Mozilla's open-source Firefox browser is growing in popularity in leaps and bounds, and is giving Internet Explorer a serious run for its money, according to the browser preferences of vnunet.com readers.
More than 2,500 of you responded and over half (52 per cent) voted for Firefox as the best browser. Fifteen per cent had already installed IE8 and were happy with the move, while four per cent were planning to upgrade to IE8 soon. Seven per cent of readers said they were sticking with a previous version of Microsoft's browser for the time being.
Google Chrome achieved better results with vnunet.com readers compared to its normal market share figures, with 11 per cent of the vote. Apple Safari was the preferred browser choice for five per cent of poll respondents.
Many readers chose to voice their opinions on the pros and cons of the different browsers, which generally reflected the poll results with the vast majority voicing their support for Firefox.
"I have not been using IE anymore since someone told me of the existence of Firefox (1.x), except for some sites which apparently need to run in IE. For those sites, there is the add-on IEtab which renders all IE 'functionality' with one click of the button in a Firefox tab," wrote 'Maarten'.
One PC technician using the name 'A Tech' said: "If you use IE, please continue. It will allow PC techs like me to have more work cleaning the infections from your computers. If you use Firefox and its array of powerful ad, script, Java, Flash and site blocking add-ons, I might lose money."
Of course, not everyone is happy with the Firefox experience. 'PaulM' said: "I loved Firefox and used it for years. But the Firefox 3 version sucks big time. Tried it three times and it crashes my PC, is slow to load when it does work, yada, yada, yada. Bottom line is I've gone to Opera."
Similarly, 'Andy' commented: "I do not understand what the fascination with this half baked non compliant browser is! When they get round to making forms and fields appear correctly I might consider it."
Other readers came out in support of various versions of Internet Explorer. A post by 'Raymond Langley' read: "It all takes time. Explorer is still the most reliable at this time, a little old fashioned maybe in some ways [and] it has no appeal to the younger user, but I think for the more seasoned of us computer types it's still the best."
'H.K. Anders' wrote: "Internet Explorer 7 is the only browser I have found that functions as an RSS reader. It does not require a third-party reader or add-on. RSS subscriptions feed right into the browser, and can be accessed in the sidebar. This is why I have stuck with IE7 over Firefox. If IE8 retains IE7's RSS functionality, I will adopt it. If not, I will stick with what I have. "
Microsoft still rules the roost across all versions, however, with Internet Explorer accounting for 48.8 per cent and Firefox taking 38.8 per cent of European browser market share.
"The move is partly explained by a small switch from IE7 use to IE8, but also by growing market share overall by Firefox 3," said Aodhan Cullen, chief executive and founder of StatCounter.
"The data shows that Firefox is closing the gap, and is now just 10 per cent behind all IE versions in Europe."
Internet Explorer still takes nearly two thirds (62.8 per cent) of the global browser share, followed by Firefox with 29.1 per cent.
Commenting on the results, Tristan Nitot, president of Mozilla Europe, said: "Mozilla is very different from a traditional company, as we're a non-profit organisation and it is our goal to make sure that the internet is developed in a way that benefits everyone.
"In this regard, market share for us is simply a way to make sure that the web remains open and healthy. The dedication to this unusual goal is certainly key in Firefox adoption, and we are proud to see Firefox reach such milestones in usage."
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