Mozilla Firefox Stories April 19

After Google started rolling out FLoC to some Chrome users as a replacement for third-party cookies, the technology has become rather controversial. Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari, and Mozilla Firefox have confirmed they don’t have immediate plans to adopt FLoC.

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Mozilla Firefox Stories February 2

Firefox 85 for Android re-enables ability to play DRM content from Netflix, Amazon, more

Firefox 85 for Android appears to have unceremoniously re-enabled the ability to playback DRM content on streaming sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and more.

Mozilla Firefox Stories January 27

Firefox discontinues work toward Progressive Web Apps on desktop

One of the better recent features of the web is the ability for websites to be upgraded into standalone apps — called Progressive Web Apps — on your phone or desktop. Unfortunately, it seems Mozilla has discontinued the development of supporting Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) on desktop versions of Firefox.

Mozilla Firefox Stories January 21

Firefox for Android makes it even easier to add new browser extensions

Although Chrome dominates the mobile browser space on Android, Mozilla’s Firefox is a decent alternative with added — but limited — support for third-party extensions that make it a potential candidate for your browsing needs.

Mozilla Firefox Stories August 25, 2020

For a while now, Firefox has been working on a complete redesign for its Android browser known as “Fenix.” The updated browser delivers a lot of changes for the better, but it also cripples Mozilla’s extension support.

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Mozilla Firefox Stories February 24, 2020

With Google constantly pushing for the “Next Billion Users,” there’s great need for web apps to run well on all devices and have good accessibility, and Google has provided the Lighthouse auditing tools to help developers accomplish that. To put Lighthouse in the hands of more web developers, Google has released it as a new Mozilla Firefox extension.

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Mozilla Firefox Stories May 22, 2019

First stable Tor Browser build now available on Android

The first official Tor Browser for Android is now available to download allowing the truly privacy conscious the ability to have a stable build on their mobile devices.

Mozilla Firefox Stories February 5, 2019

Firefox for Android will soon block auto-playing video and audio

Firefox 66 will now block auto-playing video and audio when pages launch on Android thanks to the latest update to the popular desktop and mobile browser.

Mozilla Firefox Stories October 3, 2018

Privacy-first mobile browser Firefox Focus brings new Android performance boost

Firefox Focus, Mozilla’s privacy focused browser for Android and iOS, has gotten a major update to its visuals and performance on Android today.

Mozilla Firefox Stories July 25, 2018

YouTube’s user interface has changed a lot over the past year, both on mobile devices and on the desktop. Apparently, though, that redesign is causing issues with some browsers…

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Mozilla Firefox Stories April 5, 2018

You can now watch YouTube TV using Firefox

YouTube TV has been a pretty awesome product so far, but its expansion to new platforms has been relatively slow. Recently, Google finally loosened its browser restriction on the service, allowing Firefox users to get in on the fun.

Mozilla Firefox Stories February 16, 2018

How to get the Google Images ‘view image’ button back in Firefox

Google recently removed the convenient ‘view image’ button in Images, but thankfully there’s a Firefox extension that brings it back. Here’s how it all works…

Mozilla Firefox Stories November 20, 2017

Firefox Quantum brought a major update to Mozilla’s browser and it makes a lot of changes for the better. One of those changes is minor, but definitely an improvement — Google is once again the default search engine.

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Mozilla Firefox Stories October 3, 2017

Google’s Allo messaging service often doesn’t get the attention it deserves, and that’s mainly because it’s not a very flexible option. When Allo finally debuted on the web, it still had some serious restrictions. Today, Google is expanding the service to more users.

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Mozilla Firefox Stories June 20, 2017

Mozilla, a non-profit foundation that created the Firefox web browser, created a new mobile browser for iOS devices that allowed users to anonymously browse the world wide web. Today, Mozilla is finally bringing Firefox Focus to Android, introducing three new features to make the browser even more useful for users…

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Mozilla Firefox Stories February 26, 2016

Gmail Default mail app

I’ve never been a big proponent of the stock Mail application in OS X, so I generally find myself relying on Gmail inside a browser for all of my email needs. In fact, I don’t have any accounts configured inside of the Mail app at all. With this in mind, I get frustrated when I accidentally click a mailto link while I’m using Chrome. Doing so forces the Mail app to open, which wastes time.

