It doesn’t matter. The world is divided into three browser platforms; one giant, one big, one dying. Google’s Chrome and Chromium is the giant. Apple’s Safari is bigger than you think. So, what browser is dying? The best one.
Way back when, back when the online world had fewer browser choices, Microsoft dominated both Windows and Mac with Internet Explorer. Like the story of the tortoise and the hare, Microsoft fell asleep and missed a few revolutions that overtook technology.
One was the mobile revolution started by iPhone and dominated by iOS and Google’s Android OS. The second was the browser revolution started by Mozilla and Firefox. When Microsoft dumped Internet Explorer on the Mac, Apple responded with Safari. That gave Mac users two very good choices. Firefox thrived on Mac and Windows as an alternative browser.
While Microsoft slept, Google launched Chrome, a browser based on the Google-inspired and Google-controlled Chromium project. Chrome was everywhere, including the Mac. It didn’t take long for Chrome to become the industry leading browser as many competitors adopted Chromium as their browser engine.
That left the industry with three main browser platforms. The aforementioned giant– Google’s Chrome and the open source Chromium, Apple’s Safari on nearly 1.5-billion devices, and Mozilla’s wonderful Firefox, now down to single digit marketshare.
Greg Keizer delivered the bad news.
According to web analytics vendor Net Applications, Firefox’s June user share fell seven-tenths of a percentage point to 8.9%.
What’s going on?
Most Mac, iPhone, and iPad users live their browsing life on Safari, followed up by Google’s Chrome, and then a few dozen other browsers– including Firefox– most based on Chromium on the Mac, the rest using Safari’s engine on iOS.
Chrome even dominates on Windows, and Microsoft bit the bullet and put its new Edge browser on the Chromium platform, and that left Mozilla’s Firefox out in the cold.
Firefox’s long-term prognosis remains dire. In the past year, the browser shed 1.3 percentage points of user share, a depressing amount for an application that has no fat on its frame.
So, other than Mozilla, who depends upon Firefox for revenue, who cares?
Everyone who browses should care.
First, Google’s Chrome is the internet worst offender for privacy violations, constantly tracking and gathering data from online users, then using that information so advertisers can manipulate the very users who gave up the information.
Second, Firefox is a better browser. It is faster, more secure, comes with a gazillion-point-five extensions to customize, and easily kills ad trackers and online trackers, right out of the box.
Firefox has just about everything any browser user would want or need; it’s the fastest major browser, uses less memory and battery, bookmarks sync between devices, passwords are portable, too, and your browsing history can be hidden. Oh, did I mention that Firefox blocks ad trackers?
So, why is Firefox losing marketshare to Chrome? Google’s playful little logo makes the company’s intentions seem innocuous, but behind those colors evil lurks and most browser users don’t know what’s going on.
It’s too bad for humanity that Mozilla’s Firefox is losing and Google’s Chrome is winning. We deserve better.