Sunday, July 16, 2006

Firefox Popularity

Firefox, rose to 7.4 percent, up 5 percentage points from May. And, this is why: Firefox is stable and has proven to be a viable alternative to its archrival, Internet Explorer.

When considering how it handles downloads, the absence of ActiveX, the total lack of Firefox users complaining about excessive spyware infestations and even the fact that the browser has allowed for such great extensions to be created by motivated Firefox users is an exciting achievement.

Another side of it likely comes from the grassroots end of the web browser itself. We need to first consider that people don't just like this web browser, they are in love with it. As we have seen in other cases, when a large enough group of people become motivated about something, grassroots media is not all that far behind.

This might very well explain the success behind the Spread Firefox campaign. It's viral based on the video content and locating motivated producers has proven pretty easy based on its community focus What strikes me as totally amazing is that Firefox has in many ways succeeded in breathing life into the open source movement.

Firefox is not bloated. Both IE and Netscape Navigator are quite bloated. This by itself likely presented enough of a challenge on people running machines that may not have done all that well with running such a bloated program.

Firefox allows and encourages user created add-ons. Open source or not, Firefox really opened the doors and allowed for extensions whereas others do not.

Firefox has been made accessible on Linux, Windows and the Mac platforms from the early days of the browser. At no time were people being told what special circumstances needed to happen in order to use their product. Hardcore users know that Firefox has been about choice from the very beginning.

Another item that has begun to show its head is the "based on Firefox" world. This includes, but is not limited to, the Flock browser, and of course, the Democracy media player. By hedging their bets with Firefox browser code, projects such as these have seen some fair success of their own.

It is my belief that over time, Firefox will become less about the browser itself and more about how it has made an unsafe surfing environment a lot less scary thanks to their common sense design.

If you haven't tried Firefox out yet, just click on the Firefox banner below. So, go-ahead and give it a try, take it for a spin, kick the tires and let me know what you think.

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