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OneStat.com Reports Mozilla Usage Share at 1.8%, Heise.de Notes Sharp Increase in Gecko Visitors

Tuesday January 20th, 2004

kroxx sent us a link to OneStat.com's latest browser usage share figures, which report that Mozilla has a 1.8 percent global usage share. This makes it the fourth most popular browser after Microsoft Internet Explorer versions 6, 5.5 and 5. In total, IE has a global usage share of 94.8 percent, according to the Amsterdam-based website statistics firm.

Meanwhile, Gunnar writes: "Heise.de, one of Germany's major computer-related websites, reports that Gecko browsers had a share of almost 30% (29.9%) in January 2004 among their visitors. This is up 10.5% in a year (or a 50% increase)." An English translation of the Heise article is available.


#28 Real Headline: MSIE share peaks, Mozilla increases

by rdc

Wednesday January 21st, 2004 6:05 PM

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As eiseli said, the really interesting fact here is that MSIE has decreased in share. The Onestat story makes a big deal about the increase in MSIE 6, but ignores the fact that overall MSIE share decreased for probably the first time since they began cutting off Netscape's "air supply".

The updated stats at <http://stats.bclary.com/> show pretty conclusively that Onestat counts Netscape 6.x/7.x as part of Netscape Navigator and not as Mozilla and that Onestat under-reports "other" user agents. Looking at the code of onestat's detection is it clear they will not correctly handle Gecko user agents which are reporting themselves as MSIE, and will not handle Gecko user agents which block images from their domain.

Considering that Netscape 7.x had over 25 million downloads as of July 2003, that international Netscape sites still list Netscape 6.x/7.x and many people do not upgrade as quickly as you might think, I believe you can without a doubt conclude that Onestat's statistics should report over 2% global Gecko usage and perhaps significantly more. I have always considered the "magic number" for Gecko's share to be 5%. Once web sites begin to see 5% of their users using Gecko, they will not be able to ignore Gecko support.

Increasing real and perceived Gecko share however is problematic for several reasons.

One problem is due to the number of different Gecko browsers. Onestat actually does a better job with most Gecko user agents than other reporting tools which fragment Gecko's share amongst the various distributions. Onestat's main fault is in its reporting of Netscape 6/7 as Netscape Navigator rather than Gecko. If you use a web site analytic program and it does not accurately report Gecko usage, complain to the author/vendor and ask them to do a better job.

Another problem area can be found by looking at sites such as the newly redesigned MSNBC (especially after they moved their domain to MSN.com) where you can see many problems in Gecko. It is unfortunate that a so-called #1 News site would neglect non-MSIE browsers, but it is not surprising.

Another problem is due to ad agencies such as DoubleClick which improperly create IFRAME embedded advertisements using Flash without WMODE for Gecko. The resulting degraded experience for Gecko users makes it look like a Gecko problem instead of a problem with DoubleClick's ad code.

If you want to help Mozilla and its entire family of Gecko-based browsers you should encourage everyone you know to use Mozilla or a Gecko-based browser, make sure to not configure Mozilla in such a way as to under report Gecko with these types of browser detection schemes, constructively complain to sites which do not support Mozilla and Gecko. For example, do not simply complain that Flash Ads on MSNBC are broken. Instead figure out the basic problem and explain to them why their code is broken and how to fix it. Although they have not fixed the problem as of yet, they did respond positively to my constructive and detailed analysis of the problem with *their site and their ad supplier*.

Be a good Mozilla Community citizen and get involved in Mozilla Tech Evangelism and contribute to Mozilla's success by effectively communicating with web sites about how to improve their support for Gecko in particular and all standards-compliant browsers in general.