There’s been talk about Firefox surpassing IE usage. This comes from statistics culled from w3schools.com. w3schools.com is a web development portal and they’ve been tracking visitors to their site for the last five years. January 2009 has Firefox surpassing all versions of IE, at 45.5% for Firefox and 44.8% for IE. Unfortunately this fails to account for the fact that the average web browsing user isn’t also a web developer.

A more balanced view is to use the much maligned wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_web_browsers

Major statistics tracking companies put the overall percentages more like this (Q4 2008):

  • IE - 70-81%
  • Firefox - 15-21%
  • Safari - 2-7%

You’ll notice that the percentages vary widely. That’s because the browser you use tends to describe the type of user you are. If you buy a PC or Mac, you tend to use the browser with your computer. Unless you like to download software, try new things, stay current technically, etc., then you might download Firefox.

The only thing you can really take from these statistics is that IE usage is dropping dramatically. That people are choosing to drop IE for Firefox, and more then just the early adopters.

My feeling is that this will continue even with the full roll-out of IE8.