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Firefox Tops Microsoft Browser Market Share For First Time (arstechnica.com) 141

An anonymous reader writes from a report via Ars Technica: For the first time, Firefox has pulled ahead of Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Edge browsers. Mozilla's Firefox grabbed 15.6 percent of worldwide desktop browser usage in April, according to the latest numbers from Web analytics outfit StatCounter. Google Chrome continues to dominate two thirds of the market. StatCounter, which analyzed data from three million websites, found that Firefox's worldwide desktop browser usage last month was 0.1 percent ahead of the combined share of Internet Explorer and Edge at 15.5 percent. Firefox has reportedly been losing market share over the last three months, but Microsoft's Edge and Internet Explorer browsers appear to be declining faster. Last week, Mozilla launched Test Pilot, a program for trying out experimental Firefox features. They've also been fighting the FBI in court for details about a vulnerability in the Tor Browser hack, which may affect the company since the Tor browser is partially based on the Firefox browser code.
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Firefox Tops Microsoft Browser Market Share For First Time

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  • Goes to show you (Score:3, Informative)

    by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Tuesday May 17, 2016 @05:32PM (#52130721) Journal

    Goes to show you just what a steaming pile of shit Edge is.

    • Re:Goes to show you (Score:5, Informative)

      by ilsaloving ( 1534307 ) on Tuesday May 17, 2016 @06:27PM (#52131017)

      It's not necessarily that Edge is a piece of shit. It's the fact that Edge is written by Microsoft. Those of us with memories longer than 15 minutes remember the decades long clusterfuck that Microsoft caused, and I dunno about you but I will *never* give them the opportunity to do it again.

      The way they're (mis)handling Windows 10 shows that they haven't learned anything, and are going to try to be as obnoxious as people will let them get away with.

      I don't care if Microsoft Edge will enable me to shit gold bullion. There's still gonna be a massive catch somewhere... maybe not now, but definitely in the future.

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Honestly I have to agree at this point...initial impressions of Windows 10 in my case were great. Then the articles about the data collection and myriad privacy settings you needed to turn off in order to avoid everything but the kitchen sink being uploaded to Microsoft's servers. The 10586 update came out and the touchscreen on my laptop would no longer work, because apparently there was no driver available...it worked on a clean install, an update literally blew it away.

        They're not only expecting people t

        • Re:Goes to show you (Score:5, Interesting)

          by chr1st1anSoldier ( 2598085 ) on Tuesday May 17, 2016 @08:01PM (#52131519)

          Honestly I have to agree at this point...initial impressions of Windows 10 in my case were great....

          I was the same when they dropped the first consumer technical releases, it was great, everything Windows 8 should have been. Then Microsoft finally dropped the stable release for mass consumption and it was good. When they offered the free upgrade to Windows 10 I started moving my company over to it.

          Now, after experiencing Windows 10 day in and day out at the office, and the constant bewilderment of Microsoft's decisions regarding it, I have come to like Windows 10 less and less. I am to the point now where I prefer Windows 8.1 over 10. As it stands, I intend to pitch Linux as a viable alternative for our business in the near future. About the only thing that would really tie us to Windows at this point is peoples inability to user any other mail application besides Outlook. And I desperately want to cure people of that horrid mail client. ;)

          • by Anonymous Coward

            jeebus... can't switch because of outlook... my god, I hope your biz dies .... sry, that's the truth.

            • If there's a lot of infrastructure built on Exchange/Outlook, there's no easy way to switch. Believe me, I'd get rid of Outlook in a heartbeat but replacing the infrastructure would be a huge expense; not necessarily in licensing fees, since there are a few halfway decent open source solutions, but in time moving to a new system.

              In the long run I think we'll probably migrate over to a webmail solution, and use SuiteCRM or something similar for client management and scheduling services. We're running a small

              • We're moving from GroupWise to Exchange in a year or two. Believe me, we consider that a step up; other sister departments have made the move already, and they're generally happier, though they say Exchange requires a good deal of preventive maintenance.
            • Yeah we all wish death on the entire Fortune 500.

      • "The way they're (mis)handling Windows 10 shows that they haven't learned anything, and are going to try to be as obnoxious as people will let them get away with."

        Every indication we have is that Microsoft will become even more abusive.