Wouldn’t it be better if you could configure Gmail to be the default mail client inside of Chrome or another browser? In this video tutorial, I’ll show you how easy it is to configure Chrome, Safari, and even Firefox to use Gmail as default. expand full story

Mozilla Firefox Stories December 11, 2015

The strangely hypnotic video of Android versions over the years

You wouldn’t think the shifting installed bases of different Android versions would make for the most enthralling of videos, but there’s something oddly fascinating about this timelapse video created by animator Victor Bohush (via TNW).

His greatest hits also include similar videos for desktop browser shares (watch Chrome kill Internet Explorer) and Windows versions.

Mozilla Firefox Stories November 10, 2015

You can now try Firefox OS 2.5 on your Android device with a quick APK install

Bored with your current flavor Android, but don’t want to flash a new ROM? You’re in luck. Firefox has today released an interesting “Developer Preview” version of their web-based Firefox OS.

The Firefox OS 2.5 Developer Preview is an experimental app that lets you use an almost-complete version of Firefox OS your device — without having to flash anything. The 88 mb APK behaves like any launcher you would find on the Play Store. However, it also has several system apps for making phone calls, messaging, sending emails, an app store etc. Of course, you can still launch your regular apps.

It’s a Developer Preview for a reason and the animations are rather slow on the device I was testing on (but it is much stable than you’d expect). There are some interesting UI ideas and features in Firefox OS, and since Firefox OS is catered towards lower end devices, it’s unlikely most people have tried Firefox OS. It makes for an interesting exploration. Head on over to the site to download the APK. There’s also an option to flash the OS if you want the full experience.

Mozilla Firefox Stories August 11, 2015

Firefox today has started rolling out an update to its Android app, bumping it to version 40.0. The update includes your normal host of bug fixes and performance improvements, as well as a pair of new features.

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Mozilla Firefox Stories May 20, 2015

“Adblockers,” browser tools which work to hide ads from the web browsing experience, are a controversial topic of discussion among those in the media industry. And for good reason, as the media industry as a whole is in the midst of a large shift from creating content for – and earning a vast majority of revenue from – the print and desktop mediums, where large boxy ads have long reigned king. But when we talk about adblockers, the one tool we’re all probably referring to, the one which has become synonymous with the term, is Adblock Plus (ABP), and the company behind it has released a dedicated browser for Android…

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Mozilla Firefox Stories February 19, 2015

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Google has this morning announced that its Inbox email app experience made for Gmail is officially expanding to tablets, and both the iOS (you can read more about the iOS update over at 9to5Mac) and Android versions of the app (which actually received the update in December) are now ready to go.

Since the app was launched, its web interface was tied down to Google’s own Chrome browser. But Google announced change to that requirement today as well… expand full story

Mozilla Firefox Stories December 1, 2014

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Firefox for Android received a major update this evening, bumping the app to version 34 and adding a handful of new features. Firstly, the update adds mirroring support for the Chromecast. This means that users can now mirror their browser to Google’s streaming stick. This feature was previously available in the beta build of Firebox for Android, but was incredibly buggy. Early reports say that the feature works as expected with today’s stable channel update, however.

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Mozilla Firefox Stories November 19, 2014

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Mozilla and Yahoo today announced a joint five-year “strategic” partnership that will see the Firefox browser’s default search engine change to Yahoo. Since 2004, Google has been the default search engine for Firefox, but when the agreement came to an end this year, Mozilla said that it decided to make a change.

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Mozilla Firefox Stories October 14, 2014

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You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but what about a fox? Better yet, what about a Firefox? Cheesy introductions aside, today Mozilla announced a new video streaming feature for Firefox’s Android web browser. This Chrome alternative can now push videos from your mobile device to your TV via Google’s Chromecast media stick or a Roku set-top box.

