back to article Firefox ahead of IE in Europe, boosted by Chrome effect

Mozilla’s Firefox just pipped Microsoft’s Internet Explorer to the European post in December, with the open source browser grabbing slightly more market share in Europe than Redmond’s own surfing tool. According to StatCounter, which monitors browser usage, Firefox scored 38.11 per cent, while Internet Explorer pulled in 37.52 …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward


    I don't care about marketshare (as clearly those with the biggest pockets are best placed to push their products), I care about features, performance, style, security.

    That's why I use Opera.

    I feel sorry for those that can't be bothered to explore alternatives, or just believe everything they read in a Microsoft/Apple/Google/Mozilla press release.

    1. Richard 81

      Oh I see

      "I feel sorry for those that can't be bothered to explore alternatives, or just believe everything they read in a Microsoft/Apple/Google/Mozilla press release."

      Reads a lot like:

      "I feel sorry for those that don't use my favourite browser, or won't listen when I stamp my feet and tell them they're all sheep."

      Personally I've chosen a combination of Firefox and Chrome. That's right, *chosen*. I don't even read press releases.

    2. A. Nervosa
      Thumb Down

      Well Done

      Ahh, the old Opera cos I know best card.

      Good luck with that, then... particularly with its shoddy, 5 year late implementation of add-ons, widgets cum media internet server cum e-mail client cum notepad bloat, numerous broken web pages, text boxes that don't submit when you press enter, collosal memory usage, piss poor drag and drop link support blah blah blah.

      If there was ever an example of a browser that doesn't know what it's supposed to be anymore, developed by a company clutching at straws in a desperate bid to get noticed, it's Opera.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        , you really believe all that crap you have obviously picked up by reading the Mozilla forums...

        Why not take Opera 11 for a testdrive, almost all your arguments will look rather silly. Opera uses less memory, less resources and smaller download than Firefox, but is 3x faster and 10x more functional.

    3. Greg J Preece

      I feel sorry for you

      Anyone that emotionally attached to a browser has problems.

      I seem to remember responding to almost exactly the same post the last time anyone mentioned browsers. If you could stop pasting this crap into every browser discussion, we'd have one less annoying Opera fanboi around, which in my case would make me more inclined to use it.

      Still wouldn't though. I prefer Firefox. Yes, *prefer*. As in "I have tried Opera and I prefer Firefox." Honestly. Not even kidding. It is possible, you know.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Opera - bloated and shouty

      I've tried Opera several times

      I've tried to love it's UI from the 90's and it's inability to work with most of the content I want to view.

      I've given up and gone back to a browser that doesn't needs the EU to hold it's hand and buy it friends

      My default is Chrome but I keep a shiny up-to-date version of IE9 around because it works pretty well and frankly it's better than Firefox these days

      1. Defiant

        Chrome & Opera Leave Firefox Standing

        Tried Chrome on my Notebook and it hangs at times which is something Opera doesn't do. So on a lower end Machine it works better but then again it is written in machine code

    5. The Fuzzy Wotnot

      Ah Opera!

      This the same "Opera" that has a bigger surfing-habits database than even the mighty Google, as reported on the The Reg some 2-3 months back?

      Yeah I'd trust a company that wants to harvest my surfing habits!

      Get back under your bridge troll!

    6. Captain Thyratron

      Nice try, hipster.

      Tell your revered Opera developers to maintain their ports more carefully. I don't like a web browser that crashes just because I closed a webpage that had a Java applet in it, nor a web browser that, for years and possibly to this day, has had a well-documented history (on several platforms, including Linux on x86) of spawning broken plugin wrapper processes that pile up until the CPU gags on it.

      Or are you also going to play the "it's your fault for not using Windows and x86 and the awful software is innocent" card, too?

      Step outside what the Opera people think is a popular platform and you'll discover a buggy piece of inefficient software that nobody seems to have bothered testing--and if they can't be bothered to test a port, then why are they bothering to continue building and releasing it?

  2. James 47


    any news on the notepad vs kedit wars?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      edlin all the way.....

    2. Patrick O'Reilly
      Thumb Up


      Kate FTW!

    3. Dapprman

      Barbarian !!!

      vi is the only way - and don't let any of those emacs heretics tell you otherwise

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Result just in...

      emacs won

    5. Greg J Preece


      It works, bitches!

      1. Francis Boyle

        Magnetised needle


      2. kirovs
        Thumb Up

        and curse those jpico heretics

        It sure does!