        For those tied to Microsoft Windows because of software, possibly it would be good to have 2 networks, one with Windows that has no internet access. Another network with Linux for browsing. A question: What would be the most secure way of sharing files between the 2 net
    • I just don't get how they can start from scratch, with everything they've learned, and STILL fuck it up.

      • by LordWabbit2 ( 2440804 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2016 @02:42AM (#52132805)
        Rotation of staff. The people who were there when the previous fuckups happened are long gone. So new people in new seats and coming up with BRILLIANT ideas, which repeat the fuckups. Wash rinse repeat. I would also bet that the people doing the coding are not the people making the decisions, it's either marketing or fucking business making these asshole decisions. I would bet if you spoke to any of the actual software engineers they would say that they didn't have a choice, the decision to do XYZ again came down from the top. What microsoft needs to start doing is listening to their fucking engineers and not their fucking bean counters. They are a SOFTWARE company, and by not listening to their SOFTWARE people they are killing themselves. I have been a MS stack programmer since I left school and even I am starting to drift away from microsoft, the only PC's in my house running windows now are gaming rigs, everything else is running linux.
      • They had the perfect opportunity to show everything was changed in Microsoft.

        What if they used the claimed multi platform, open source .NET parts to build their new, fresh browser and ship it to every OS in existence? Edge for Android and Ubuntu and OSX? I am not saying they should have posted its entire source to github, that is too utopic.

        Otherwise, if it will be Windows only and use Windows only technologies, IE was doing fine lately.

    • It doesn't have anything to do with that (although IE/Edge DOES bite) but the fact that everybody ran those "ZOMFG FF is DYING y'all!" articles which I have zero doubt caused many to run it just because they don't like the idea of a webkit only world.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 17, 2016 @05:35PM (#52130741)

    I just knew Netscape Navigator could do it!!

    • Don't know why someone modded you down to zero, you are techincally correct. Anyone that knows the history of Mozilla knows it was birthed when Netscape release the source code of their browser to the world. It's even the first sentence on the history [mozilla.org] page of Mozilla.org.

      • Lots of fanboiz here. History is a channel on cable. I have been running Portable Firefox for about 10 years (I think), and never had a problem really. It has been copied to countless machines I've had and never an issue. Only way to browse. Add on a few extensions and you have better than military grade software. So many idiots and so few cliffs.
      • He started with zero by submitting as an anonymous coward. No one modded him down. It's just that no one modded him up yet.

    • Firefox is not Netscape [seamonkey-project.org]

      • There was Netscape Navigator (browser only)

        And there was Netscape Communicator(similar to seamonkey)

        I am a SeaMonkey user, and I use it primarily because of the Composer component. It is truly a 'communication' software because it lets me easily compose WYSIWYG web pages. Mostly I use the composer to copy and paste formatted content out of other web pages, because the highlight/drag/drop functionality works so well for that, but I also like making tables of infomation/images/etc. with it.

        The web was never

      • Actually, Firefox is the living proof that Communicator "suite" kind of mess killed Netscape brand and Netscape Navigator was the thing to push rather than full communication suite.

        Don't get me wrong, I always liked the full integrated suite idea myself but ordinary users liked "A functioning, fast browser only" aka UNIX way of "do one thing and do it perfectly" doing things better.

  • You mean the StatCounter website I have blocked in my browser? Yeah that's the one. So the "stats" are skewed since the way they collect information can be blocked in-browser.

  • Pulled Ahead? (Score:5, Informative)

    by tsqr ( 808554 ) on Tuesday May 17, 2016 @05:55PM (#52130849)

    Firefox has pulled ahead of Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Edge browsers

    If I'm reading the graphs in TFA correctly, Firefox has "pulled ahead" of IE/Edge by losing market share over 3 months (going from 16.1% to 15.6%), but losing less than IE and Edge combined (16.6% to 15.5%). Yippee, terrific surge!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The User Agent reports as Firefox, but Pale Moon is the superior browser.

    • Forking is not the answer.

      It's what has essentially destroyed Linux from being accepted as a desktop platform for the masses [youtube.com] - i.e. in-fighting and a million developers each working on a million different dists rather than combining their efforts under one umbrella company led by good leadership (Ubuntu for this reason is more successful than all other dists).

