'We're Huge in Finland!' Firefox Hits New High as IE7 Lags

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'We're Huge in Finland!' Firefox Hits New High as IE7 Lags

Postby rockingmtranch » Tue Jan 29, 2008 1:53 pm

Mozilla Firefox continued its slow but steady march against the worldwide dominance of Microsoft Internet Explorer in 2007. Though the open-source web browser continues to sit firmly in second place behind IE, where it's been for years, usage of Firefox is still on the rise. The browser is even threatening to tip the scales in some European countries -- most likely thanks to the rapid internationalization efforts made possible by the open-source development model.

New data from the French internet traffic analysis company XiTi Monitor shows Firefox jumped a few percentage points in several countries during 2007. Finland is the most Firefox-friendly country. The browser enjoys a 45% share there. Poland, Slovenia and Hungary are also in the 40s. Germany leads Western Europe with a 34% share. Oceania (Australia, New Zealand and the outlying islands) is the continent with the most Firefox users. The share in 2007 hit 31.1% down under.

XiTi Monitor reports a worldwide browser share of 66.1% for Internet Explorer and 28% for Firefox (a new high). Opera has a 3.3% share and Safari blips in at 2%. Also of note is the fact that over 90% of Firefox users are running Firefox 2, while less than half of IE users have switched from IE6 to IE7.

One of the reasons Firefox does so well internationally -- especially in the smaller, less populous countries -- can be traced back to one of the key benefits of open-source culture. Firefox has the ability to localize to different languages very quickly. As soon as a new version of the browser starts making the rounds, coders in different countries start translating all of the interface elements into their native tongues. It's possible that Microsoft's paid localizers in those countries simply can't compete with the speed of Mozilla's volunteer army. While Microsoft supports 36 languages, there are over 40 language-specific versions of Firefox available now with more in beta. There's even a Welsh language pack. Mae'n flin 'da fi -- you got a 404, Boy-o.

Read XiTi's original data set in French. You can also use Google to translate the article for you. XiTi's reports are well-regarded as being accurate, but we should note that Opera has pointed to flaws in the firm's methodology that may lead to skewed results.

http://blog.wired.com/monkeybites/2008/ ... de-wo.html
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