Notwithstanding the tremendous success of Mozilla's Firefox at dislodging Internet Explorer, most people still use I.E for patrolling the Internet which just goes to show you that the best product isn't always the first.
As reports InformationWeek,
As of the end of November, Firefox had a 20.78% share, while IE had fallen to 69.77%, according to Net Applications. Throughout the year, Firefox usage on the Web has grown steadily, starting in January with a 16.98% share. Internet Explorer, on the other hand, started the year with a 75.47% share.
Also showing steady growth is Apple's Safari browser, which rose to 7.13% after starting the year with a 5.82% share, Net Applications' figures showed. Google Chrome topped 1% when launched in September, and soon fell below that mark. The browser did not reach 1% again until Nov. 27, but ended the month with a 0.94% share.
My R.A., Charles, convinced me to switch from IE to Firefox over the summer ... an experiment that lasted about 4 days. I'm perfectly happy with IE, but will keep an eye on the churning here. Oddly, Charles has switched over from Firefox to Google Chrome, which as of yet isn't available for Macs, but promises to be one of the coolest new browsers around. The Google suite -- gmail, gchat, YouTube -- all seem faster on Chrome, but he's very upset that it isn't perfectly delicious compatible as Firefox's latest version. Still, Google's promised that Chrome will have more add-ons, so he's pretty excited.
Wired Magazine has a fun time imagining what the browsers of the future will look like and how they'll be modified to suit very particular markets. It's an interesting idea -- that browsers will be designed for specific types of people -- and one that will totally revolutionize the way you interact with the web.
Imagine the first company that allows users to have access to their click stream -- that is what they click on over time. Imagine a web browser that knows what you want before you know it. Far-fetched? Not quite. Just check out our post on the awesomeness that is Netflix's recommender system. (For those interested in recommender systems, you might want to check out Wired Magazine's article on Gavin Potter, a 48 year old British psychologist who may end up winning Netflix's $1,000,000 prize for designing the best recommendation system. He blogs (infrequently) at Just a guy in a garage.)
The downside of clickstream is that utilizing its power involves a major privacy tradeoff. Kids don't want parents watching their every cyber-step. Same goes for spouses. It may be one of the great ironies of this age of discovery that one of the biggest truths we discover is that the human animal needs, more often than not, to be left alone.
Some more food for thought: Read John Battelle's masterful book, The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture. It is essential reading for understanding how Google and other search companies but the information in information technology. For those who don't have the time to read the book, Battelle gave a great hour-long lecture on the book for Google NYC.
Also, promising is Siva Vaidhyanathan, author of a (forthcoming) book and blog tentatively entitled, The Googlization of Everything. Vaidhyanathan did a bloggingheads.tv with Will Wilkinson of Cato talking about Google and its revolutionary search power and effect on culture. He's a little too dismal for my tastes, but all in all, worth watching.