Jan 18, 2011

The Browsers' Risk: Firefox takes Europe

Mozilla Firefox overcomes MS Explorer in Europe. That's good news. Not just because you might dislike proprietary software and like open source. But more fundamentally because it disrupts a quasi-monopoly or a dominant position and helps freedom of choice and information. Not that we were not technically free to choose our preferred browser, but in practice many people lack the necessary info to make that choice. I've even known people that mixed up "internet" and "explorer", so long they have been accustomed to the blue "e" icon. How can you even know that there is a choice?
Source: StatCounter Global Stats - Browser Market Share


That of browsers is a kind of war. Mozilla is launching Firefox 4, Microsoft is preparing Explorer 9. The others will upgrade their versions...
In 2008 the world market was a duopoly made by Explorer (70%) and Firefox (25%). Now there are also Chrome and the others who are competing with good products: Explorer has about 50% of market, Firefox about 30%, Chrome 15%, then we have Safari, Opera and the rest.

The worldwide picture is clear: Firefox gained shares in 2009 and it is basically stable now, Explorer is losing shares constantly, while Chrome is rapidly becoming common.

It is interesting to notice that the victim is always Explorer. In 2009 it gave its shares to Firefox, now it is giving them to Chrome. It looks like there not a big battle between Firefox and Chrome. Actually it looks like the long run shares are 30% for each of the three major browsers. I am sorry for Microsoft but I believe this is good for us.

However things change nicely from country to country. While in Europe Firefox has just become the most used browser with a share of 38%, in the USA it is not, and by far, given that is has a share of 26% against the 48% of Explorer. That's a huge difference. Even more interesting is the fact that in the USA after 2009, when Firefox took shares from Explorer, the difference between the two kept constant and both lost shares in favor of Chrome and Safari. In Europe instead Firefox seems strongly rooted and only Explorer is giving shares to Chrome. Also Europeans like Safari quite less than Americans. Actually they equally like Safari and Opera, which is virtually unknown in the USA.
Source: StatCounter Global Stats - Browser Market Share


In Europe Firefox is strong mainly because of Germany, where it is by far the most common browser. Here Germany really is a special case.
Source: StatCounter Global Stats - Browser Market Share


Another special case is China (when is China not a special case?;)): Explorer is essentially alone! Also there is Maxthon which appears and is in line with Firefox and Chrome, but they just reach about 10% share together.
Source: StatCounter Global Stats - Browser Market Share


Finally, Russia is special since the most used browsers are Firefox and Opera (about 30% each), followed by Explorer, Chrome and Safari.
Source: StatCounter Global Stats - Browser Market Share

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