      • by Anonymous Coward
        It's the only answer when your preferred open-source browser, for any number of silly reasons, evolves into an atrocity.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        hah, no. I find forking has provided a desktop environment for everyones' tastes instead of a one size fits all in the commercial world.

        Linux hasn't been accepted as a desktop platform for the masses because it isn't run by a bunch of sleazy CEOs and marketing firms shoving it down people's throats. The only thing major Linux distros are missing is a modern office suite, and no... Libre Office doesn't even come close unless your definition of modern office suite is 1996.

        • hah, no. I find forking has provided a desktop environment for everyones' tastes instead of a one size fits all in the commercial world.

          Linux hasn't been accepted as a desktop platform for the masses because it isn't run by a bunch of sleazy CEOs and marketing firms shoving it down people's throats. The only thing major Linux distros are missing is a modern office suite, and no... Libre Office doesn't even come close unless your definition of modern office suite is 1996.

          My definition of the number 1 need of an office suite is cross platform compatibility. Of the two platforms you can get the Microsoft suite for, it doesn't even have that. I can take a file from PC to Mac to Linux and all is good. Microsoft doesn't even come close.

      • by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <[mashiki] [at] [gmail.com]> on Tuesday May 17, 2016 @11:27PM (#52132323) Homepage

        Forking is the answer. When closed source developers decide to turn around and make their product into a steaming pile of shit, and your options are steaming pile of shit and nothing. This is where OSS shines, especially when OSS devs decide to make their product into a steaming pile of shit, there is someone out there turning around and fixing it. That's what Palemoon has done for Firefox.

  • Isn't something missing? For the first time ever? For the first time since ....?
    http://www.w3schools.com/brows... [w3schools.com]
    Firefox used to beat IE in 2009 for example.

    • Isn't something missing? For the first time ever? For the first time since ....?

      Nothing is missing. When "first time" is used without qualifcation, it means it is the first time. The only exception is when discussing sex, when "first time" refers to the first time with another person.

      http://www.w3schools.com/brows... [w3schools.com]
      Firefox used to beat IE in 2009 for example.

      That is for the browsers of people using w3schools, which is a very non-representative sample. Developers are far more likely to avoid IE than normal people.

  • Side Tabs (Score:4, Interesting)

    by labnet ( 457441 ) on Tuesday May 17, 2016 @06:07PM (#52130919)

    Firefox: Still the only browser I know of that properly supports side tabs via the TreeStylesTab plug in.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yep. Once upon a time Chrome could do that as well, but Google in its infinite wisdom decided it wasn't worth the effort and killed it off. So now Firefox+TreeStyleTab seems to be the only option if you want to actually make better use of your widescreen display.

      There are Chrome extensions to try bringing the feature back but they seem neutered compared to TreeStyleTab. Which is the future Firefox users have to look forward to when Mozilla gets done gutting its extension system to make it more Chrome-like

    • Firefox is also the only major multiplatform browser that is fully open-source and community driven.

      Chrome use is shocking- none of us have full knowledge what spyware and tracking is baked into its binary distribution, and it can change to be even worse in an instant. Google has its hooks into us in many scary ways, I would hate to see them leveraging their power too much.

      Firefox certainly might have some issues (mostly the crap of trying to turn it into Chrome) but it is a very important part of the brow

      • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

        Community-driven? You've gotta be joking. Mozilla has been saying "go fuck yourself" to everyone in the community who doesn't agree with them now for years. They may sometimes do something the community likes (not often) but they are certainly not driven by the community.

        • Let's put it this way- if they even listen and/or accept 10% contribution, that is still 10% more than the other browsers.

    • Just looked it up. That looks like a cool extension. Vivaldi (currently using, just moved my tabs to the side to check) also can do the tabs on the side. Granted, it doesn't look nearly as full-featured as TreeStylesTab, but they can go on the side. And I do like the tab stacks (why I went vivaldi in the first place). I may need to try firefox again and see what that extension can do. As long as it doesn't use all my memory like it used to

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Vivaldi supports side tabs. Not sure what your definition of "properly" is but they seem to work quite well.

