Forget the video games console war between the PS3, Wii and Xbox 360 for a moment, and forget also the high definition format war which ended earlier this year with Blu-ray beating HD DVD to a pulp. There is another battle ongoing, and it is one of almost David and Goliath proportions: the battle of the Web browsers.
The David in this little tale is Mozilla Firefox, with the Goliath being Microsoft Internet Explorer, IE holds dominance in the browser market mainly due to many computer owners knowing no better, or in the same way as many people stay with a bank long after they have been stung for an unfair fee or two, simply because it is easier to stick with what you know.
This is a shame because Firefox is a much better browser than IE on any issue you’d like to compare them: it’s faster, more user-friendly, better looking and on and on. Which means the news that the recent release of Firefox 3 has increased Mozilla’s market share to a record high of 19.03% fills me with some hope that people are finally realising there is a superior product out there, and it’s free.
Mozilla did a great job of promoting the final release of Firefox 3, setting up a record attempt for the most users to ever download a program in its first 24 hours of release. This was ingenious for no other reason than the fact that the record didn’t actually exist at the time, so Mozilla could hardly fail to break it.
In the end, the record was set at 8,002,530, and Mozilla is due to receive the official certificate for the achievement from the Guinness Book of World Records in London next week. The record attempt garnered a lot of publicity and according to Yahoo News, helped Firefox catch up slightly with current market leader Internet Explorer.
While Microsoft’s browser is still by far the most popular, it is on a downward trend, falling from 73.75% to 73.01% from May to June: the same time frame in which Firefox gained ground. Other browsers such as Safari and Opera make up the rest of the numbers, but have nowhere near the amount of users as the big two. I just hope I live to see the day that Firefox overtakes IE once and for all.