Firefox Sinking Further into the Mire


firefox - going downA couple of months ago we published an article highlighting how the once popular Firefox browser is slowly but inexorably losing favor with users, you can catch up with that article here: Firefox Slowly Slipping into Oblivion?

So, here we are in October, another quarter has flashed by, and I thought I’d take a look, with the help of NetMarketShare, to see if the trend has continued, reversed, or maybe stabilized – the news is not good for Mozilla.

browser market share

As you can see from the above screenshot, at the end of the second quarter 2014 Firefox had tumbled to 15.54% market share. Now, some three months later, that share has been further diminished to just above 14.0%. The differentials certainly suggesting that Chrome is the main beneficiary of Firefox’s fall from favor.

Considering Firefox began 2014 with a healthy 18.35% market share, leading Chrome (16.22%) by a clear 2% margin, the overall slide is remarkable, especially now that it appears to be continuing unabated.

I still don’t believe Firefox is heading for the scrap heap just yet but, for avid Firefox fans and Mozilla, the trend is certainly worrying.


Have you switched away from Firefox – why and to what?

 

Posted in:
About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

32 Comments

  1. I switched to Pale Moon x64, got tired of the Australis interface which just seems to copy Google Chrome’s. I also discovered that Firefox v34 will have advertising tiles for it’s New Tab page\tabs which doesn’t sit well with me at all.

    Pale Moon is partly based on Firefox ESR 24.6.2 and some newer code from more recent versions.

    • Would you rather leave your browser vulnerable to new exploits? One of the best features of the Firefox browser is the fact that they patch it so quickly when a browser exploit is discovered.

  2. After “Googlezilla” decided that the Chrome route aka almost no internal customization is the future, i abandoned them! Mozilla’s new “Firechrome” just does suck!

    A chrome clone.. How original!

  3. If not for those helpful add-ons, I’d be dumping Firefox too. Am getting sick of all these major number re-leases. At 32, give me a break, Mindblower!

  4. It’s a 32 bit browser and 32 bit is going the way of the do-do bird, people want 64 bit browsers and firefox has snubbed there nose at 64 bit builds.

  5. Sad news.
    Firefox is by far the best browser. Advanced, fast and very customizable. Chrome gets great scores in browser tests (like http://html5test.com and http://peacekeeper.futuremark.com/), but is no way near as fast in every day use.

    And Chrome is a data hoarder by Google, for Google. So that Google can sell even more information and trarget ads even tighter than before.

    • It was, until Australis Chrome clone UI was upcoming and Mozilla started to be a follower of DRM and Ads lobbies! The only true Mozilla based browsers which keep the torch of real Open Source and freedom still high into the air are Seamonkey and Pale Moon!

      • Good points.
        But I personally don’t care if Firefox copies or gets inspired by someone else. It’s part of the evolution. And FF still looks and acts much better than Chrome. When the new GUI arrived I was a bit annoyed that Mozilla forced me to have tabs on top, it’s illogical but now I’ve gotten used to it. The only thing I did was to install this ad-on:
        https://addons.mozilla.org/sv-se/firefox/addon/the-addon-bar/?src=userprofile

        Infact I think most of the new layout is clever and tasteful, but removing the status bar was just plain dumb. And a bit like moving away from pro users (and hiding info for the masses). I am not a developer and I dont know if there has been big changes under the hood.

        But if the things you note about DRM and Ads are true, well that could put everything in a whole new perspective.

        Infact I don’t know what browser to use if Firefox stops. Pale Moon might be the best contender. Can the Open Source browsers based on Firefox use the same add-ons as Firefox?

        • The new interface would be ok if Mozilla would have kept the customization options additionally inside the browser, but it was clear that they – same like Opera do not believe that customization is a relevant thing these days. Therefor i have zero respect of Mozilla these days.

          Because, if a rather small browser dev called Maxthon is able to create 2 different browsers now (Nitro – with no customizations and Maxthon 4 with customizations) for Windows where each user group gets what it needs, then someone like Mozilla should be able to do that rather easily!

          Short sighted and stupid in my opinion. That is the reason why i use now Maxthon for Windows and Seamonkey for Linux.