  • a few years ago when firefox tweaked the toolbar and the preferences dialog thing, and feature bloat screwed it up i abandoned firefox for chrome, i tried palemoon for a little while but it dont cut it when it comes to HTML5, chrome is fine, chromium is good too if you need the tinfoil hat
  • Somehow there's money rolling into the development of these browsers. If memory serves, Opera is purchased. The others are all free downloads. Yet there's no ads.

    My question is, where is the money for these coming from and why? There must be some large donor base somewhere that really drives the feature set.

    • Google Chrome development is subsidized by Google Search revenue. Firefox once was as well until Yahoo! offered a better deal to be Firefox's default search provider.

    • must be a very old memory... Opera has been free (ad supported) since 2000 and actually free since 2005. Wikipedia claims Opera's funding comes from the default search engine at least. Your question is totally valid...

  • IE is not good (Score:4, Informative)

    by Archfeld ( 6757 ) <treboreel@live.com> on Tuesday May 17, 2016 @06:34PM (#52131057) Journal

    IE is not good, but EDGE is awful. I've got Win10 on a laptop I use quite often and after doing some damage control, e.g. taking control of the update process, I found it is quite useable, not my favorite but far from the worst OS I've ever used, but EDGE is hands down the worst browser I can actually recall using in more than 15 years. Edge is ugly, slow and cumbersome, and lacks basic features that nearly every other browser on the market commonly supports.

    • by Shados ( 741919 )

      I don't really find Edge slow, but the fonts just kill it straight up for me. Unless you have a 4k display, the grayscale antialiasing they use make my eyes bleed.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        I've noticed that the fonts in Windows 10 are really shit. It started with Metro apps in Windows 8, but there weren't too many of them so it wasn't noticeable. In Windows 10 pretty much all system seem to render badly.

        I read that back in the 80s Microsoft forced developers to use machines with two floppy drives and 1MB RAM, so they wouldn't design for a higher spec and deliver something unusable to customers who mostly didn't have the latest kit. Looks like Windows 10 was developed on 4k monitors and not we

  • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Tuesday May 17, 2016 @07:09PM (#52131247) Journal

    It'a [sic] also worth noting that StatCounter's Web browsing data paints a different picture in the UK. While Chrome was an obvious leader on the desktop in April with a 54.2 percent share, IE and Edge accounted for 21.8 percent of the market, with Firefox trailing a distant third at 13.2 percent in Blighty.

    What is it about the UK that Microsoft usage is above average? The UK had shockingly high sales of phones running Windows Phone (or whatever it was called at the time).

  • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Tuesday May 17, 2016 @07:51PM (#52131473)
    As both Internet Explorer and Edge, and Firefox are heading towards the Netscape dungheap. it's good news the FireFox has 15.6 percent of the Browser market?

    And why does Firefox now install tracking cookies?

    • And why does Firefox now install tracking cookies?

      [citation needed]

      • And why does Firefox now install tracking cookies?

        [citation needed]

        Just install a cookie killer, slashdot doesn't accept window caps, so I can't prove it that way. But they do.

        • by Calydor ( 739835 )

          Print Screen, save screen cap as file, upload on imgur or wherever you prefer, link it here.

          Easy.

          • Print Screen, save screen cap as file, upload on imgur or wherever you prefer, link it here.

            Easy.

            You need me to mow your lawn or pay your bills for you as well? Stand by, I'll do it you lazy fuckers. Do we want to make a little slashdot wager first?

            I have the screen grab. I get it by Opening Firefox to my home page of DuckDuckGo. When I leave the page I get a little message that reads "Trackers. LocalStorage from Mozilla.org self destructed."

            So what is the wager kids - You gotta make it good, because Ol Olsoc don't cotton to people calling him a liar. Put your honor on the line as you besmirch mi

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I held out on switching from firefox to chrome for as long as possible but I simply could no longer trust it for accessing mission critical accounts (banking, tax filing, bill pay, etc). I'd rather not have my every move tracked by Alphabet Inc. but firefox done went and let their shiat go bad in a big way. Give me a lightweight mobile version of firefox with an embedded ad/script blocker and then maybe we can reconcile our differences.
  • by AbRASiON ( 589899 ) * on Wednesday May 18, 2016 @02:38AM (#52132795) Journal

    I suppose it works mostly well and it's fast but as a nerd who's been on Firefox since before it was called Firefox (I've finally forgotten the other name) I prefer FF.