  3. Jamie Kitson

    By Country

    It's interesting looking at their stats by country, the far west of Europe is much like North America while further east is where the Firephiles come in. South America is also interesting.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "That's why I use Opera.

    I feel sorry for those that can't be bothered to explore alternatives, or just believe everything they read in a Microsoft/Apple/Google/Mozilla press release."

    People have explored alternatives, this is why Firefox leads, they think Opera sucks!

  5. JDX Gold badge

    Why doesn't Opera grow?

    You'd think even even through Opera users telling their friends, it would inevitably grow, if it's truly so far ahead of anything else.

    To me there are only 2 answers:

    1)It's not any better than IE/FF/Chrome

    2)Opera users don't have friends

    1. Anonymous Coward


      It's not backed by the biggest corporations on the planet (Apple/Microsoft/Google)...

      It's not about product quality, the size of these corporations, they can bully and tie in products....

      Safari is tied to Quicktime/iTunes

      IE is Tied to Windows.

      Chrome is offered with most other Google products and pushed everytime I visit their site.

      1. Ian Davies


        "Safari is tied to Quicktime/iTunes"

      2. Richard 81


        Why then is Firefox doing so well? Who's pushing that one on me?


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Haha, I've never seen a post on Opera that so eloquently put forward me thoughts on Opera. Every die-hard Opera user I've found has been a little... off.

      Firefox grew from word of mouth, largely as the tech community started to push it. They've never bothered with Opera.

      I wonder if that's because it's just not good enough?

      1. Rafael L


        Firefox grew from a word of mouth called AOL.

  6. Captain Scarlet

    Opera User

    Opera is my browser of choice at home, but the point of having different browsers is you can try and pick the one you like. I like Operas interface and if required I have Firefox portable on a usb stick which is really handy!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Try Opera@usb

      Portable opera.

      No need for bloaty firefox.

      1. Rasczak
        Thumb Up

        Or even Opera 11

        Opera 11 gives an option for portable install from the standard installer now. Just click Options on the first install screen.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Meh... so?

    Well, if you are a web designer then these figures will probably be quite pertinent to your work.

    As a business, your customers' choice of kedit or notepad does not affect sales revenues. Their ability to see or buy from your web site does.

  8. Mostor Astrakan


    Hopefully, this will finally convince the last remaining few followers of the "This Site Is Best Viewed With Internet Explorer 6 on A Colour Monitor" school of web design that it's not the customers that suck, it's their web development platform.

    Mind you, it has improved a lot in recent years. It's also a nice comeback for the idiots at "why firefox is". Several big players in the browser market makes for an environment where you can't favour one, and are therefore more or less forced to stick to standards.

    1. Greg J Preece

      I can see their point, but AdBlock Plus doesn't come with the browser - it's my choice to install it. So don't be pissed off with Firefox, be pissed off with me. I probably won't listen, but take your best shot.

      In fact, when it comes to browsers with oh-so-superior ad blocking technology built right in, shouldn't they be going after...Opera? ;-)

    2. C 2

      LOL @

      Oh good, it filters out the loser web sites for me!

      So their philosophy extended is if I don't clink on some stupid ad when I go to a web site then I'm stealing?! Get real, and grow up. How petty and stupid can people get?!

      Seriously I have a hosts file installed from MVPS AND Ad-block. It doesn't matter if I use Internet Exploiter, soap Opera, or my favorite Firefox (v3.5x BTW), I don't see any of the retarded ads that I'm never going to click on. Most especially those disturbing stretch mark animations that make me want to hurl or any other gross, offensive, or disturbing Internet ads.

      ... Oh! That reminds me I haven't updated my hosts file in a while.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      They are trolling, surely?

      And their solution to the problem? Use the IE rendering engine!? WTF?

      Not to mention the numerous logical contradictions in their shitpile^W argument:

      "[Firefox users] are even smaller in terms of online spending" Okay, so if that is true, then why do you want Firefox users to look at your adverts? For fun? For their health? As an ironic joke? Why?

      And then you tell them to use another browser, as if that will cause them to suddenly start spending all that gold bullion they must be saving. Sorry, stealing, from the rest of society by not having the decency to go out and spend it on edible undies or whatever other shite you're hawking.

  9. James 100

    Important for developers, not for users

    Market share isn't that relevant for end-users - as long as it renders properly, it doesn't matter whether your browser is used by half the population or you just wrote it yourself.

