shameful

It's hard to know who to blame for people still using IE6, Microsoft or the customer.

It's shameful though whichever way you look at it.

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Unhappy

A bit of maths...

So...

FF3 = 35%

IE7 = 34%

IE8 = 2.3%

IE* - FF3 = 10%

*calculate*

IE6 > 8% ?!?

That's MADNESS!

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Anonymous Coward

Corporate IE Mandate

It doesn't factor in the oodles of IT shops that Mandate IE on the desktop where the end user doesn't have a choice.

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Unhappy

Actually IE6 = 11.9% ...

... which is pretty scary.

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Alert

IE 6 shameful?

Nazi's at work keep us on IE 5, EVEN though it's incompatible with some of our in house designed systems.

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@ IE6... shameful

Like at a lot of companies around the world I could roll out IE7/IE8 to our departments users but the official central IT policy for our organisation is to use IE6.

This means that if our finance team can't use their web based financial applications for whatever reason we wouldn't get any support because their only certified for IE6.

This is the main reason why the ridiculous IE6 still exists with significant market share. Besides, a fair few of our more savvy users who don't need those critical apps use firefox 3.x anyway and don't touch IE6 icon on their desktops with a barge-pole, so it's not all bad news.

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Alert

IE6 usage

I would suspect that most of the IE6 usage in EU is corporations who simply don't want to spend the money in updating to IE7/8.

Not so much the browser update itself, but more the fact that they'd probably have to do lots and lots of work updating their corporate intranets, as they were all written with IE 6 in mind, and as no other browsers would have been authorised for use on their networks, won't have been tested with any other browsers.

I work for a large (i.e. 80,000+ IT company) and we had a new intranet application only launched a few months back, used by the whole company, and it won't work in anything other than IE6, Firefox won't even load the main page, just weird empty tables all over the place!

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Stop

IE6 - Who is to blame?

Look to the large corporates who have such useless silo style IT depts that take years to roll out standard updates. That and all the testing corps have to do to make sure their and the customers web apps work ok in a new browser. Doesnt just happen overnight. Costs a fortune.

I bet a lot of corps have only just rolled out XP SP2.

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Stop

one word: noscript

The firefox numbers are artificially low because a lot of people use noscript, and hence will block statcounter - I know I do, as I had to do a temporary unblock so I could look at their graphs.

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I've been looking at the same stats this week

Courtesy of gs.statcounter.com.

Sadly, the UK has a completely different result - IE7 has twice the market share of FF3. There's an undeniable IE6 trend though - its share drops off drastically on weekends.

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Unhappy

I'd be happier if...

Firefox 3.x didn't keep crashing, and the RPM contained the crashreporting tool. Mind you, it doesn't work anyway....

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Anonymous Coward

Umm..

I still have IE6 at home because both my machines get bricked by windows updates.

I don't _use_ it, but I do have it.

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Pirate

Avast!

Lots of people are still using pirated versions of XP, hence IE6. Take a look at the stats for Asia, for example.

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Anonymous Coward

Windows 2000

There are still plenty of Windows 2000 workstations out there, and Microsoft (in their infinite wisdom) deliberately chose not to make IE7 available for Win2k, so it's not always the user's fault for continuing to use IE6.

I use Firefox and I despise IE, but even I have to resort to using IE6 every now and then for certain companies that I work with (because of their crappily coded web / intranet sites).

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IE6 is going to be around for a long time yet

Who is using IE6? People with pirated versions of Windows, that's who.

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Joke

French browser stats?

Anyone know why the French made a reverse around September last year?

http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser-FR-daily-20080701-20090401

Until then FF was ramping up the charts ....

Nico M

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Unhappy

Netscape

At BT there's an application on the Intranet that will only work with Netscape Communicator! (My first browser was Netscape Navigator 0.98 back in 1995!)

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Alert

IE6

"Who is using IE6? People with pirated versions of Windows, that's who."

I have to disagree, surely if you were locked into IE6 you'd want to use Firefox as quickly as possible because IE6 is fast becoming an unusable mess (it always was, but now people don't care about coding for it as much).