    I mean, ok, google don't want me to skin Chrome? Ok fine, fine - but do you think I can find a decent tab mix plus alternative? I *NEED* tab mix plus, I utterly need it.
    I 'learnt' tabbed browsing with NetCaptor (skin over the top of IE, added tabbed browsing, it was very good for its day) and I found and still find the tap ordering the most logical with it, by far.
    Tab Mix Plus provides incredibly powerful tab control options, so I can replicate NetCaptor under FF.

    My firefox does this:
    *Middle click a link*, open in the background, one tab slot to the RIGHT of the current tab (inserting itself)
    *CTRL N* (new tab) opens a tab, one tab slot to the RIGHT of the current tab, in the foreground
    *Close tab*, closes tab and takes you to the tab to the LEFT of the one you just closed.
    Duplicate tab (CTRL-ALT-T), same as middle click, opens a copy of the existing tab to the RIGHT of current tab and in the background

    Now I suppose if you're not used to that system and you're used to chrome, that probably sounds awful? For me, I find it immensely logical. I NEVER want a new tab or duplicate tab or middle click tab to open right at the very end of my tab grouping, why would I want that? I want this new piece of data, right next to me, where I'm working.

    I don't know if finer tab control options are blocked in Chrome or not but no such addon yet exists, built in ability to do this doesn't exist. Considering the age of Chrome and the popularity of TMP, I can only guess Chrome has simply not go the option to do it.

    I do use chrome but it's relegated to be my 'second monitor, good at youtube / flash video' browser while I use FF for my main work.

    FWIW I'm ... an extreme browser, likely extremely addicted to the web. Right now I've managed to close several hundred tabs this week and I'm down to about 200. I like to be as low as possible of course but right now I have 200 open, it's just how I browse.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You had me right until '200 tabs open'. Holy mother of fuck tab hoarder. Jesus Christ some of those tabs will never be read.

      • Rubbish I got down from 400 to 200 in about 3 diligent hours. I'm at 154 right now (was 200 when I made the root post 12 hours ago) hoping to close to 0 today.

    • Let's not forget that it is literally a browser Made By An Advertising Corporation. That should be reason enough to never run it.

    • by Rexdude ( 747457 )

      Be prepared to kiss goodbye to the XUL based extensions that made Firefox popular in the first place as they deprecate it [ghacks.net] and slowly turn it into a copy of Chrome.
      Or try Palemoon [palemoon.org], which is what Firefox would be if they had stayed honest to their original goal of putting user choice first.

  • While I have been a big proponent of Firefox in the past, I've begun to abandon it for Google-Chrome,

    Since FF continues to chase G-C for features and seems to be more like G-C every release, why not use G-C?

    It's faster and I can get my most-used extensions there and FF is dropping support for my favorite FF extensions.

    • I only started using Firefox after Opera abandoned their browser with the 12.x series and started pushing another Chrome skin.

      It was always pretty terrible in the time frame I was using it, and now I've re-abandoned it for Vivaldi, and haven't looked back.

  • I am a longtime FF user, as it was really the only browser that did what I wanted, how I wanted. Several years ago, it started bogging down, and really pissing me off. Add-ons kept breaking, and I really like mouse gestures. Memory leaks abound. I think it was flashplayer constantly breaking that pushed me over the edge, and I switched to Chromium for a while. It was ok. I didn't like the bookmarking at all. I was used to my mouse gestures and add-ons. But YouTube and other things worked so much bet

    • You need Vivaldi.

      It does everything you want (supports Chrome plugins, so you get ABP and videodownloadhelper), mouse gestures out of the box from the people who started that whole craze, tabbing, bookmarks toolbar (and speed dial!), and you configure it however you like. For instance, you can add a web panel to the panels that pop out in the edge for any page you like. I have gmail in there and pretty much never even open a gmail tab anymore. Tabs on the bottom? Sure. Tabs on the side? Why not? You want a

  • I don't like Chrome's UI. I don't like that it's got a very Appley "we know what's best and refuse to let you change anything" philosophy. But dang if it isn't noticeably faster pretty much across the board - Chrome keeps getting faster, Firefox keeps getting slower, it's gotten to the point where I just don't have a choice anymore. So I've been slowly moving things over to Chrome. :(

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