Why is Firefox adoption slowing down?

Dave Shea notes that Firefox Growth seems to have slowed down and that the browser now has a market share of around 15%.

Actual numbers vary a lot between sites, but yes, Firefox growth has indeed slowed down when I look at the stats for this site. Over the last couple of months Firefox has actually *lost* market share. Fortunately not to Internet Explorer, but to Mozilla.

I’d like to be able to see the browser statistics for people coming to the site from search engines, but the statistics software I use (AWStats) doesn’t reveal that info.

Posted on October 19, 2005 in Browsers, Quicklinks


  1. October 19, 2005 by Carlos Bernal

    Simple…it’s the early adopters you see in the stats. That is true with anything new.

    If we look back at major upgrades with IE, we see they included a whole host of new features along with the security/bug fixes…If this is so this time around, the average consumer will not have any interest in FF.

    My prediction is that IE will regain about half of that share once their new browser is launched.

    FF’s only hope will be aggressive marketing; good marketing requires capital…I don’t think bad mouthing IE or MS will be enough.

  2. I think growth has slowed down because it take more to convince the people that just have no clue about computers. It takes more work to convince people who are stuck in their ways. It takes more work to win them over, but the expansion of Firefox and non-IE browser adoption is growing.

    I love that it’s now acceptable to design for the 15% of the internet. Four years ago I’d be fired.

  3. It’s slowed because unless you work in the industry, you have no idea what Firefox is and no real reason to care.*

    Last year I did an informal survey of my 20-something friends with professional jobs; almost none of them had ever heard of Firefox. I think we often forget as Internet professionals that the rest of the world doesn’t care about downloading the latest release of Firefox, or have any clue as to what version of IE they are using.

    * There are plenty of real reasons to care, but ignorance is bliss.

  4. Honestly I think firefox has a larger than 15% share. IE is only so big because it is loaded automaticaly with windows and is the standard in most corporate IT systems. If corporate IT shops allowed users to load Firefox, the share would be much greater.

    Once accessibility software and its users start demanding IT shops to allow Firefox because of its greater adoption of web standards, IE will rule.

  5. I agree with Peter. Windows is still the dominant platform. IE comes pre-installed on Windows. Most non-IT professionals do not know about firefox. Nor are they interested in going to some site to download another browser, when they already have (in their minds) a perfectly good one installed with their default OS. Heck, a lot of .NET developers I know don’t use Firefox.

  6. I agree with Peter and Keith. This probably should be excepted. It matches a typical slowdown in interest for any new software release as time passes. For Firefox to continue to grow above the 15% being discussed, the browser needs to come pre-installed on boxes from major manufactures. Most people do not know what Mozilla Firefox is. They are not interested in taking the time to figure out how to download another browser, when they already have one that they believe meets their needs.

  7. October 20, 2005 by FataL

    As Firefox 1.5 will released statistics for it will go down because it now has improved cache (pretty the same as Opera has for a while). And that is why Opera always has so low stats. Good for users not for stats… this cache improvements. ;)

  8. October 20, 2005 by Martin Smales

    I guess Firefox’s slowdown in web browser market share is expected.

    I think what’s slowing it down are:

    • IE comes pre-installed in Windows

    • Other browsers competing for a bigger share of the market

    • Lots of people never heard or don’t care about Firefox

    • Many websites do not work well with Firefox, i.e. sites that are optimised for IE

  9. Perhaps the FireFox growth slowdown, if it is real, has something to do with Microsoft’s hustle to sign on companies like McAfee and their Virus Scan Online product which I used for as long as it has existed. On this year’s renewal, I was forced to use IE6 to use the product, and installation of the McAfee upgrade completely disabled the use of both Firefox and Netscape. Mcafee prevented access to the internet except via IE. I fired Mcafee.

    Other products, like the NetZero dialup access I use also insist on bringing up their homepage with IE. I have to switch FF back to THE browser each time, then I can use what I want.

  10. October 21, 2005 by Juan Ignacio

    If IE7 finally can reach the standards like Firefox, it doesn’t bother to me anymore the market share of FF. I will continue to use it because for me it’s the best browser, but at least I can design a standard based site without worrying too much of IE not supporting standards like now.

  11. October 21, 2005 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    It would be very interesting to see the market share for various browsers among people who are free to make their own choice. That would exclude most people working at large corporations and public service organisations.

  12. October 25, 2005 by Phil Wheeler

    I have been hosting my wife’s Company website for the last year or so. It is the kind of site that is likely to be visited by non-webbie kind of people - e.g Joe Public. Whilst the Mozilla content has moved down in recent times, it is only by a fraction and seems to make little difference to the “real” people out there!!

    The breakdown of the many thousand of visitations (top 3) are:

    1. IE6 - 89.48%
    2. Mozz/5 - 4.63%
    3. IE5 (inc MAC) - 3.54%

    That’s 97.65% - speaks for itself.

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