Firefox surpasses IE6's browser share in October

By on November 4, 2009, 8:19 PM
October 2009's browser stats are in, and while Microsoft's Internet Explorer still lead the pack, IE6 has finally been surpassed by Firefox. Internet Explorer continued its descent, losing 1.07% browser share (from 65.71% to 64.64%), Firefox's share grew .32%, from 23.75% to 24.07%, Safari's share rose .18% to 4.42%, and Chrome furthered its lead on Opera, with the former gaining .41% (from 3.17% to 3.58%) and the latter declining .02% (from 2.19% to 2.17%).


IE6 is still accounted for some 23.3% of total Internet Explorer usage -- more than any other version. IE7 claimed 18.16%, IE8 18.12% and IE8 compatibility mode had 2.42%. Firefox 3.5 has taken off, accounting for 13.9% of all Firefox use, version 3.0 was attributed with 8.79%, and Firefox 2.0 only held a 1.14% sliver. Safari 4.0 (3.52%) and Chrome 3.0 (3.14%) are almost entirely responsible for their individual shares.




User Comments: 45

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red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

IE6? i fear my favorite browser (opera) may not be around much longer at this rate. this is some heavy duty linking here, but I think this explains why Vista got such a bad rap...and why folks wont let go of XP.

Ju1iet said:

I think IE6 is the fastest launching browser. It has a small footprint on the RAM. No tabs, it can't print a web page fully but people still use it. Maybe it's about old sites that were designed for IE6 and never updated then. Even Opera Mini 5 Beta has tabbed browsing.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Indeed, might be old support for some sites that doesn't work with another explorers, such as governamental sites of some countries.

jurrasstoil said:

Nice to see that Firefox is still on the rise.

I've tried every popular browser for more than a week or two and FF (3.0.15) is by far the best imo.

I would really like to know why the IE is still so "popular" tho...

klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

its not that IE is that popular its that every pc that runs windows comes standard with IE already there and most people dont know any better.

kimsland, Ex-TechSpotter, said:

IE6 has finally been surpassed by Firefox.

That's probably because most Users already previously have IE installed plus Firefox

I have both installed, why uninstall Internet Explorer, just let it sit there. Then when you finally want to use it, run a Reset on it first

guyfred26 said:

Because IE8 has to much compatibility issues on some companies and there are many vulnerabilities that a hacker can think of. Firefox is much better and google chrome.

elroacho72 said:

I like IE 8 I couldn't imagine going back to 6! I find it hard to believe that most people don't update IE. I think when the hype of the new Firefox release claims down IE will be back on top.

freedomthinker said:

Well , seems Firefox is doing nicely Even surpassed IE6 , quite the leap . But still all browsers have a long way to go to catch up with MS . But if Microsoft just stands there doing nothing there will be consequences .

kimsland, Ex-TechSpotter, said:

But if Microsoft just stands there doing nothing there will be consequences .

Huh :) They just released Windows 7, I'm pretty sure MS is going strong

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

I'm surprised that IE6 was leading the market share. I guess people just don't like change. I wouldn't be able to stand not having tabs anymore!

Flippa said:

I can see Safari moving up next year. Their new version is quite nice, but ill stick to Chrome. Also think about how many companies that only allow there employees to use IE on work computers as well as sites that only support IE.

Puiu Puiu said:

Older copies of windows xp come with IE 6 and only a few people know how to upgrade it if they don't use the windows update (mostly those who don't use an legal copy of windows). Also there are those who just don't want to upgrade because they use another browser.

Only those who use IE8 upgraded their browser, the rest use the default one or just install another third party browser.

Razerblade said:

I can't believe IE6 is still around on a lot of machines! But most of those will be household users who do not know how to update their operating system/internet browser.

limpangel limpangel said:

As a web developer I was more than often frustrated with the lack of "cooperation" from IE6, not to mention the lack of w3c standards compliance (exept for Microsoft proprietary web standards). IE7 was an improvement, but very liitle. Sometimes more frustrating than IE6.

But IE8 is by far the best Microsoft browser. So far I only had to do minor adjustments between my Firefox view and IE8 view.

So, with the comming of Windows 7 (IE8 included) and its rapid adoption by bussineses and people as well (see [link] I think IE6 shares will decline a lot in the comming months.