I'd definitely say IE6 is used in corporations that never push out updates

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Happy

april fools

good one Reg.

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Opera at 7% in Europe?

My own UK web stats give Opera a 1% share, and that's rounded up! Do other webmasters in the UK see the same? Why has the UK not taken to Opera I wonder?

IE6 - yes, this is still used heavily by corporates and government departments and agencies. The cost of rolling out a newer browser is very high because of all the legacy websites/apps that need to be tested and upgraded to ensure the same level of compatibility. Also some decision makers don't fully appreciate the benefits of upgrading to IE7, otherwise more would have made it a priority over the last couple of years.

To be fair, a well made website should work fine with IE6 and 7. If a browser version has a noticeable share of the market then it's the responsibility of the designer/manager to ensure the website is compatible with as many users' browsers as possible. e.g. >96% compatibility is good and not at all unreasonable. If you can't make your app/site at least that compatible then go hire some new developers who can do it.

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Anonymous Coward

@Jason

No, SP2 had important security updates, so that one probably got rolled. If the risk of not implementing the security update is perceived as sufficiently high, that over rules the risk of deploying incompletely tested software. More likely the corporations that are standardized on IE6 are on SP2, but not SP3. Testing is probably the issue in both these cases, and that is the case for my employer. Although the PTB tell me we are going to leapfrog from IE6 to IE8 without pausing on IE7 and do it real soon. Until recently IE6 broke a number of certification apps (external) that we are required to use to support projects. Before that, it broke the Help Desk software we use. Naturally the first people to announce they weren't IE8 compatible were the external certification testers.

Anonymous, because I work the Help Desk at one such company in the US.

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Proxy/homepage settings centrally managed

Alas, there are two reasons corporations stick with IE.

One is indeed compatibility with in-house applications, but the other crucial element is Mozillas complete lack of support for centrally managed configuration.

With all version of IE, everything from proxy settings, homepage, favourites, trusted zones, security certificates, temp cache, menu options, allowed/restricted add-ons, et al can be configured via group policy management on the server.

These can then be applied to user accounts, computer accounts security groups or any combination of the above. Changes or updates to these setting automatically filtrate through the entire system, withoput the need to physically visit any machine.

This functionality is essential for any enterprise that spans multiple sites or even continents.

The software development group Frontmotion have addressed this by customising Firefox in their Firefox Community Edition, which I have deployed within our organisation, although it doesn't have quite the spit & polish of the IE solution within GPMC.

http://www.frontmotion.com/Firefox/fmfirefox.htm

Unfortunately, this customised project also means updates are problematic. That's NOT something you want in an internet facing application where rapid deployment of security updates is essential!

Finally, Firefox also rapes server/client resources and network traffic in environments that use roaming profiles because by default it uses the wrong application data folder to store its temporary internet files. Roaming profiles work perfectly so long as the 3rd party software respects the very simple rules on what should, and should not be stored in the folders that travel from machine to machine.

Don't get me wrong. I love firefox, and I use it myself, but until mozilla get their heads around these very simple and obvious enterprise requirements you won't see widespread adoption within the corporate market.

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Flame

re: Opera at 7% in Europe?

Simple, UK is English language speaking, so has outside influence from Americans.

That's the same reason why Xbox is selling OK in the UK, but getting reamed in sales in mainland Europe, UK people are influenced by Americans purchasing choice..

It's very easy for Microsoft to manipulate Brits, not so easy to influence non-English speaking countries. Almost all of Microsofts Viral marketing and astroturfing is done in English.

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user agent switcher

May reduce the results for FF

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W

Couple of interesting stats from the link in the story.

China - IE6 @ 60+%

Germany - FF3 @ 50+%

Also, at my work, more than half the machines are running Win98 which limits you to IE6 or FF2 (although current versions of Opera will still work).

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Thumb Down

Opera ?

"Why has the UK not taken to Opera I wonder?"

Perhaps because you used to have to pay for it while IE and FF were free-as-in-beer ? I only learnt today that it's now available for nowt. I think I'll check it out tonight to see if it has anything going for it over IE, FF and Chrome.