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Mozilla Firefox Stories August 18, 2014

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A few months ago, reports started circulating that Mozilla was developing its own streaming stick to compete with the Chromecast. The device was reportedly going to be marketed as a more open alternative to Google’s offering, but despite these reports, Mozilla today added Chromcast support to its Firefox browser on Android. For the time being, you must be running the nightly build of Firefox to use it, however.

You can download the nightly build of Firefox for Android from this page. Once you get the APK installed, Mozilla offers a test video casting page for users to visit. If a Chromecast icon appears on that page and your device offers the ability to cast the video, then you’re good to go.

Download the Firefox nightly APK here to get going.

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Mozilla Firefox Stories August 14, 2014

Google expanding its Safe Browsing service to warn against more deceptive software in browsers

Google announced today on its Online Security Blog that it’s expanding the Safe Browsing service that helps fight against malicious websites and warns users of potentially dangerous software when downloading files through browsers like Chrome. Rolling out next week, Safe Browsing is being updated to warn users against additional types of deceptive software:

programs disguised as a helpful download that actually make unexpected changes to your computer—for instance, switching your homepage or other browser settings to ones you don’t want… We’ll show a warning in Chrome whenever an attempt is made to trick you into downloading and installing such software. (If you still wish to proceed despite the warning, you can access it from your Downloads list.)

Google noted today that it’s “currently showing more than three million download warnings per week—and because we make this technology available for other browsers to use, we can help keep 1.1 billion people safe.” Some of those users are also receiving warnings from Safe Browsing through Firefox and Apple’s Safari browser.

Mozilla Firefox Stories June 20, 2014

Video gia GigaOm

Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox web browser, is working on a stream stick set to directly compete with Google’s Chromecast and other similar products, according to GigaOm. The device runs Mozilla’s own Firefox OS, originally designed for smartphones, and is apparently referred to as “Netcast” within the Firefox browser.

Unlike Google’s current offering, the Netcast would allow developers to integrate the technology into applications on a wide variety of operating systems and hardware devices, including many platforms not currently supported by the Chromecast. In a statement to GigaOm, Mozilla noted that anyone is welcome to work with Firefox OS and that hardware running that system does not necessarily have to come from that company.

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Mozilla Firefox Stories April 29, 2014

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Mozilla announced a major overhaul of its desktop browser today and Firefox’s Android build isn’t being left behind. Now available to download from the Play Store, Mozilla’s refreshed mobile browser ships with several technical tweaks, but the standout here is Firefox Accounts for Firefox Sync.

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Mozilla Firefox Stories June 26, 2012

Mozilla refreshed its Firefox for Android app today and promised an “a snappy and dynamic upgrade” that will improve everything from page load times to performance of web apps. On top of the performance upgrades that Mozilla claimed make Firefox “two times faster” than the stock Android browser, the newly updated app also received a few new features.

First, you will notice the UI has been streamlined, and it now includes a “personalized start page” called the “Awesome Screen.” The new start page, as highlighted in the video above, allows you quick access to bookmarks, browsing history, passwords, and data from your device that are stored in Firefox Sync. Mozilla also gave us an update on changes to the web platform:

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Mozilla Firefox Stories June 7, 2012

Mozilla Firefox in Russia: DASVIDANIYA Yandex, Hello Google for default search option

Mozilla’s Firefox browser will kick Yandex to the curb this winter in favor of Google as its default search option in Russia.

Yandex became the primary search engine in Russia for Firefox builds roughly three years ago, and it currently sports a 60 percent market share. Their agreement is now set to expire Dec. 31, with Google slated to take the reins. The Mountain View, Calif.-based Company maintains the lead as the world’s dominating search engine; although, it only has a meager 26.5-percent of the market share in Russia.

According to TheNextWeb:

A Yandex spokesperson says they were notified by Mozilla of the imminent change on June 1, and points out that the company will continue to develop and distribute its own Yandex-branded, customised Firefox browser (at least until the end of this year, under the terms of the aforementioned agreement).

The latter version evidently sports Yandex as the default search engine.

