This should not come as a suprise for Windows users. Microsoft’s had a lot of troubles with Windows security the past year and Internet Explorer (the Swiss cheese of browsers) has taken the heat.
Along comes the open source browser from the folks at Mozilla. Named, renamed, and named again, Firefox is the fastest growing browser on Windows.
What? Firefox is growing on the Mac? Well, if our site’s web server logs are any indication, yes. Firefox is growing like a fire.
Here’s an example of what I mean. As a Mac site, you’d expect Safari to be the #1 browser among our site’s visitors. It is. Until recently, Safari’s numbers on our site remained at around 70-percent, give or a take a few points, since we started checking stats in the middle of 2004.
Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, on the other hand, has also remained steady at around 15-percent. However, nearly 85-percent of that 15-percent are Windows Internet Explorer users. We assume they’re Mac users who are forced by enslaved employment to use MSIE at work.
Firefox usage on our site was less than 2-percent until late in the fall when the Mozilla organization began massive advertising in the face of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer security woes.
Since then, Firefox usage on our site has increased steadily to just under 20-percent total of daily visitors. That’s now one in five visitors to the site who’s using Firefox.
Who’s the loser? Internet Explorer, both Mac and Windows users. And Apple’s Safari. And Mozilla. Yes, Safari is down under 60-percent.
Every other browser has gone down in percentage of use on the site, except Firefox, which has increased dramatically.
Well, “you’re a Mac site, so what?” Well, we also run the popular HawaiiCam web site which is NOT Mac oriented. You’d expect a more “normal” balance of Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer (Windows) use, right?
You’d be correct.
On HawaiiCam (a non-Mac oriented site), Windows Internet Explorer was the top browser in October with about 88-percent of all users. Mac’s Safari came in at just under 6-percent, about as expected. Firefox wasn’t even on the list.
In February, Window’s Internet Explorer had dropped to less than 80-percent of total site visitors, and Firefox came from nearly nowhere to just under 10-percent of all site visitors.
What’s all that mean?
Change. A big change for Windows users in particular, as Internet Explorers security problems mount, web surfers look for a safer alternative, and Firefox is there. Fast. Stable. Features. Secure (generally).
The Mac side is a bit different. Firefox’s gains came at the expense of every other browser. Safari, Mozilla, Opera, Internet Explorer. All lost share as Firefox gained.
Mac users like Firefox.
Personally, I think OmniWeb 5.1 is the best browser on any platform, Mac, Windows, ‘nix, or whatever. OmniWeb costs a little money while Firefox is free.
Of course, the real reason for Firefox’s success on Mac and Windows has to do with cool name and attractive logo, right?
What’s your thought? Do you have to use a Windows PC at work to surf the web? If so, what browser do you use? Internet Explorer? Firefox? Mozilla, Opera or whatever?
If you’re a Mac user (you’re here, reading this site…) have you tried Firefox? How about Mozilla or OmniWeb? Or Camino or iCab?
Carry your mouse to the Comments link below and click to share your thoughts with other Mac readers.