Update: fixed a bug where I had confused Maltese and Malayalam. Firefox’s numbers improve further :-)
The languages to be included in Firefox 3.5 are now confirmed, and Microsoft has just released the last 5 additional languages for IE 8 on XP they said were pending. That’s three months after the original release. I guess they still need to learn from our team on how to simultaneously ship them all at once ;-P (And it’s worth noting quite a few of their languages are still Vista and/or 32-bit only. Should we count a language if it’s not available on their most common OS?)
Anyway, it’s time for an update on our plans for world domination. A reminder for those joining the party: I have a spreadsheet which combines the Internet population of a country with its first-language-spoken percentages to try and get an accurate idea of what languages the world Internet population speaks.
The headline is that of the latest releases of all the browser vendors, Firefox now has the highest percentage of world Internet population first-language coverage – 95.7%:
The key change from the last release of the data is that I’ve got much more up-to-date figures for Internet population from InternetWorldStats (thanks very much to them). There are 28.5% more people on the net than in the last release of the statistics – an extra 300 million people. Almost every country’s net population has gone up, but they’ve gone up by different amounts, and so that has had a knock-on effect on the relative importance of different languages, and of the percentages of the world covered. So, for example, Firefox 3.0 “dropped” more than one percentage point from 93.5% to 92.4%, despite still covering the same languages it always did! As more of the developing world comes online, the goalposts are moving :-)
The stats have their own page, where you can find the spreadsheet, FAQs and a more detailed explanation. A few noteworthy points:
- If you want a current browser in Esperanto, Welsh, Persian, Irish, Galician, Icelandic, Kurdish, Occitan, Romansh or Sinhala, Firefox is the only game in town.
- We are releasing 3.5 in Turkish despite the Turkish localizer breaking his leg. That’s dedication.
- Axel says we are looking at taking a Malay localization from Ubuntu. That would be another 0.72%. Seth says Azerbaijani is in progress, and it could be that some friends of build engineer Ben Hearsum are looking at Tagalog. Exciting times :-)