Yandex also says Mozilla’s decision will likely not impact its market share in Russia significantly (they estimate a 1.5 percent loss over the next few months).

[…] Yandex adds that the impact on its revenue and profitability will be negligible.

Google and Mozilla’s global, three-year deal allegedly runs around $900 million. The agreement is a win for Google, after Twitter notably teamed with Yandex in February.

The microblogging service gave the Russian search engine permission to meld its pipeline of public tweets for real-time search results. Google paired with Twitter in 2009 to offer the same function, but the Internet powerhouses failed to renew their partnership in July 2011. The search engine now prefers its own Google+ social network combined with personalized search results, rather than integrating tweets into aggregated searches.

Mozilla Firefox Stories May 10, 2012

Following announcements from Microsoft that it will restrict third-party browsers in its upcoming Windows 8 release for ARM devices, Google has weighed in and expressed concerns by claiming the decision restricts “user choice, and innovation.” Mozilla, makers of the Firefox browser, recently expressed similar concerns in several blogs posts (here and here). Mozilla project manager Asa Dotzler, who is leading development of Firefox for Windows 8, claimed, “Microsoft is trying to lock out competing browsers,” and he called it a “direct violation of the promises they made to developers, users, and OEMs.” Today, Google provided the following statement to CNET mirroring Mozilla’s complaints:

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Mozilla Firefox Stories January 1, 2012

Just a few years ago, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer owned the browser market with three quarters share and the only real alternative was Mozilla’s Open Source Firefox.  However, in 2008, Google noticed Apple’s WebKit Browser engine and built their own Chrome browser.  In late 2009, Chrome started to break out of the “other” category in StatCounter’s figures and started its rise to what will likely to be the world’s most used desktop browser in 2012.

A few months ago, Chrome passed Firefox and if you look at the slope of the graph over time, it looks like Chrome’s rise is still accelerating.  Even if it only grows at its 2011 rate and IE continues to fall at its 2011 rate, Chrome will pass Internet Explorer in late Summer 2012 according to Statcounter’s numbers.  Below, I have extrapolated IE and Chrome’s 2011 numbers over the first half of 2012…

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Mozilla Firefox Stories December 27, 2011

Google renewed its search bar collaboration last week with Mozilla, effectively keeping Firefox in business, and the transaction has caused a Chrome engineer to come forth and defend the alliance.

According to The Mozilla Blog, Google paid just shy of $300 million per year to be the default choice in Mozilla’s Firefox browser. The total amount is almost $1 billion, a large leap from its previous arrangement, due to competing interest from both Microsoft and Yahoo.

Chrome engineer Peter Kasting spent Christmas Eve posting a Google Plus “rant” to discuss how misunderstood the transaction is amidst a firestorm of media reports that accuse the search engine giant of funding a web competitor.

Referencing MG Siegler’s Google Plus post on the matter, Kasting felt compelled to respond.

“People never seem to understand why Google builds Chrome no matter how many times I try to pound it into their heads,” wrote Kasting. ” It’s very simple: the primary goal of Chrome is to make the web advance as much and as quickly as possible. That’s it.”

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Mozilla Firefox Stories December 23, 2011

It looks like Google tripled its spending to keep its search engine the default choice in Mozilla’s Firefox browser. The usually well-connected Kara Swisher reportedt on the AllThingsD blog that Google had to up its spending, because the other contenders, namely Microsoft and Yahoo, were looking to replace the default Google.com choice in Firefox with their own search products.

It is worth noting that Yahoo’s search engine is powered by Microsoft’s technology. Furthermore, although Chrome recently surpassed Firefox as the second most frequently used browser in key markets, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer remains the leading web browser. The Windows maker also teamed with Mozilla on the “Firefox with Bing” initiative a few months ago. It is reasonable to assume that all those factors combined have led Google to outspend its rivals to keep its search engine the default choice in the Firefox browser.

According to Swisher:

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Mozilla Firefox Stories December 20, 2011

Mozilla, the open source organization behind the Firefox browser that is receiving a beating from Google’s Chrome, announced in a blog post today that it has signed a new search agreement with Google.