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@gary F

part of the reason for the lower turnout in the UK (and US) is that Mozilla pumps a lot of money into english language advertising, and press, and support. Thus, people in those countries believe the hype that firefox is faster and safer' (and its not, opera trumps it on both counts). Also, I'm told the language support for Opera is better than many others, because the company, unlike Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Mozilla, is not based in an English language country. THAT improves things.

Also, as Kwac points out, theres the user agent switcher (and as with a lot of things, while its an add-on for Firefox, it's built in to opera). Youd be surprised how many sites need it. The new facebook layout, for instance, doubles both the width and length of the page (leaving the content centered at the top) giving masses of blank space. Switch the agent to firefox, or IE (which is IE6 btw) and it goes away. Best of all though, some parts of the AT&T website, require either IE, or Netscape Navigator. how's that for old. Finally, last week's FTC townhall meeting on DRM was webcast, but to actually handle it properly, you HAD to use IE

Meanwhile, opera grows, as people who are REALLY smart (rather than those that slavishly follow marketing hype and THINK they're smart) make the switch. The only thing Firefox actually has going for it, is that it's open source, and Ill bet 90% of those that claim that as a reason, dont read the entire source before installing, and the same with every update. If you're not reading the source, and assuming someone else will, what benefit are you getting? and who's actually reading the source, because maybe everyone else is assuming YOU will be reading the source...

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Flame

@ Andrew Norton

"part of the reason for the lower turnout in the UK (and US) is that Mozilla pumps a lot of money into english language advertising, and press, and support. Thus, people in those countries believe the hype that firefox is faster and safer' (and its not, opera trumps it on both counts). Also, I'm told the language support for Opera is better than many others, because the company, unlike Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Mozilla, is not based in an English language country. THAT improves things.

Also, as Kwac points out, theres the user agent switcher (and as with a lot of things, while its an add-on for Firefox, it's built in to opera). Youd be surprised how many sites need it. The new facebook layout, for instance, doubles both the width and length of the page (leaving the content centered at the top) giving masses of blank space. Switch the agent to firefox, or IE (which is IE6 btw) and it goes away. Best of all though, some parts of the AT&T website, require either IE, or Netscape Navigator. how's that for old. Finally, last week's FTC townhall meeting on DRM was webcast, but to actually handle it properly, you HAD to use IE

Meanwhile, opera grows, as people who are REALLY smart (rather than those that slavishly follow marketing hype and THINK they're smart) make the switch. The only thing Firefox actually has going for it, is that it's open source, and Ill bet 90% of those that claim that as a reason, dont read the entire source before installing, and the same with every update. If you're not reading the source, and assuming someone else will, what benefit are you getting? and who's actually reading the source, because maybe everyone else is assuming YOU will be reading the source..."

The only thing I got from that whole comment was that you think you are awesome, and anybody who doesn't like what you like are idiots.... which makes me glad I don't know you!

FYI - I AM intelligent, I AM a programmer, I DO use FIREFOX, I DO NOT read through the sourcecode. WHY? (ok, I'm stopping the caps stuff now as it's annoying) - because there are plenty of other bug finders out there doing a fab job on it already... that doesn't mean I'm thick and using code that nobody has ever checked for bugs (which you seem to think from your comment), it just means I'm not thick enough to think that only I have the power to patch a peice of software that has hundreds of other bug testers (often better than I am too) and developers working on it already.

Oh - also, in reply to "believe the hype that firefox is faster and safer' (and its not, opera trumps it on both counts)" - I believe it says faster and safer, not fastest and safest... and it's usually in reference to IE, which it is. Opera is fine if you like it, but there's no need to be a prick over it.

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Stop

@AC 16:04

"The only thing I got from that whole comment was that you think you are awesome

[...]

I DO NOT read through the sourcecode."

Apparently you don't read through the comments you reply to either. Yes, to claim that "[t]he only thing Firefox actually has going for it, is that it's open source" is completely overstating things, but there are a number of other valid and pertinent points there that you've completely ignored, instead latching on to a slight to your darling browser as if it were a personal insult.

Firefox is fine if you like it, but there's no need to be a prick over it.

