In a little over two and a half months the 1.0 release of Firefox has been downloaded over 20 million times and is still going strong.
You’ve engaged your friends and family, your co-workers, colleagues, and fellow students in a novel and exciting effort to take back the Web. You’ve helped twenty million people to get beyond the daily chaos of adware, spyware, and constant virus infections. You’ve created the first and the largest open source marketing effort in history. And you all are educating the world that they do have a choice and that they can take control of their Internet experience.
You all have demonstrated that open source community can be powerful, committed, and capable of accomplishing once-unimaginable feats.
It’s hard to estimate how many people are actually using Firefox from that number, but it still demonstrates a lot of interest. Certainly some folks downloaded it, tried it, and went back to using IE, but it’s also likely that quite a few single downloads were by companies that put the file on their corporate network and then installed it on hundreds of PCs let alone people like me who downloaded it once and set it up on several PCs for friends and family. Looking at the access logs for SEB shows that around 20% of visitors are using Firefox these days which is up considerably from just a few months ago.
Microsoft’s top execs keep claiming that they’re not worried about Firefox’s growing influence and they point to the fact that IE still maintains over 90% market share as proof that there’s nothing to be concerned about. However, the folks at online measurement company WebSideStory are reporting that 4.78 percent of Internet surfers used Firefox from the beginning of December through mid-January amounting to a gain of 0.88 percentage points. That’s not a bad gain for a month and a half and word has it that the boys in Redmond are taking notice no matter what they’re saying publicly. The year ahead should prove rather interesting as the browser wars return.
Tip o’the hat to John for the headsup.