    As a developer, though, it's a glimmer of hope for us, and a weapon to use against lingering legacy IE-only problem software. There was a time when companies could say "well, IE's used by 90% of our customers, so screw the rest" - somehow this was acceptable to them, even when they'd never have accepted their physical stores being unusable by left handed people. Now, even the dumbest outfit should struggle with "our site only works properly for a minority of people"!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Firefox blocked

    "why firefox is"

    Never seen this before!!! What a retarded site!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Can anyone...

      give an example of a site which actually re-directs there when visited using Firefox? Please?

      1. Andus McCoatover


        Tried with IE 6. Maybe because Firefox was still active, I got the same page. Don't have time to research further..

        Epic Fail!!

        Children writing scripts, I guess. I'm sure the new Lab-lib Lib-lab flip-flop will be urgently investigating this, with their new VAT increase money...Nah.

    2. Big-nosed Pengie


      Imagine a shop saying "we refuse to serve 40% of our customers".

    3. Andus McCoatover



      "Netscape users can simply set their browser to IE mode to continue to enjoy the site that sent you here"

      Well, the site (El Reg) that sent me here was using..Firefox. YAAAYY!

      Netscape? Does the Anonymous Coward needs a bit of oil for his Abacus calculator?

      Sodding retard site, indeed.

      The Muppet who posted here is sounding like the complete retard from FOX who said that - effectively - going for a 'brownware dump*' , or making a cup of tea during the ads. was "stealing".


      * "Brownware Dump". Thanks, BOFH, but I think the expression needs a Service Pack upgrade.

      Don't you think "Going for a Vista" sounds better???

  11. graeme leggett Silver badge

    Interesting numbers

    UK, Italy, Spain, Denmark- IE dropped over year but still at 50%

    Germany, Hungary - Firefox stable at about 50-60%

    France - IE dropping to around 40-45%, IE stable at 35%ish

    Netherlands - IE at 60ish, FF at 25ish

    (then got bored looking up countries)

    Are we seeing cultural preferences for browsers, or for StatCounters software.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the debate

    IE's domination came very close to destroying the web's open nature, what with its own interpretations of HTML and proprietary technologies like Active X which if widely adopted would have locked out other vendors forever.

    I really hope that we continue to see no vendor with more than 50% of the web, and better still, no more than 40%. It is this diversity that has ensured more focus on web standards both by browser vendors and web sites.

    And the present level of browser development has seen huge improvements in stability and speed for all browsers (the javascript engine race being a great example).

    Regardless of what browser you use, you benefit from a market where there is real competition.

  13. anger
    Thumb Up

    block more...

    LOL that FF blocked website is hilarious. I use ADBlock+ on Chrome so please add Chrome too :D (the domain should still be available!)

    and of course new line of TVs that don't allow you to change channels during commercial breaks and turn volume up!!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I use IE 8. It's free, its protected mode is very secure and it boots up a lot faster than FF. Job done.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      I use Opera. It's free, it's very secure whereas IE has unpatched critical vulnerabilities( ), and it boots up a lot faster than FF. Job done.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: IE 8 boots up a lot faster than FF

      IE doesn't load much faster than FF, Windows just pre-loads some of its components so it appears to load faster when you click the button. There is a pre-loader for Firefox that does the same trick (or did - I don't know if it works with the latest versions). These days I just use Linux, leave my apps open when I hibernate it, and don't reboot for weeks at a time.

      1. Rafael L


        Then how do you explain Opera and Chrome open faster than IE?

    3. Lewis Mettler 1

      IE not free

      You purchased IE.

      Microsfot forced you to pay money for IE. It came illegally bundled with the OS. It came illegally commingled with the OS.

  15. whats the point of kenny lynch?

    safari is bollox

    and i'm a mac fan....FF was good but now takes 3 weeks to start, so do i choose opera or chrome.....there's only one way to find out.....

  16. kain preacher


    All soft ware is compiled into machine code at some point. I want proof that Opera was written in machine code and not compiled into machine code

    1. Andus McCoatover

      I call "Muppet"!

      Soft Ware? Like Ladies Under Ware??

      Believe me, if you've never written in microcode, my lil' muppet, you don't yet know the earth revolves around the sun.

      C/C++ --> 'Assembly code' --> 1010101011001.

      Thence, to "Open this particular register, I want to shift the contents right by one, to divide it by two. Ta muchly."