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Anonymous Coward

My work machine is still tied into IE6

purely because of some custom applications and scripts that have to run inside it which aren't yet capable of dealing with 7, let alone 8 (hey, it was only last autumn we left 5). That these applications and scripts are capable of hanging IE so irredeemably that it can only be coaxed back into life by, erm, rebooting the entire bloody system is, of course, another matter entirely...

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@Psymon

Don't forget certificates. many corps may have a root certificate that signs all kinds of in-house stuff (vpns, websites, programs etc.) which is self-signed because it would cost too much for internal computers they can install the cert on anyway. Except FF totally ignores the windows cert. store (whereas chrome, for instance, works perfectly)

these apps would do better if they tried to use the features of the OS instead of going their own way. Makes sense in the linux environment (all apps are self-contained; can't make assumptions about the OS because it could be heavily customised), but not on windows

(I wonder if anything other than IE uses the windows RSS store, for instance? though even outlook doesn't use it yet...)

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Gold badge

Read the source

"Ill bet 90% of those that claim that as a reason, dont read the entire source before installing, and the same with every update"

90%? The source for firefox is pretty big, I doubt *anyone* has read the entire source.

I use firefox anyway.. I've used opera before and it IS very nice though, I do recommend people try it out.

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@one word: noscript

I would think that they use log files rather than JavaScript to tell them wihch browser is which -- I bet, for instance, El Reg have a record of the browser I'm

using (hint: I'm composing this in nano).

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Happy

And the most interesting thing is...

that statcounter web site that reports about FF triumph requires IE if you want to see the graph...

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xjy
Paris Hilton

It's the ads, stupid

Piss-easy to bin the ads in FF.

Nuff said.

(Paris cos she bin there and done that, and takes the piss)

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need ie to get web exchange

But just switch rendering engine in firefox and bingo all done :)

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Statistics fail.

"However, more significantly: "The data shows that Firefox is closing the gap and is now just 10 percent behind all IE versions in Europe," according to Cullen."

It's 10 percentage points behind, not 10% (10% behind IE would mean it was actually only 3 to 4 percentage points behind).

That aside, more important for people who care about "so when are they even" is that firefox only needs to chomp anything over 5 percentage points off of IE's presence in their favour to surpass IE.

The ultimate question is, of course, what does it matter. For plain users, nothing really, for developers, all these browsers have shortcomings - IE has poor standards support, chrome and opera have bizar javascript behaviour, not throwing errors when they should, firefox is more than ten times slower at moderately elabroate JS tasks than chrome or opera, there's no winner if you're a dev, and there's no loser if you're an internet browsing mom or dad.

And if you actually know which browser you want based on which merit, you couldn't care less about the stats because you use what you need, not what the voices in your head tell you to =)

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@Mike Kamermans

It does matter for "plain users" of Firefox and, indeed, Opera, Safari, Chrome, Konquerror, Epiphany...

The reason it matters is that if any browser surpasses IE then people developers will be instructed to make sites more standards compliant -- meaning that the message "Can only be viewed in EI..." should become a thing of the past. Admittedly it's getting close to that now, but less people using IE is always a good thing.

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Stop

@ac 16:03

" it just means I'm not thick enough to think that only I have the power to patch a peice of software that has hundreds of other bug testers (often better than I am too) and developers working on it already."

Or not, as often the case is. Mainly because everyone else makes the same assumption you do - that 'someone else' is checking the code, so you don't have to. Case in point ...

http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/05/firefox-infects.html

open source? Check!

Freely available? Check! (from mozilla's own site no less)

Downloaded lots in the assumption someone else has checked the source? CHECK!

Trojaned?? *CHECK*

So, we have a company, that touts 'safety' and 'security' in all their advertising, distributing a trojan to thousands of users. Does any apology get issued? Any consequences at all? Nope. It's open source, so they've just washed their hands of any accountability. That kind of business model is why the head of Mozilla gets the big bucks.

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Antartica

Firefox is doing really well in Antarctica. It gets 100% of the market. Well apart from those months when no one seems to be using the internet down there.

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