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WinInfo Daily UPDATE, November 2, 2004

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In the News

- Mozilla Grabs 6 Percent Market Share as IE Falters

==== In the News ====

by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Mozilla Grabs 6 Percent Market Share as IE Falters

According to a new study by Web analytics firm WebSideStory, two Mozilla Foundation Web browsers have captured a combined 6 percent of the market from market leader Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE), which has seen its share drop in recent days. The Web use study, which is based on an analysis of traffic to major Web sites such as Walt Disney, Best Buy, Liz Claiborne, and Sony, shows that IE has lost market share for five consecutive months. Meanwhile, Mozilla's products have grown during the same period.
Mozilla makes two primary Web browser products: the Mozilla suite, which includes a Web browser, email client, and Instant Messaging (IM) solution, and the Firefox browser, a standalone Web browser that's nearing its crucial 1.0 release. According to WebSideStory, both the Mozilla suite and Firefox grabbed 3 percent market share in October, for a total of 6 percent, up from a combined 5.2 percent in September. During that same time period, IE's market share slid from 93.7 percent in September to 92.9 percent in October. In June, IE had 95.5 percent of the market.
Other Web browsers also are stealing a bit of market share from the stagnant IE. Opera Software's Opera and Apple Computer's Safari both edged above 0.5 percent of the market in October, WebSideStory said. Although these numbers don't seem particularly impressive, they come at the expense of IE, which has dominated the Web browser market since the late 1990s. Since then, however, Microsoft has backed off from actively developing IE. Now, for the first time, we're seeing rivals starting to gain on IE.
The timing of this market share news couldn't be better for Mozilla, which will launch Firefox 1.0 on November 9. The organization recently raised more than $250,000 in contributions from users in just 10 days, and it will use that money to promote Firefox 1.0 in full-page ads in "The New York Times." The hope is that Firefox will reach mainstream users and edge out of its niche status. The product is off to a good start: More than 7 million users have downloaded preview and release candidate (RC) builds of Firefox 1.0 over the past few weeks.

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