Firefox Tops 46%?

In the seemingly never-ending browser wars, monthly usage statistics are an important metric of just what is really going on on the "battlefield." For Open Source advocates, these statistics are equally if not more important, as they give a reasonably reliable overview of Open Source adoption. That may explain some of the excitement surrounding February's browser statistics, which seem to show Firefox topping the list.

Of course, despite sensational headlines — like our own, we admit — Firefox's market share isn't really looming on the doorstep of the majority share. Recent numbers published by show Firefox seeing the most use — 46.4% — however those numbers are drawn from the site's own traffic logs, and thus are not an accurate sample of the greater browser-using public. (According to the site's disclaimer, "other sources around the Internet" are also monitored to keep the statistics in perspective.) Were they the broader picture, Internet Explorer would stand at 43.6%, Chrome at 4.0%, Safari at 3.0%, and Opera at 2.2%.

A much broader picture is provided by Net Application's Market Share report, which has seen Firefox steadily increase over the past year, breaking the much-sought-after 20% mark repeatedly last July. For February, Net Applications reports Firefox at 21.77% market share, with Internet Explorer sliding to 67.44%, down the better part of 10% from where it stood this time last year. (Firefox, for its part, is up some 5%.) Safari holds a respectable 8.02% of the market, Chrome stands at 1.15%, Opera at 0.71%.

Though not quite 46% — undoubtedly a feat worthy of the browser that set the world record for most downloads in twenty-four hours, and one we expect we will eventually see — Firefox's gains are certainly nothing to be sneezed at. Its steady and sustained gains in the browser market are a sure sign that more and more of the world is opening to Open Source.

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