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Mozilla Firefox usage dropped again in 2015, as Chrome’s popularity grew by 8%
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Mozilla Firefox usage dropped again in 2015, as Chrome’s popularity grew by 8%

by AshwinJanuary 2, 2016

Mozilla has not had a good year in 2015, with its browser ending with a mere 12.13% of usage shares.

Web browser share in 2015
Firefox actually had a good run, growing steadily for 5 months (between February to June 2015).

As you can see from the chart featured above, thanks to Netmarketshare, the browser climbed up from 11% and went past 12%. But then usage began to drop steadily, from July to October.

This can perhaps be attributed to Windows 10’s launch. The new operating system came with Microsoft Edge, as the default browser, overwriting any user-defined settings for the browser (for eg: Firefox). This happened despite users choosing to preserve their settings and apps, which meant that though Firefox was still installed even after the upgrade, unwary users were forced to use Edge.

Naturally, this earned the wrath of Mozilla, with its CEO, Chris Beard slamming Microsoft’s policies, in an open letter to the Redmond company. It goes without saying that his appeal, came to no avail.

November saw a turn in Firefox’s luck, as the browser managed to get to 12.24% of shares for Desktops. This coincidentally, was the highest number it could manage in the entire year.

Sadly the surge was short lived, as the numbers dropped in the following month. Again, this was when Microsoft released the Fall Update (Windows 10 Build 10586), the first major update to the operating system. So it may have affected Firefox’s usage.

Firefox’s future could be decided in the upcoming months, as Mozilla plans to enforce add-on signing from Firefox 44, scheduled to be released on January 26th. And later, it will switch to Electrolysis multi-tasking technology, which will distribute each tab’s RAM in its own individual process. That will be followed by a switch to WebExtensions API, with support for Chrome/Opera extensions.

These changes will kill some add-ons, which in turn could directly impact Firefox, as loyal users may abandon the browser for something else, say Microsoft Edge with Extensions? And unless Mozilla comes to its senses, and stop trying to follow Chrome’s footsteps.

Google Chrome stands tall as the second most popular browser:

Google’s browser on the other hand has had a huge leap. 2015 saw Chrome growing its usage shares by almost 8%, up from 24.69% at the start of the year, to 32.33%, to finish the year as the second most popular desktop browser.

Microsoft on the other hand, saw Internet Explorer’s usage fall by 9% from 57.38% to 48.57%, which may again be attributed to Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge, which barely holds a 3% share.

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