The market share of Firefox vs. Internet Explorer

Some spot-checking shows Firefox in hot pursuit of IE on tech-minded sites, but farther behind still among more general audiences.

In his Open Road blog, Matt Asay was skeptical about some browser market share data because the sample audience was heavy on techies. The July 2008 stats for the site in question, W3Schools.com, were:

W3Schools.com
BROWSERUSAGE
Internet Explorer   52%
Firefox43%
Safari2%
Opera2%

Into this discussion, I'd like to add my own numbers.

My JavaTester.org website also leans a bit towards a technical audience. To seek out the site, you have to know what Java is and that there are different versions of it. In July 2008 the site averaged 8,050 page views a day, according to awstats. Interestingly, the July usage stats also showed Internet Explorer at 52 percent, the same as W3Schools.

javatester.org
BROWSERUSAGE
Internet Explorer   52%
Firefox32%
Netscape4%
Mozilla4%
Safari2%
Opera2%

The most popular site that I manage belongs to a client whose audience has no interest in technology. The site averaged 12,477 page views per day in July, also according to awstats. The market share there shows Internet Explorer did better, as did Safari.

Non-techies
BROWSERUSAGE
Internet Explorer   62%
Firefox26%
Safari6%
Mozilla2%

In short, among techies, IE was used 52 percent of the time and Firefox either 32 percent or 43 percent. The higher percentage was at W3Schools.com and chances are that their users are more technically inclined than those at Javatester.org. Among a more general audience of web users, IE scored 62 percent and Firefox 26 percent.

It seems that as the technical awareness of the the audience decreases, the use of Internet Explorer increases.

Does this remind you of Windows? Businesses, with techies making the decisions, are, for the most part, sticking with XP while consumers find nothing but Vista on retail shelves.

See a summary of all my Defensive Computing postings.

About the author

    Michael Horowitz wrote his first computer program in 1973 and has been a computer nerd ever since. He spent more than 20 years working in an IBM mainframe (MVS) environment. He has worked in the research and development group of a large Wall Street financial company, and has been a technical writer for a mainframe software company.

    He teaches a large range of self-developed classes, the underlying theme being Defensive Computing. Michael is an independent computer consultant, working with small businesses and the self-employed. He can be heard weekly on The Personal Computer Show on WBAI.

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