Firefox 4 races further ahead of IE9

Upgrade alerts have caused a sharp increase in uptake of the new browser, Mozilla says.

By Katherine Noyes, PC World |  Software, Firefox, ie9

Mozilla may still be weeks away from automatically upgrading users of its aging Firefox 3.5 browser, but even without the benefit of those additional users its latest browser version continues to blast past Microsoft's competing Internet Explorer 9 in usage.

In fact, early this month Firefox 4's usage began to show a sharp increase while IE9 continued on a much more gradual climb, Mozilla's Asa Dotzler pointed out on Sunday.

"Since activating the Firefox Update system and alerting Firefox 3.5 and 3.6 users to the availability of Firefox 4, the line has really picked up some speed," Dotzler wrote in a blog post with an accompanying graph.

"Internet Explorer 9's trajectory looks very similar to what we saw with IE8 and IE7 before it," he added. "Microsoft pushes new versions at an excruciatingly slow pace."

12 Million More Users

According to the StatCounter data Dotzler based his analysis on, Firefox 4 accounted for close to 16% of the browser market on Monday, he said, while IE9 was approaching 5%. "IE9's steady progress should put it around 10% in a couple of months," he predicted.

Mozilla recently announced that in June it will begin automatically upgrading users of its Firefox 3.5 browser to a newer version--preferably the latest one, but at the very least Firefox 3.6 instead. The move--which will be the first time it has undertaken such a step--could potentially bring an additional 12 million users into the Firefox 4 fold.

Several weeks ago Mozilla released the last security patch for Firefox 3.5 as the release approaches its end of life. The software made its debut back in 2009.

100 Million Downloads

It will be interesting to see reactions to Mozilla's new automatic upgrade plan, not to mention the overall effect on Firefox 4 usage.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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