Gecko Market Share

The browser market share graph in the latest Google Zeitgeist for May shows a significant uptick in the “Netscape 5.x+ (incl. Mozilla)” line.

The graph has no scale, so we have to do a bit of work to figure out what the numerical percentage is. Assuming that all the figures add up to roughly 100%, then 100% is about 140 pixels. Our line is at 7 pixels (up from 5.5 pixels a couple of months ago), implying a 5% market share. IE 6 has about 75%. The other players who register on the graph, IE 5.5 and 5.0, are falling steadily.

Taking a conservative estimate of 300 million web users, and assuming they are all equally likely to use Google, that means 15 million people are using Gecko-based browsers.

I predict that a major driver moving people to Firefox will be the latest round of bank-specific IE exploits. In the last week, at least one IE Browser Helper Object (BHO) has been discovered (follow that link; the write-up is fascinating reading) which silently installs itself and captures any usernames and passwords sent to a long list of banking sites. As soon as the first person goes to the papers with “I had all my money stolen because I used IE”, the mozilla.org download servers are going to melt. Hey, even CERT now recommends that people switch. Maybe we need a campaign like Apple’s

4 thoughts on “Gecko Market Share

  1. Of course, there’s no reason to assume that Google’s statistics are paticuarly accurate (there’s a discussion about this topic on the mozillazine forums which I can’t link to because they’re in meltdown).

    Having said that, a increase in the numbers displayed on google probably does represent a real increase in useage, so that’s a good thing :)

  2. Interesting idea about Mozilla taking an apple like approach to encouraging switching. Whilst there are elements that wouldn’t cross over. I think when Firefox 1.0 rolls round it’d be nice to have a similar Top 10 FAQ questions for people switching from IE or the Mozilla Suite.
    E.g. Mozilla Suite
    Q: Argh! I can’t find Feature X in Firefox where has it gone
    A: Firefox is designed to be streamlined many additional features can be found in extensions, advanced users can control many settings using about:config.