Maybe the browser wars really are back.
Bart Decrem, a spokesman for the Mozilla Foundation, told ZDNet UK on Friday that he expects the browser's market share to reach 10 percent by the end of 2005.
"I think we'll get to 10 percent over the next year. We don't have 10 percent of the Web at the moment, but we have the momentum," Decrem said.
He said he is confident of hitting this goal because interest in the browser has been accelerating over the last few months. He said this momentum can be seen in the increasing number of downloads for each version of Firefox: Version 0.8 was downloaded 3.3 million times in four months; 0.9 was downloaded 6.5 million times in three months; and the pre-release version was downloaded 5 million times in just one month.
ZDNet UK's own figures show that since the beginning of this year, there has been an increase in the percentage of site visitors using a Mozilla browser. In February, about 9 percent of site visitors were using a Mozilla-based browser; this increased to 19 percent in October. Over the same period, IE use decreased from 88 percent to 79 percent.
CNET News.com and W3Schools.com, a Web development tutorial site, have found similar trends. The move from IE to Firefox is also shown by the fact that half of Firefox downloads are from IE users, according to Decrem.
Mozilla is also attracting increasing interest from non-technical users, who see the perceived speed of their Internet connection rise after switching to Firefox, according to Decrem.
"We get user e-mails saying, 'You're 10 times faster than IE,'" Decrem said. "Benchmark tests show we're about the same speed, but home users who have been accessing the Internet for five years may have 15 or 20 pieces of spyware, which means that every time they access a Web page, the malware could be making an additional 15 connections to the Internet, to log the information it has gathered." ZDNet