Firefox usage slipping fast

in internet on (#3Q4)
story imageBad news for the little browser that could: not only is Firefox no longer a "little browser" but it is increasingly having trouble competing. Back in 2009, Firefox was on the rise. But now, not only is Chrome eating its lunch but Firefox's user share is actually slipping. Netmarketshare provides the data and SJVN provides the analysis/funeral rites. He suggests:
For Firefox to remain a web browser power, it needs to make big improvements and it needs to make them now. Otherwise, Firefox may yet follow its predecessor Netscape into the web's past.
[ed. note: as a steadfast Opera user since 2000, this is all fascinating. Opera seems pegged-for-life at 3%]

Different aims, different goals, different tools for different jobs. (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-07-09 14:50 (#2CQ)

I for one have never been impressed by the extension support in Chrome/Chromium, and in my experience, this is often the reason die hard Firefox users remain unwavering. Chrome has definitely snatched up a lot of the low hanging fruit, as webkit does tend to be faster than gecko, and when it comes to Flash, things tend to run more smoothly (my take on that though is that if a site is running Flash, things are already day to day in 2014 finally includes 0 use of Flash).

Chrome's existence isn't something I worry too much about, as long as open standards in web development are maintained and Google doesn't pull a Microsoft and just steamroll the open web (or try to anyway). Chrome represents the competition that really forces the Mozilla devs to take performance seriously, and avoid some of the more egregious memory leaks and other issues that have come up in the past, because as we've now seen a few times, those come with pretty drastic user migration in many cases. On the other hand, Mozilla is a non-profit, Firefox is an open source project, and they do not have any good reason to sacrifice on core goals merely for the sake of acquiring more users than the other browsers out there. This, I think, is its strength, which Netscape did not have the luxury of.

I personally keep both browsers around, but Firefox accounts for a solid 95% of my web browsing, and will continue to do so. Webkit and Gecko are different enough that both should have a place in the future of the web, just as SUV's and sports cars both have their role in the world of automobiles.
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