Mozilla’s Firefox 4 browser has been downloaded more than 100 million times since its launch a month ago; however, the new browser’s rapid uptake doesn’t seem to have attracted many new fans: according to Web metrics firms, Firefox’s overall share of the browser market has remained essentially flat since the Firefox 4 launch. The figures suggest that while existing Firefox users are rapidly checking out the new release, the new features and friendlier interface have not, so far, expanded the browser’s audience.
Mozilla released Firefox 4 on March 22, with significant under-the-hood changes designed to improve performance and security, along with a simplified user interface and utility features (like App Tabs) designed to simplify working with Web-based applications. (See Digital Trends’ Firefox 4 review.)
In a blog post, Mozilla’s Asa Dotzler highlighted the update rate for Firefox 4 compared to Internet Explorer, which was released a week before Firefox 4. According to Dotzler, Firefox 4 already enjoys an overall market share of over 8 percent, where Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 has just managed to achieve a 3 percent share.
Dotzler’s assertion about update of Firefox 4 seem to be supported by Web metrics firms: Ireland’s StatCounter shows Firefox 4 with a market share in excess of 8 percent; however, StatCounter also shows that Firefox’s overall share of the browser market—spread across all versions of Firefox—remains essentially unchanged since the launch of Firefox 4, suggesting that Firefox 4 adopters are primarily existing Firefox users, rather than new users attracted to the application by new features and technologies.
Firefox 4 adoption may see an update when Mozilla begins offering updates to existing Firefox 3.x users. Microsoft began pushing Internet Explorer 9 to Windows 7 and Windows Vista users in mid-April.
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