Firefox & Internet Explorer Compete for Market Share

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Friday, February 25, 2005

Firefox & Internet Explorer Compete for Market ShareFirefox has just topped 25 million downloads since its release 100 days ago, indicating that the open-source browser continues to pursue a positive presence in a Microsoft dominated market. As Firefox's popularity and overall public usage continues to grow, designers and marketers will need to ensure that they remain in perspective with their audiences.

Firefox & Internet Explorer Compete for Market Share

Firefox, the Mozilla Foundation's new Internet browser, has just topped 25 million downloads since its release 100 days ago, indicating that the open-source browser continues to pursue a positive presence in a Microsoft dominated market.

My guess is that security concerns have been a major reason for why consumers are choosing to leave behind their easily accessible Internet Explorer browser to find alternative browsers, with Firefox benefiting the most. According to Jupiter Research, IE's market share had fallen to 92.7%, while Firefox's share had risen to 4.8% and other browsers, such as Netscape and Opera, accounted for the rest.

As Firefox's popularity and overall public usage continues to grow both website designers and search engine marketing specialists will need to ensure that they remain in perspective with the Internet audience, even if it means developing "search engine friendly" websites with the Firefox browser in mind.

I personally am 1 of the 25 million who downloaded Firefox and I find it to be a great alternative to Internet Explorer. A couple of my favorite features are the "Smarter Search" and the "Tabbed Browsing" tools, not to mention the extra pop-up blocking and security attributes, which IE currently lacks.

Smarter Search

The "Smarter Search" feature, much like a standard search engine toolbar, allows the user to search their favorite search engine without actually going to the search engine website. Currently I have Google, Yahoo!, MSN, Ask Jeeves, AltaVista, EBay, and Amazon installed in my search bar with plenty more options to choose from.

Tabbed Browsing

The "Tabbed Browsing" feature allows user to create a separate tab, much like a new window, for each additional website. Unlike IE, which creates another window, Firefox creates a stationary tab which resides at the top of the browser where the user can easily navigate through multiple websites at one time. If you are a Windows XP user, you will enjoy this feature very much, as you are able to view multiple websites without cluttering the bottom menu-bar.

I expect Firefox to be very successful this coming year which will hopefully help to dethrone Microsoft from its current position as the ruler of the "browser kingdom." If not, then maybe Firefox will pressure Microsoft just enough to where they quickly find the solutions needed to fix the many security problems that Internet Explorer has. Best of luck Firefox... your going to need it.

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