Maybe its death won't be "slow and painfull" after all.(see [link] Who knows, only time will tell, but I hope is for the better.

Puiu Puiu said:

@limpangel altough IE8 is their best browser yet, it still needs a lot of work compared to it's competitors. Also IE6's share will decline but only by a small percentage. Win7 still needs a lot more time before it even climbs above the 10% mark. I'm hoping that by the time FF4.0 arrives IE6 will be under IE8 and IE7. Maybe FF 3.6 will help a bit until then. ^_^.

BTW i'm hoping Opera's share will grow more because it's turbo feature is really great especially with not so good WIFI connections.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@razerblade, true that a lot of home users will be using whatever browser came with the system, and will never upgrade, but a lot of businesses also still use IE6 because they have old applications written for it. Businesses are always behind the curve when it comes to tech.

JMMD JMMD, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I'm sad to see that people are still using IE 6 with the push MS has made to move to IE7 and IE8. Personally I've used Firefox for a few years now simply because of addons like NoScript and AdBlock.

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The only reason the dinosaur that is IE6 isn't dead yet is because so many companies still use them for their systems and just can't be bothered or can't see a reason to upgrade. Me and most of the people I know just get used to IE6's crappiness at work.

waterytowers said:

It is good to see Firefox support going strong, since I believe it to be better than IE. IE will still have the greatest total share for a long time to come because Microsoft is the main browser supported within business. At least Microsoft have been addressing standards compliance in their most recent IE versions, the Microsoft way, by having a separate standards compliance mode, which was initially turned off. At least they now have a standards mode It is better than prior versions which only supported their own proprietary standards. The Internet was badly damaged due to the browser wars of the past where everyone wanted their own standard, rather than using a single standard. I still occasionally encounter sites that I can't browse because they Microsoft only sites, but they are much fewer.

fref said:

I'm still using IE6 at work, but not by choice! Apparently, we have applications that don't work with newer versions of IE. I don't think I'm using any of them, but still, we're not allowed to upgrade.

I've installed Firefox 3.5 alongside IE6 a few months ago, and I'm much happier for it.

buttus said:

This should be a warning flag to Microsoft in that the browser wars are very much active. If MS is not careful, Opera, Chrom and Firefox all are slowly eating their install base down bit by bit. And now in Europe to appease the EU there, MS has included install options for other web browsers. A sign of things to come me thinks.

swilllx2p said:

What I wonder is if say firefox was the default already installed web browser instead of IE. What would the market shares look like then? How many people would actually go out of there way to download,install and use IE. I'm willing to bet that IE would be around the market share of chrome and safari.

zaidpirwani said:

Well for me it is only Google Chrome (Dev Release) though it crashes now and then, but it has the best response times I have yet to see in a browser, though I still use Firefox when the need for its extensions arises and IE, I only use it to test if the web sites I design are looking okay in it and all my sites will prompt the user to switch to chrome or Firefox.

As for Safari and Opera, Safari is on my Mac and the only time I used Opera was to try its Unite(or was it called something else) service, it has a good server setup for the likes of me, who just want to show a client his site....

Chrome rules, and Firefox is the Ultimate King, until extensions for chrome surpass those of Firefox, or if Google finds a way to use Firefox extensions on chrome....oh that would be just too cool.. but I can dream, can't I..

njel said:

Chrome is surely the one I would prefer if it did not have some much incompatibility problems.

It is light and I like the UI.

Firefox is my "every day" browser and I like all the plug-ins available.

IE8 is installed by default so I keep it and I use it when I need it for special web sites incompatible with FF. It is a shame to see that some we sites are still incompatible with FF.

MS should concentrate on their OS and let others companies develop browsers.

But as Google is going to release next year an OS with a browser completely integrated (I think) and with Web Applications replacing Office. MS will not let that concurrent come in his "garden" without fighting.

So let's hope something new and completely amazing will come from MS with their next browser...