          Because browser developers who abandon their original target group for the most common low denominator should not be supported!

        • Especially if they have the resources to support both! But the solution of Mozilla that Geeks are able to get customization partly back with limited add-ons… yes, add-ons can not restore the fluid feeling of the original features for 100% – that is just a lame joke and a spitting into the face of advanced users!

          Granted, Opera did even worse, but Mozilla is a close second!

        • … Can it? Partly. Pale Moon goes a different way, so i guess only a few handful of add-ons will be available in the future.

          Seamonkey would be your better choice, there is an add-on converter around which allows you to have Firefox and Thunderbird add-ons in Seamonkey. Not all, but quite a lot!

        • And one more thing towards the UI – Mozilla almost removed most of the customization options – In fact you are now only allowed without add-ons to move around some items in the ui, while before you even had the options to have tabs and navigation fields and buttons in one single bar. or Navigation bar elements with add-on bar elements in the add-on bar.

          Just 2 examples of advanced customization which Mozilla sacrifized to be more like Chrome, to get Chrome users. Which failed, seen at a marketshare between 11-14% right now and with customization beyond 20% in the past.

        • Thanks again, great info.

          My thought about Pale Moon was that it looked more modern and best looking 😉 of the ones you noted first.
          I am on OS X and I like applications to play well till the rest of the system.

          There is on more thing that is affecting Chromes increased numbers of users. Goolge are pulling an old Microsoft trick. Google Drive/Docs works best with Chrome. Kinda strange when we have internet standards. Breaking from them used to be Microsofts little hobby. For instance Sharing and Printing docs in Google Drive almost only works in Chrome.

          Sad and weird that so many products today are leaving the advanced users behinde. Even Apple has don this during later years. Before this they always listened to the pros. But the marked for naive and novice customers is much much bigger.

      • but dont forget one of the best browsers out there: older versions of firefox. i use one and its smooth, faster than i can think, everything works and it never freezes… and safe as can be behind sandboxie.

  6. No problems with SRWare Iron/ DucKDuck Go, recommended by a highly qualified acquaintance several years ago ….. a great Ozzie bloke.

  7. I changed to Chrome because FF was crashing everyday and I would have to download Flash to remedy the problem. Once I started using Chrome it became obvious it was a lot faster than FF. I still have FF and keep it up to date but it seems to be getting slower.

  8. Have used Firefox for many years , but as soon as the ads appeared , I jumped ship to Pale Moon , So far , just love it and sent a donation to the builders . Can find myself around the Pale Moon browser much easier .

  9. i just this week switched from Chrome back to Firefox! the constant NOT RESPONDING from Chrome was beyond unbearable. i do not get the message on Firefox and Firefox is faster.

  10. I’m quite sure the chrome upward trend is more to do with people not unchecking “Install Google Chrome” when installing things like Adobe Flash than anybody actually liking it. I for one don’t get on with chrome as it seems to have issues displaying some websites, issues with links on some websites, and the default auto download is the biggest security risk I’ve seen in a browser. That’s on top of all the data collection etc.

    • I agree the pre-checked box in download windows may be contributing to the increased numbers of users with Google Chrome on their machines.

  11. I had to quit using FireFox because after loading a few pages it would quit with the message stating FF was still running. It would not load the page even after quitting FF. I had to go to Task Manager and kill it there. Then it would load again. It’s been this way for a long time.

  12. I have been a dedicated Chrome user for several years. However, the most recent update wants to SUCK my CPU dry: two tabs open with NO EXTENSIONS routinely appropriates 70-90% of my CPU. This resulted in not being able to use my machine for several minutes while G-hog took command of all of my CPU power. This problem goes back several years ago. Google acknowledges the problem…they just don’t DO anything about it (engineers obviously spending too much time in sleep pods or playing ping pong). I have DISCONTINUED the use of Chrome and Gmail. I went BACK to Firefox. Bye Bye Google.

  13. I love the way there’s an advert for Firefox ‘Download the best browser’ at the top of Jim’s article! 🙂

  14. I too, “jumped ship” leaving FF way behind, when Eric Brendan was treated so poorly, by a company he had invested 15 years of his career in. However, I was highly dissatisfied with FF, long before the Brendan issue. I started becoming dissatisfied, when FF went the route of Google, implementing upgrades/updates too frequently, for what I thought was very bad, bad results.

