The page where users download the latest version of the Firefox browser attracted 2.6 million visitors in March, according to Nielsen//Netratings.
Good news for the open source project you would think, but all those downloads actually tell a less fortunate story.
Firefox so far has had to plug several security holes. And instead of releasing patches, the software requires users to download and install a new version of the software.
So the 2.6 million that Nielsen//Netratings saw, are probably to a large extent current users who needed an updated version of the product. It's hard to compare figures here because there is little data about the number of computers running Firefox, but let's just let give it a try (if I screw up, I'm sure you'll let me know in the comments section below ;-).
If we just assume that Firefox has a 5 percent share of the browser market and that all downloads in March were replacements, and that every user downloaded the latest and patched version, that would mean that there are 52 million computers running browsers in the world (2.6/0.05 =52).
Surely the real number of computers out there is higher. So either a large percentage of Firefox' installed based is running an outdated, insecure version of the software. Or the browser doesn't have as high a share of the browser market as we assumed all along.
Either way the Nielsen//Netratings study is bad news for Firefox.
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