This News.com article about Firefox contains the following quote from Gary Schare, Microsoft’s director of product management for Windows:
“I still believe in the end that most users will decide that IE is the best choice when they take into account all the factors that led them to choose IE in the first place,”
Ahem. A lot of users never chose IE. IE was there on their computer and the competition – Netscape, Opera, Mozilla etc. – wasn’t. There are a significant number of people who don’t know that there are alternatives to IE – to them, IE is “The Internet”.
He is right in saying that once the “early adopters” have all switched over, Firefox’s market share will start to stablilise. Anyone who tells you that Firefox will steal IE’s dominant position is being unrealistic – because IE is the default browser in Windows it’s not going to go away any time soon. But to say many people actually chose to use IE is just plain wrong. I’m sure some did, but I doubt it affects the majority.
On a brighter note, the article says that IE’s market share has now dipped below 90%, according to OneStat, with Mozilla-based browsers accounting for 7.4% of web users.
Update: Ben Goodger, lead developer of Firefox, echoes my comments. Great minds think alike, I guess. 🙂