    During this time, before I completely switched to Chrome, I was playing around with Chrome and liking that it did seem to “browse” faster, but, was totally lamenting, that there were not my favorite Add-Ons, that FF had!!! I had just gotten my favorite Add-Ons, that I thought I couldn’t live without, down pat. Then FF started with the random upgrades/updates, which was literally driving me crazy, since, too many of my favorite Add-Ons were not working and too many of those developers choose to stop trying to keep up with FF. Add-Ons was one of the main reasons, I even liked FF. Now, it was becoming very tedious, to try to maintain, my personalization of FF.

    Some time before the Brendan incident, FF made a very, very bad decision … In my opinion and some others have the same complaint, too … FF totally disabled Flash Player, to where you were not able to go to websites, frequently favorite websites, that uses Flash Player!!! Look, I know that Flash Player has issues, but, I am NOT one who goes around the Internet, spreading viruses and malware, I protect myself, thereby protecting others. If, the truth be known, Facebook is the biggest problem of spreading viruses and malware, by some of the most idiotic members, who just might be worse than the old AOL users!!! Sorry, but, again that, is how I feel.

    I am a Savvy Net Citizen, so why shouldn’t I be allowed to make my own choices … Not FF’s choices???

    Then came the Brendan incident and that literally, was the straw that broke the camel’s back, for me!!!

    I became a full time Chrome user, except for the occasional Internet Explorer usage, to update my Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit operating system. At this point, in time, I believe I am using Chrome 32 Bit, I have found I have more flexibility with the 32 Bit, as opposed to the 64 Bit. Since, my Windows 7 Pro 64 Bit, allows me to use the 32 Bit aspect of windows, I do for many, many of my personal, causal games, which is what I love to do the most … Play Causal Games, on my computer. Also, I found when I did use the Chrome 64 Bit Browser, I was not able to “access” some of my favorite websites or some websites, when I was doing a Google search. Plus, several of my main Extensions, were not available, in the 64 Bit version of Chrome. One of them, being the most vital … Avast’s Website notice, that it is a “safe” website, as far as Avast members ratings go. I have Avast Internet Security of my main virus protection, on my computer and have used Avast for about 8+ years now, both the Free version and the Paid version.

    One thing, that I miss dearly is the Status Bar. However, I have gotten use to not seeing it, so basically … Out of sight, out of mind. Overall, I am pleased with Chrome and am finally, learning the “tricks” that, keep Chrome running, when on the Internet. Example: I would be doing research and suddenly, Chrome would inform me, that I had “used up” all of my download ” capabilities. I would think … What is going on??? Then, I found out, what was happening, was that my Internet Cache was “full.” Then, I learned how to “empty” my Internet Cache, while, I was on the Internet! It was so simple … I only had to “clean out” my History on Chrome!!! Viola!!! I was able to continue downloading and go about my business. It is these kinds of “tricks”, that make life easier, when using Chrome on the Internet. Definitely, no different, than learning how to make good searching requests on Google or any Search Engine.

    To date, I am very pleased with Chrome and do not plan on changing, any time soon. I have been “surfing the Web”, for over 17 years now and have learned, NOT to jump on every “bandwagon”, but, to wait for some time, before I will follow others. Learned that lesson with Windows 98. Sometimes, most of the bugs must be out of a product, before it can be used, the way it was designed or created, to be used.

  15. As of last night with the launch of Pale Moon v25, I no longer use Pale Moon and have returned to using Mozilla Firefox.

  16. I’ve been thinking some more. What I really miss in the Australis theme is square tabs and info/status bar. Square tabs might seem as a negligible detail, but a design usually tells more about the intenstions and coming strategy. Firefox has always been very aesthetically pleasing, pragmatic and with a feel that the user is in charge. And simple square tabs are much more coherent with a pragmatic goal than these S-curved ones. Though I admit that the S-curved ones looks good, better than the jaggy tab style of Chrome. But still not in line with what I see as the design dna/soul of Firefox.

    And not being in charge or knowing what’s going on (the app feel) is exactly why I dislike Chrome.