Story 2014-07-09 3Q4 Firefox usage slipping fast

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%]
Reply 12 comments

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.

Standing Still and Shooting Itself For 15 Years (Score: 1)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-07-09 15:13 (#2CR)

In spite of their best efforts to do exactly nothing, Mozilla still has the better browser engine with better plugin support.

Its perennial and terminal memory leaks, however, go on and on and on. One cannot leave any Mozilla browser resident for much longer than a couple of days before memory use becomes freaking ridiculous, leading to inevitable reboots (on ALL platforms, Win, Lin, and Mac).

I would have stuck with Chromium, but it really sucks -- pages load strangely, caching is just weird, and most importantly the plugin architecture doesn't really work. If you care about blocking ads smoothly and effectively, you're not using Chrome.

It does not surprise me, at all, that Firefox is declining. They've done NOTHING over 15 years except (a) suck Google's teat, (b) relentlessly and poorly copy Chrome, (c) reduce features again and again, and (d) IGNORE and deny and FAIL to address their chronic memory leaks.

It doesn't help that Google scummily (via malware-ish bundling) pushed Chrome down people's throats and that people let them do it, 'cuz Google.

Mozilla Foundation has been an abject failure as a force for good open source software. Firefox itself was a mediocre idea, poorly executed, and their purposeful burying of both MozSuite/Seamonkey and Thunderbird is just shameful. They have proven they don't deserve the eyeballs. Oh yeah, and they really really really like promoting bigots; that probably didn't help either.

It's freaking sad that Mozilla has let Google eat its lunch so completely, from mindshare to technology lead. It wasn't for lack of (criminally squandered) funding.

Re: Standing Still and Shooting Itself For 15 Years (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-07-09 15:44 (#2CW)

Yeah - conspiracy theorists would probably go nuts with theories that Mozilla signed some secret agreement with Google in which they let their browser languish in exchange for millions of marketing dollars from making Google the default search engine. That's certainly a more palatable and intriguing theory to cling to, because it's more fun than the more probable and obvious one: they just suck.

Innovate, you lazy bastards! And learn how to code! And stop F-ing with the interface! I'm tired of UX/UI changes being touted as progress. It's just shuffling the deckchairs on the Titanic!

Been looking or a replacement since the design change (Score: 1)

by on 2014-07-09 20:30 (#2DF)

Ever since the update which added the menu button at the right, I've been meaning to make the switch to another browser. The seamonkey project looked interesting, but they're integrating browsing with email, and I'd rather keep things seperate. Anyone had luck finding a good replacement? I only care about speed, compatibility with web standards and ad-blocking. And an interface that doesn't suck, I guess, but that's pretty much the easiest thing to get right.

Re: Been looking or a replacement since the design change (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-07-09 21:35 (#2DH)

As a long time Opera user, I've been looking for something to use when 12.x becomes too unstable. I've really been disappointed by everything, and I've tried a few of them (from memory:New Opera, Firefox, Chromium, Maxthon, Midori, Otter).

I was happiest with Chromium. I've only found one or two pages that it didn't work with. Every ad blocker or privacy extension can be had by using the Chrome version. Flash doesn't work out of the box, but I haven't even tried to get it working. That's no great loss to me.

Re: Been looking or a replacement since the design change (Score: 4, Informative)

by on 2014-07-09 21:58 (#2DJ)

Have you tried Pale Moon? It started off as a Windows-optimized version of Firefox, but is developing into its own fork, as the devs increasingly reject the annoying UI changes in Firefox. The community has recently ported it to Linux, and, as it is firefox-based all of my favorite extensions work with it.

Re: Been looking or a replacement since the design change (Score: 1)

by on 2014-07-09 22:21 (#2DN)

Never heard of it. Thanks, I'll check it out.

Re: Been looking or a replacement since the design change (Score: 1)

by on 2014-07-10 03:43 (#2E2)

This.Palemoon is now my browser of choice in place of Firefox. Pity Opera has gone down the path of stripping out features.

Re: Been looking or a replacement since the design change (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-07-10 19:39 (#2EN)

What's the deal with them calling it "freeware"? That's usually code for "not open source".

Hmm, okay, apparently it's under the MPL, but I'm not sure how to take this remark from the FAQ...

"Can I see your mozconfig/build environment/configuration files?
A few people have asked about getting a detailed run-down of my development environment, configuration, .mozconfig file, path details, release engineering tools, etc.; clearly not always with good intentions.

The answer is: No, this is my workstation and you do not need that info.

That being said, Pale Moon is released fully as Open Source, with downloadable source code released under the Mozilla Public License v2.0, and with a Github repository available at
In addition, I've created basic build instructions on the forum that will allow you to build the browser from source."

The Very Best Tips For Hassle Free ugg Working Experience (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-12-31 06:35 (#2WJ5)

I will keep a constant attention to your articles. Really good stuff!

Re: The Very Best Tips For Hassle Free ugg Working Experience (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-01-02 09:25 (#2WM7)

Give Comodo Dragon a try while you are experimenting with new browsers?

Re: Been looking or a replacement since the design change (Score: 1)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-07-10 00:23 (#2DY)

Seamonkey's pretty good. I use it on all my machines, even though it shares the memory leak issues.

Here's the thing -- even with its included e-mail and HTML editor features it's often SMALLER in footprint than Firefox or Firefox + Thunderbird! (One of many reasons I've always disliked Firefox; it's a wasteful bloated piece of software compared to the regular old suite.)

Even if you choose to use something else for e-mail, the overall resource hit/waste is minimal to non-existent. I think you can also omit the e-mail components if you really want.

All that said, I'm thinking of moving on from Seamonkey, 'cause it still has Mozilla's problems. But I don't like Chromium/Chrome, and Opera's not open source. So I just don't know.