Using some early numbers from both StatCounter and Net Applications, Mozilla’s noisiest hominid, Asa Dotzler, has illustrated Firefox 4′s meteoric rise to around 5% of Web browser global usage share. Internet Explorer 9, which launched two weeks ago, seems to be enjoying a much more casual stroll in the park with just 1.5% of the global Web usage share.
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?
Numbers-wise, if the bottom left corner of the graph shows 2.3 million downloads for IE9, we can guesstimate that that it has now been downloaded 5 million times. Firefox is clocking in at 37 million downloads after five days of public availability.
We wonder whether Microsoft knew its release schedule would coincide so closely with Firefox 4. Internet Explorer 9 — a great browser by almost every metric — was never going to do well against anything emanating from the maws of Mozilla. The main thing, though, is that Microsoft has now shown that it’s serious when it comes to the Open Web. If Internet Explorer 10 is good, and 11 and 12, then we might finally see it compete with the zealous Mozillan horde.