OpenFiction [Blog]

Bad news for Microsoft

Posted in Uncategorized by scarsonmsm on May 7, 2009

As I’ve been doing surveys over the past few years, I’ve become increasingly concerned about Firefox’s ability to block popups.  We’ve been using a legacy tool called Netraker that we’d been given free use of by the Netraker company before it was bought out, but the tool was unsupported by the new owner and it was clear we were going to have to move off of it at some point.  In 07 and 08 I really didn’t see a cost-effective option that met our needs, but I knew that our Netraker popups were being blocked in particular by Firefox.  This was not so big a deal when Firefox had a small market share, but I was really concered last year as more and more people have shifted to Ff.

Turns out I was right to be concerned.  This year we used Survey Monkey, which is a nice tool at a great price, and we set up a new invite banner that runs across the top of our page instead of appearing as a popup.  The results have been eye-opening.  Consider:

  • According to our web metrics, 48% of visits in April came from Explorer and 39% from Firefox.  That the first time I’ve seen Explorer below 50%
  • In our current survey responses (in the field throughout April), 56% of educators and self learners reported using Firefox, and a whopping 67% of students did so.

This means Microsoft is losing the browser wars, especially in the demographic where they need to win the most.  I, by the way, use Firefox.

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