      Microcode. Like processors use internally.

      (Mine's a 44-bit microcoded Nicolet 446 spectrum analyser. I want the 4Kwords of ROM intact, ta).

      Oh, why I rise to this bait defeats me, but...OK

      What did you write the message on? Something programmed in "machine code"? Like a pianola???

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Non-windows platforms making an impact

    Most smart phones on the rise are non-Microsoft based and use non-Microsoft browsers, i.e. Android & iOS. These will have an increasing impact on browser usage stats.

    I use Firefox out of choice, as one browser to learn on Linux, OSX & Windows.

    It might not be the fastest or slickest, but best desktop one overall IMO.

    As for Opera, it was first with tabs AFAIK, and always been fast. If Opera had chosen Mozilla's advertising support route and given away earlier,it's probably be where Firefox is now.

    The best bit is, non-Microsoft browsers encouraging web sites to stick with the web standards (and not use proprietary superset features).

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IE diminishing & Opera bashing

    Nice to see IE dropping, however, slowly. Congrats to Google for their wall-to-wall advertising for Chrome and the Firefox community. Also, kudos to Opera for having the guts to make the Windows browser ballot a reality to level the monopoly OS playing-field.

    The pain inflicted on web designers by Microsoft is torturous. The time involved to get sites to work in IE6, IE7, IE8, IE9 is horrific. The other browsers are pushing open standards and are making things quite a bit more efficient, though still a ways to go with HTML5, CSS, SVG.

    The IE pain on users from unpatched vulnerabilities and virii is also quite horrendous (and continues to this day with the last massive MS patch day).

    Choosing ANY of the other desktop browsers is a big step up. I happen to choose Opera. Try it out, if you haven''s really impressive.

    Btw, the reflexive Opera bashing has been really tiresome for 10 yrs...and in the end, there are 160 million Opera users and growing, with a booming #1 mobile browser worldwide, running on 3000 phone models including iPhone, Androids, and Blackberries, while saving 80% of your mobile data costs with Opera Mini and Turbo (and Opera for Android tablets & iPad coming soon).

    Whatever you think about Opera, you can't say they don't spend a majority of their mobile & search-bar profits on open-web issues for the benefit of all, even though they're a for-profit company.

    In the end, no one can deny that Opera is the tail wagging the dog, for 15 yrs, with their continuous stream of innovation that others "borrow." (I like the latest suggestions for Google, Bing, and Wikipedia, without any settings to change, all from the unified address bar & tab stacks...nice.)

    And if you don't believe Opera's prominence, ask yourself why then, is Google browser-sniffing to block Opera from various site features, like Google Instant and dissing Opera at every turn, like in their help pages; and trying to scare users away from Opera...?

    1. Greg J Preece


      Nice evangelism there, but...

      "Btw, the reflexive Opera bashing has been really tiresome for 10 yrs"

      I think you should look at these threads again. the reflex comes from Opera users who want to bang on about how awesome it is, and everything else is shit, and we're all stupid for using anything else.

      Said it before, say it again. Calm. Down.

  19. markl66

    I use them all

    For Web development Firefox cause of the add-ons, otherwise Chrome. I use Opera to open really big xml files etc, but I dont like it except it is fast. I use IE for testing only. And of course my desktop is Ubuntu.

  20. JDX Gold badge

    re: Errm

    "It's not backed by the biggest corporations on the planet (Apple/Microsoft/Google)..."

    Nice how you don't mention FF, Opera's closest competitor, and the subject of this article.

    As for secure... how do you KNOW Opera is secure? Maybe it has critical vulnerabilities too but nobody bothered to check. Linux style security... nobody cares enough to attack it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Firefox IS backed by corporations

      Firstly there's the Google search revenue (you have seen that default home page haven't you?). Those millions gotta help ;-)

      Then there's the open-source movement who backed FF because it philosophically fitted their anti-MS ideologies.

      Personally, I use FF firstly, Opera second, and IE when I need to access stuff that won't work in the other two.

    2. Rafael L


      If a vulnerability is discovered Opera is used to make an update available in 2 days.

  21. kit

    Is 3 seconds too slow for FF

    Unless you turn on and off your PC frenquently, it normally takes me 3 seconds to turn on FF (V4.0b8) with loaded local contents.

