Only 7 percent of active Firefox browsers running on Macs?

Even Mac users seem content to ignore their browser options, which means Mozilla has a tough slog to promote its Firefox browser.

In the midst of counting the total number of Linux users in the world, Mozilla's Asa Dotzler reveals a startling statistic:

The Mac only accounts for roughly 7 percent of active Firefox browser installations.

Sure, Windows has massive market share, but I would have thought more Mac users would be running Firefox than their Windows peers. Meaning, I had assumed that whereas Windows users would be content to let inertia guide them to Internet Explorer (IE), a greater proportion of Mac owners would make the choice for Firefox, instead of Safari that comes preinstalled on the Mac, netting the Mac a greater percentage of active Firefox installations.

This adds a new dimension to Mozilla chief lizard wrangler Mitchell Baker's comment to me about the "muscle memory" that keeps users stuck on IE :

The Internet became mixed in people's minds with Microsoft. Many people conflated Windows with "the Web." Our first great challenge was to convince people that they could improve their life by making a choice in their browser. To this day, most people think of "the Internet" as the blue "E" (IE's icon).

Apparently, it's not just Microsoft: Apple's Mac fan club has the same problem. When viewed against this backdrop, it borders on amazing that Firefox has managed to carve out more than 20 percent market share in the browser market.

Someone should give Mitchell and company (er...Foundation) an award. Or, better yet, a juicy bundling deal that installs Firefox on desktops so that Mozilla doesn't have to swim upstream as much as it has.

Imagine what Mozilla's Firefox could do on a level playing field.

Follow me on Twitter at mjasay.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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