Firefox Download Conspiracy

I’m sure that many will take offense at this post, so before I say anything more, let me just clarify my stance on the browser-battle (again).

  1. I used IE 6 for about two months, then switched promptly to what was then known as Phoenix (which I had been using before off and on). IE 6 just did not have the cutting edge technology that I was looking for.
  2. I stuck with Phoenix/Firebird/Firefox throughout the years, trying out Avast, Opera, Maxthon, SlimView, and the rest.
  3. IE 7 Beta seemed to be what I was looking for, but it was too buggy, so I’m still on Firefox. I love Firefox, I just think there is major room for improvement.

Anyway, this is a post on a subject explored all over the web, but with an extra ingredient!

  1. Firefox ‘download count’ and ‘user count’ are unfortunately taken from the same number. Every time a download is made, it gets added to a number that does not differentiate between an ex-IE user, and a hardcore Firefox user. If it does, its not made publicly available.
  2. Firefox ‘download count’ includes downloads of new versions, especially since there are no hotfixes, and everytime a mis-spelling is corrected, a new version ships out :(
  3. Firefox claims to have ‘taken back’ the web that was never theirs. See previous article for more info.
  4. Even when a IE user tries out Firefox, the bureaucrats and fan boys at Mozilla claim that they have a convert, or as they think of it, a revert (don’t ask ME why).
  5. Users downloading copies to replace lost or deleted versions, or for multiple PCs count as different ‘people.’ I have personally downloaded Firefox over 200 times, just for myself.
  6. Since the introduction of Google’s $1 per Firefox convert, suddenly all those AdSense click-fraud con-artists found themselves a new hobby.

What about how the downloads are counted?

  • Taken by every request. Meaning that the download count is not increased upon completion of the download, but rather upon every time you press the download button.
  • Download accelerators with their file mirroring and simultaneous downloads have each thread counted as a separate download. I personally always use GetRight with 10 threads. Do the math yourself.
  • People simply clicking to raise the count end up raising the count. No IP-based filtering/per day or something of that sort.

In the end, I think FF is the very best browser out there as of now. Every night I download the latest nightly build (if changed), which BTW I did not include in the above… Though I do think that all those hard workers at Bugzilla downloading the latest CVS copies end up bringing the count up and up.
Firefox is great, The Mozilla Foundation is brilliant, but some tricks just make you look bad in the end. At every forum I frequent, Mozilla’s claim of 2 Million switchers, and 11.5% percent of the market share was treated anywhere from with extreme caution to outright ridicule… It’s just not worth it Mozilla, trust me, it ain’t.

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  • 3 thoughts on “Firefox Download Conspiracy

    1. Market share is calculated from browser agent strings, not from downloads. It would be impossible to accurately calculate the number of users based on downloads. For example, IE comes on every computer that comes with Windows, so the number of IE downloads would be very low compared to something like Firefox, which a user must actively download onto a Windows machine. So browser usage statistics are calculated based on number of hits to a website (or collection of websites) by a certain browser. Also, if same IP addresses were filtered out then organizations like schools and businesses, which download Firefox onto hundreds of computers from the same IP address, would only count as one download.

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