Google Zeitgeist Browser Stats Now Recognise 'Netscape 5.x'

Thursday February 20th, 2003

FriedEgg writes: "'Netscape 5.x' (Mozilla based browsers) are now listed separately in the Google Zeitgeist, and no longer grouped into 'Other'."

Targeted at members of the press and the curious, Google Zeitgeist offers regular statistics on the trends, patterns and surprises found by analysing Google search data. Following on from a discussion in our forums, MozillaZine reader jgraham has been in touch with Google, who say that 'Netscape 5.x' represents "all versions of Netscape 5.0 and newer and anything that uses Gecko."

Update! Zak adds: "'s latest stats (released at beginning of Feb) show that for the first time, Mozilla has a higher share than NS4 (compare with the previous month's stats)."

#8 Netscape 4

by PaulB <>

Thursday February 20th, 2003 6:37 PM

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My take on Netscape 4's decline in user share relates to Mac OS X. For years Nescape was used by Mac users for several reasons. They used Netscape 4x when IE failed them by not properly displaying pages (though Netscape 4.x often did not display the sites any better), because their ISP promoted Netscape 4.x (and not supporting Gecko based browsers) for the Mac and IE for the Windows users and some form of Anti-Microsoft reason. (My reson for not using IE on the Mac has been that it caused several hard to define instabilities with the operating system OS X, there in system 8 but not as noticable. Removing IE quickly improved OS stability.)

I will explain my point here. Recently OS X has reached a level of maturity and apps written natively for OS X users have been waiting for have finially been written for OS X. Users are migrating from System 9 to OS X now. Mozilla on OS 9 is very slow and users kept using either NS 4x or IE. Its been a while since I used the OS 9 Mozilla verson, but as I remember it is slow, sometimes even slower than NS 4. Thus on OS 9 most users continued with IE, mainly for speed unless they were a NS 4 user. With the migration to OS X the browser choice is much different. NS 4x does not have a native OS X version and going back to system 9 is fustrating just to use NS 4. IE on OS Xis a native app, but IE Mac does not equal IE Windows. IE is slow and has quirks with rendering, though I am not an expert since I have not used it all that much. My info come from users experiences posted at Mac web sites. Mozilla has been a viable option on OS X ever since version 1 for most users. This includes the CFM Mozilla as well as NS 7x. With the switch to the Mach-O Mozilla, Mozilla zooms on OS X and is a very good OS X browser. Thus as users adopt OS X as their primary OS on the Mac they are leaving behind NS 4x and in many cases IE and have been to Mozilla or Chimera. This may explain some of the increase usage of Gecko based browsers recently reported.

With the introduction recently of Safari by Apple we will have to wait and see if Mac users jump ship and move to Safari. My take is that some will prefer Safari over Chimera. Most users who prefer Mozilla over Chimera, as I do, will stay with Mozilla rather than move to Safari. Many users of OS X are still at 10.1.5 and not on 10.2 which is required to run Safari. It cost 129.US$ to upgrade to 10.2 so Geck based browsers may have a chance to catch on on the Mac. Will the Gecko based browsers develop a loyalty so that by the time most users have upgraded to 10.2 will want to stay with a Gecko browser rather than switching to Safari?

This is my take on some of the upsurge in usage of Gecko based browsers on the Mac. My take may be accurate or it may be way off base.:)