Firefox Nips IE Ankles Again

Even with the growth of the mighty Firefox still pushing forward, it is great to see that the growth has not come to a screeching halt. Still, I know from experience that people still use Internet Explorer by the truck load. Some do it because that is their choice, while vast numbers of other people do it because they don’t realize there is a choice.

Mozilla’s Firefox keeps chipping away at Microsoft’s massive lead in browser usage, two Web metrics firms reported Monday.

San Diego, Calif.-based WebSideStory, which last released usage numbers in January, said that in the last five weeks, Firefox has gained an additional 0.74 percent to account for 5.7 percent of all browsers used in the U.S. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, meanwhile, now stands at 89.9 percent, a drop from January’s 90.3 percent, and the first time WebSideStory pegged IE as falling under the 90-percent mark.

“That 7/10s of a point compares well with previous increases,” said Geoff Johnston, an analyst for WebSideStory. “From June to November [2004], Firefox saw a pretty steady half-a-percent-point increase each month.”

While there are indications that Firefox’s growth rate is slowing — the latest numbers show a growth of about 15 percent over the previous period, while that period had grown by 22 percent over the one before that — Johnston saw it differently. “I don’t see [the growth] stopping or flattening,” he said.

“The buzz around Firefox keeps growing, and it’s buzz that drives people to change,” Johnston added. “Mozilla’s marketing has been very guerrilla. You’re not seeing it spend millions of dollars on TV. Instead, it’s a powerful ground swell.”