Firefox market share in Europe, July 2007. Source: XitiMonitor.com
One could argue over statistics for ever. I have met with the Xiti team a few months ago to get a better understanding of what they measure. Basically, they have what they call markers (actually small images) on literally millions of Websites, mostly in Western Europe. This means they get billions of hits every month, and then analyse which browser engine were used to display these images. There are a few caveats, as always, in such measurements:
- What they call Firefox is actually gecko-enabled browsers (mostly Firefox, but also Seamonkey, Epiphany and K-meleon);
- They measure hits, not visitors. There is a difference, in the sense that Firefox users are generally more advanced than IE users (they know what a browser is, and how to download and install software). Also, I understand that Firefox users are generally more likely to spend time online and visit more Websites.
To sum things up, XitiMonitor tracks "Gecko usage" more than "Firefox users". Both are correlated, but not identical. And both indicators are consistently going upwards (Thanks Percy for the graphs!) In some countries such as Slovenia, Firefox has passed Internet Explorer. Gerv even wants to launch a 'Hug a Slovenian' campaign
Firefox market share consistently going upward in Europe
Just four years ago this week, AOL/Netscape/Time-Warner had decided to let go the Mozilla project, and the Mozilla Foundation was created. All of the employees paid to work on Mozilla were let go or reassigned to other tasks. Some of us decided not to give up, because the world needed a better, safer and more secure browser. While all of us hoped to make a difference, I'm not sure that many of us dreamt of seeing Firefox so successful on the market. Thank you to all of the contributors to the Mozilla project, who help build, test, promote and support a wonderful piece of software in close to 50 languages!