/ Technology

Firefox is crowned Europe’s web browser king

Firefox logo

For the first time in the history of the net, Internet Explorer has been dethroned from Europe’s web browser top spot. Firefox has just pipped Microsoft’s browser to the post, justifying your votes in our poll.

So it looks like Which? Convo readers are very good at predicting the future. Firefox topped our web browser poll in October last year, taking 42% of over 1,500 votes. The traditionally dominant Internet Explorer (IE) lagged behind with just 26%.

At the time, the reality of web browser usage was very different. IE was, predictably, still very much the front runner despite your apparent penchant to stray from Microsoft’s waters.

However, it’s now been announced by StatCounter, a company that analyses internet traffic for three million websites, that Firefox has taken the crown in Europe. Yes, worldwide Firefox is still dawdling in second place, but there shouldn’t be any denying the browser’s achievement.

Have you moved from Internet Explorer?

According to Statcounter, Firefox took 38.1% of the European browser share, compared to IE’s 37.5% – the first time Microsoft’s browser has been knocked off the top spot in a major territory.

Sure, the difference is tiny and the rest of the world hasn’t quite followed suit, but it’s still good to hear that we’re looking outside of the box.

The change almost certainly has something to do with some legislation made by the European Commission in March 2010. Microsoft now has to give European internet users a choice of browsers when they first start up their brand spanking new Windows computer.

But of course, there’s also Google Chrome. This is my web browser of choice and it’s stolen a significant share from IE. With its usage up by almost 10% compared to 2009, Chrome’s rise has helped Firefox leapfrog to the top.

So have you moved from Internet Explorer to another web browser? And what would Microsoft have to do to entice you back to their window on the web?

Comments
Member

I’m gobsmacked that it’s taken that long for Firefox to overtake to be honest. I switched to it years ago and have never looked back, especially now that I have lots of lovely Firefox add-ons that I couldn’t live without.

In my opinion, compared to FF IE doesn’t stand a chance – it’s only useful feature is that you can use it to download a different web browser.

Member

The reason it took so long is simple – most computers come with IE – most computer users are not very computer literate – nor are they adventurous.- so they use the Browser that came with the PC. It was one reason that the EU took Microsoft to court.

I haven’t used IE since Firefox was issued in Alpha form – nor have any of my Computer Club Members.

I do not use anything Microsoft except the OS – I far prefer WordPerfect as a word processor – Far more versatile in all respects – and can export the finished letter in Doc form for those who use Word – yet another piece of Microsoft tat in my opinion.

Member
Fat sam says:
7 January 2011

Using Internet Explorer is like driving a 10 year old banger – it’s outdated, it’s clunky, it doesn’t have many useful features, it’s ugly and its frustrating. I can’t even access the Which Conversation login page as an error message pops up and denies access completely! (My normal work laptop as Firefox but is currently broken so sadly using a colleague’s Firefox-free PC. That’s another thing holding back the progress of Firefox. Companies are reluctant to use third-party browsers because it’s another thing they have to control/maintain – you have to be a very special person at our place to be able to have Firefox! 🙂 )

I can’t think of a single positive attribute of IE. You don’t even need it to download another browser – use a download manager for that! 🙂

I refuse to use Google Chrome as I don’t trust Google in using my data. They already have enough cookies floating about the web to collect info of my browsing habits – I don’t need them to know EVERYTHING I do!

Firefox is open source which means it’s completely open to scrutiny by the web community. This also means that suggestions are reviewed quickly and implemented if deemed useful. Nobody at microsoft listens to user feedback hence the reason you have a browser designed by techies who give you what you think you need and not what people actually want.

Firefox – 9/10
IE 1/10

Member

Hi Fat Sam – we’re sorry to hear you’re having problems with Which? Convo in Internet Explorer. We built the website to work with IE7 and onwards, so you may have trouble if you’re using an earlier version than that. If you’d like to send us a Get In Touch email just explaining the problem in more detail that’d be great.

And is this the same Fat Sam as the one who usually has a ‘blob fish’ avatar?

Member

Hi Patrick,
Yes, it is me, the blob fish. The PC I was using only has IE 6 – our company makes a big song and dance about its online services yet for the vast majority it’s an ancient version of a pee-poor browser :|.

I can’t praise Firefox enough. You can even have it English – UK!! With a UK English spell-checker. No favOrites, no colOrs like carppy ole IE and its in-buuilt Yanklish.

And Ad-block – to block annoying adverts. And address bar auto-fill which automatically searches bookmarks, history and keywords. And advanced bookmarking. And enhanced security controls such as phishing detection and better password management. Common-sense tabbed browsing. Better performance than IE. I could go on. Could browsing really get any better than this?!

To anyone still using IE – you are really missing out.

Member

Although it prob pays to pay attention to the spell-checker! Buuilt. Mortified.

Member

I used to use Firefox, but I found that it got a bit bloated and kept crashing. Hopefully v4 will improve upon that. I’ve found the same advantages and faster running with Google Chrome.

Though I have heard that Internet Explorer 9 may top all of them.

Member
Alfredo says:
7 January 2011

I have moved from Firefox to Chrome, much faster sleak and user friendly.
Firefox has become to bloated. I hope version 4 fixes that.
BTW. Your site has some rendering problems on the iPhone (4).

Member

Interesting Alfredo – How long does Firefox take to run (at computer switch on) and access the web on your machine??

Mine takes 22 seconds which is very fair – and access times for webpages is a couple of seconds.

I found bloat often due to over stuffed computers reducing hard drive access times – or just “slow” processors rather than software. That said IE is naff.

Member
Mark P says:
22 February 2011

I started using Firefox a couple of years ago after a relative told me about it’s reliability, and I’ve used it as my browser ever since. Gone are the days of unwanted malware etc. I would recommend Firefox everytime.

Member

How You can like Internet Explorer at Patrick :/

We al know Firefox,Google, & Any other web browser is better the Microsoft web browsers :/

Member

I’m still on good old Chrome, Scott.

Member

Oh ok, Chrome’s good 🙂

Member

For those of you with a 64 bit platform you may wish to try firefox 8 with Flash 11 Beta2.

Member
Michael P says:
10 July 2017

It’s now July 2017. Haven’t things moved on? This really should be updated. Old articles like this one are a kind of internet bloatware, I think.

Member

I am sure they have been waiting for your contribution, Michael.

Which? Conversation never removes topics and people’s comments, and as you can see with this one it has been dormant for nearly six years so no one has been under any delusions that it is currently relevant.