    1. Nigel 11

      Quickstart Firefox, then save more time and money

      If you find Firefox start-up to be too slow, then (Windows) just put it in your Startup folder and it'll be up and running before you need it. If that makes starting your machine too slow, track down and kill one or more of the quasi-malware resource-wasters that are probably also auto-starting without you ever having asked for them.

      Then download the Adblock-plus and Flasblock plugins, and stop waiting on limited ADSL bandwidth for whatever monstrosities a random advertiser wishes to inflict on you. This will save you those startup seconds many times over. It may also save your PC from malware distributed via advertising servers and unknown/ unfixed Windows or Flash exploits. And of course if you pay by the Gbyte, it'll save you money as well.

      Finally get Tabkit plugin so you can have Opera-like tabs down the left-hand side (and even collapse / expand trees of tabs) rather than struggling with lots of tabs along the top.

  22. C 2

    Firefox for me

    I keep a version behind, I like to watch the security fireworks from afar :-p Besides I like for the rest of my add-ons to work too!

    I believe IE tab easily defeats That is if a sad and petty website still had something I needed badly after finding out they block a browser because some FF users don't agree with their philosophy.

    Oh, and nano / pico work WELL, since VI was created to torture people. :-p

  23. Anonymous Coward


    Well, it's a move in the right direction but I feel a better one would be "firebomb" rather than "Firefox". We could all firebomb Redmond in revenge for the shite that MS have been foisting on everyone for so long!

  24. Wayland Sothcott 1
    Thumb Down

    Google Google

    To many of my customers the word Google is like the word Hoover. Although Google has many services people can only think of Google as a single thing.

    To those people Internet Explorer is the Internet Program and Google is the actual Internet. When they see the Google Chrome icon on the Google home page (which is only displayed on IE) they click on it thinking it's Google. Then having installed Google (Chrome) they then carry on blissfully unaware that they just switched from IE to Chrome.

    At this point I get called in because of a virus or something has messed up the Internet. Remember The Internet used to be represented by IE showing the Google home page, it is now represented by Google Chrome and seems a bit weird.

    There is a Windows XP update that insists you chose a web browser, however this can be skipped.

    So to conclude, people who install Firefox do so on purpose and people who install Chrome do so by accident. People who use IE either do so on purpose or they have not had an accidental installation of Chrome.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      "Hoover" as "Edgar J Hoover" ?

      I think you nailed it:

      PS: There is a non-National-Security-Letter Search Engine called

  25. mhenriday

    The successive versions of Firefox have simply been better products

    than their Internet Explorer counterparts ; were it not for two factors, viz, that many corporate users were and are locked in to IE and that many private users have been unfamiliar with the very concept of web browser and confused Internet Explorer with the Internet itself, the change from the latter browser, which Microsoft pre-installs with its dominant Windows operating system, would most likely have come much sooner. No matter which browser we use, those of us who appreciate the advances made in browser capability over the last five years owe a debt of gratitude to Mozilla ; without their work, we'd all still be using IE6. One can only wonder what would happen in markets like those of North America and China (in the latter country, IE enjoys a market share of over 88 %, while neither Chrome or Firefox reach a share of 4 % ; indeed, IE6 still commands a market share of over 44 % ! []) if a browser ballot similar to that imposed by the EC on Microsoft as part of the recent anti-competition settlement were mandated there....


    1. Nigel 11

      IE-only sites not a problem

      If you run into a site that won't work with Firefox, firstly think whether you trust it enough to connect to it with IE, and if so, then start IE and get on with it.

      Misbegotten corporate apps that I am required to use by my employer, I do. Commercial sites that I have no reason to trust or compulsion to visit, I don't. They'll learn sooner or later, an IE-only site gets less vistitors than their browser-neutral competitors. Or they'll go bust if they don't. "Think of it as evolution in action".

  26. D. M
    Thumb Up

    Opera is very decent

    My primary browser is FF, backup browser is Opera, on both Linux or Windows.

    Sometimes, FF doesn't work very well, and I do not trust MS or Google browser, Opera always worked. The only thing Opera doesn't have is NoScript.

    A couple of years ago, Opera used to be really good, to a point I almost use it as my primary browser. Later, they slowed down and some changes made it worse. The latest Opera 11 looks good again.

    Regardless, the less IE around, the better.

  27. This post has been deleted by its author

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    As a father confessor.....

    So many people are posting things like "Firefox is shit" all over the web.

    I wonder why.

    I have given up on that company, it's forever crashing and lagging software and the bullshit guessing game fixes to everything - except the crap software.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like