Guest said:

I dunno why Opera is last. It's by far the best browser. Firefox is so overrated.. just like google.

jazboy said:

The reason for IE to having most of the share is because most of the corporate world supports only IE. But the way firefox is growing , i don't think that day is very far where firefox will be having atleaset half of market share.

klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

first of all firefox is a far better browser than opera you obviously dont know what you are talking about i mean look at the shear number of firefox downloads vs opera not one person i know uses opera and i work at an internet company everyone uses firefox and for some things IE8 but mainly firefox.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Props to Firefox for taking the fight to the big gorilla on the block and giving us users some choices. I've been using it for years on my home PC but am stuck using IE7 at work. Firefox's functionality and speed blows IE6 & 7 clear out of the water.

FrankTank said:

klepto12 said:

its not that IE is that popular its that every pc that runs windows comes standard with IE already there and most people dont know any better.

Tell me about it. I wouldn't have even known about firefox if it hadn't been for using it on my brother in laws PC while on vacation at their home last year. Once I used it and saw how much better of a browser it was I would hooked and as soon as I got home I immediately downloaded it and haven't looked back.

namesdontmatter said:

I would like to use Chrome more often, but google's habitual collecting every bit of data about you doesn't appeal to me. There's another browser which is based on Chrome called SW Iron which looks pretty good, and it has everything Chrome does, minus the data collecting.

Guest said:

""about i mean look at the shear number of firefox downloads vs opera ""

I've downloaded Firefox on a couple occasions over the years to see what the fuss was about. I deleted it the same day...and yes I DO know what I'm talking about. One thing we can all agree on is that IE sucks.

lynxon said:

Hooray for Firefox and my thousands of addons! That must be the biggest reason why I could never switch to Chrome or any other browser for my day-to-day browsing, I just couldn't live without all those addons, although I do have Chrome installed for the just in case moments.

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I've tried using opera and for whatever reason it's much slower loading up my homepage (which is igoogle) than firefox, chrome or IE. I like opera's features though, but the load up time is the dealbreaker for me. And to be honest I only know one person who uses opera, and that's because he works for opera lol.

Colonel Lance said:

Woot! go Firefox!

Guest said:

I tried Firefox but return to Opera. Opera has the best mouse gesture features. For those sites that don't play well then IE6 it is.

Shalimar said:

Once again FF FTW!!! IE continues to be beyond shoddy coding so it needs to DIE

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

I never heard of Opera but it seems to be doing horribly bad. Im not surprised IE is doing so good people consider it a default and most/all schools use it because they don't care about quality just providing an option to students. My college has more than 1,000 computers and every single one has Windows Xp professional installed and main browser is IE. Safari and firefox are more personal use. I don't really see firefox ever being on top though as long as schools and such just keep using IE.

Beggars said:

It's great Firefox has surpassed Internet Explorer 6's market share, but Firefox these days isn't exactly a stable browser. Firefox 3.5.4 repeatedly uses excess amounts of CPU and sometimes over 1gb of RAM with minimal extensions, maybe that's why some people still use Internet Explorer 6 most likely? Who knows.

I am a web developer, and nothing makes me more happy than seeing the market share of the world's most evil web browser dwindling, but I can't help but feel that Firefox isn't going to always be the saint we think it is.

Nothing can ever be as bad as IE6.

ken777 said:

It would be interesting to see a similar browser share breakdown for mobile devices.

Puiu Puiu said:

ken777 said:

It would be interesting to see a similar browser share breakdown for mobile devices.

I also want to know the shares of each mobile browser. Maybe techspot will do one for us.

ellulbrian ellulbrian said:

my fav browser Opera is declining?! I find it quite good and innovative. The last feature which I figured out was Opera link. The high % of IE users don't even know what is a browser, let the numbers roll...

Guest said:

I can't fathom why anyone would use the archaic and sluggish Internet Explorer. Firefox has always been my favorite until a year ago when Chrome debuted. I only decided to try it out of curiosity and to my astonishment, it made even Firefox seem bloated and slow as molasses.

Google's browser is by far the fastest and snappiest browser available today. I love it not only for it's sheer speed, but also it's simplicity. Less is More. Much more, in this case!

Nirkon said:

Why is IE8 Compatibility mode counted as a different percentage? isn't it just a mode?

Guest said:

You can't "uninstall" any IE because it is an integral part of Windows. This is the reason for several anti-trust lawsuits against M$.

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