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Microsoft Gets Its Teeth Kicked In

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"Microsoft is playing the same game as Google. Mozilla is stuck in 2005. And that’s why the core of Internet Explorer will still be around in five years when Firefox will have, at best, a loyal cult following."
-- Ed Bott, Why Internet Explorer Will Survive and Firefox Won't

Oh, Ed. While I won't go so far as to say that Firefox will have a greater market share than IE in five years, I think you're reaching here. A little over one in five is more than a "loyal cult following." A solid second place is more than a "loyal cult following." You could ascribe such a description to Opera and Safari users -- even Chrome.

But IE has already developed quite a reputation as a terrible, terrible browser. That isn't to say Microsoft won't deliver version after version ad infitium, ensuring that it will, indeed, "still be around in five years." However, that's more a question of Redmond beating a dead horse than delivering a sound product. Yes, IE has gotten better -- copying Chrome helped -- but it still carries a stigma. It has a long road to win back spurned users.

And of course, there's the matter of Firefox 4 dominating IE9 in early downloads and market share.

According to data corralled from StatCounter's GlobalStats and Net Applications' Global Market Share, Mozilla's Asa Dotzler compiled a graph showing Firefox 4's meteoric rise to a 5% market share as IE9 wallows in 1.9%.

Download Squad's Sebastian Anthony also notes the dip in IE9 usage on March 20.

"Interestingly, we can see IE9 dipping between March 20 and 21, just before the 'Important' Windows Update rolled out. It's hard to say whether IE9 is only growing because of the installed-by-default Windows Update, but that small dip definitely sticks out -- did excitement peter out? Did people download IE9, try it out, and summarily uninstall it? Perhaps, given their close proximity, the stats show an attention shift from Microsoft to Mozilla?"

In total, Firefox 4 has snatched up 39 million downloads after six days of availability.

39 million in six days. Not to rub it in, Ed, but does that still qualify as a "loyal cult following?"

(See also: Microsoft to Kill Off Zune Player and Microsoft Prays for Failure)
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