We’re pleased to announce that we have negotiated a significant and mutually beneficial revenue agreement with Google. This new agreement extends our long term search relationship with Google for at least three additional years.

The deal, like similar previous agreements, will mandate Mozilla to make Google the default search engine in Firefox’s search box and Awesome bar for at least 3 more years in exchange for an unknown sum. Mozilla said it is “not at liberty” to disclose the terms of the deal. In addition to individual and corporate donations and grants, the majority of Mozilla’s revenue comes from its default search deal with Google. expand full story

Mozilla Firefox Stories September 27, 2011

Along with the release of Firefox 7 on the desktop, Mozilla has released Firefox 7 for Android. Sadly, the mobile release doesn’t feature as many changes as the desktop, but we’re sure they’ll be more to come. Change log:

  1. Improved copy and paste: Copy any site content and paste to other applications, SMS, or text fields
  2. Built-in language detection on first run
  3. WebSockets API: Powerful tool for Web developers to build responsive Web apps and sites

Hit up the download link after the break: (via Android Central)

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Mozilla Firefox Stories September 12, 2011

Chrome and Android, the two crucial weapons in Google’s assault on mobile and desktop, are showing no signs of stopping. We already reported today that Android passed iOS globally. When it comes to browsing the web, Google’s Chrome zoomed past the 25 percent mark for the first time this weekend, ConceivablyTech observed. More precisely, Chrome grabbed 25.02 percent share this past Sunday, per StatCounter Global Stats data.

The software has been growing rapidly, registering global market share of 18.29 percent in April, 19.36 percent in May 2011, 20.65 percent in June and 22.14 percent in July. Apple’s Safari grew marginally, adding just 0.02 percentage points to its 5.17 percent share in July. The latest StatCounter data, which may not be representative of the entire market, really spells trouble for Mozilla’s Firefox. Mozilla’s browser used to be the preferred alternative to Microsoft’s market-dominating Internet Explorer not that long time ago. How times change…

Firefox’s share is declining five times faster than Internet Explorer’s, indicating that Chrome is slowly but steadily chipping away at Firefox’s market position, which is now within spitting distance. Firefox scored a 27.49 share for the month of August versus 41.89 percent for Internet Explorer. The fact that only 14.5 percent of web users, or 54 percent of Firefox users, have upgraded to Firefox 6 is another indicative of shifting tides as Google gains significant ground in the web browsing space.

Google also benefits from the silent updating mechanism, a computer process that sits in the background to automatically keep your Chrome installation up to date, without any intervention on your part. Did the latest StatsCounter numbers surprise you? The writing has been on the wall for some time.

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Mozilla Firefox Stories August 31, 2011

Looks like Mozilla has taken a cue from Android for their latest work in progress Firefox for Tablets web browser. A blog post accompanied by some shots of the app explains how the company is “working tirelessly to make Firefox awesome on tablets” and also sheds light on how the app takes inspiration from “Honeycomb’s minimalist design language”.

On most fronts Firefox for tablets appears to be much the same as their mobile app for iPhone, but with some obvious enhancements to take advantage of the larger screen. Landscape mode gets a left sidebar for thumbnail tabs, allowing you to swipe through “tabs with your left thumb, and scroll through web content with your right”.

Portrait view puts tabs in a drop down menu tucked way in the toolbar, like many of the other elements which allows for an “unrestricted browsing” experience. This will definitely be a competitor for the many third-party browsers making their way to iOS. More shots of the app’s Awesomebar and tabbed browsing in action after the break. expand full story

Mozilla Firefox Stories August 16, 2011

Firefox 6 was officially released on the desktop today, and along with it comes Firefox Mobile 6.0 for Android. The 6.0 browser offers a great alternative to Android’s stock browser and other browsers like Opera. Full release notes: (via Pocketnow)

1. Higher-quality image rendering and smoother zooming 2. First wave of optimizations for tablets and large-screen devices 3. Improved interaction with touch-optimized sites (e.g Google Maps, games) 4. Improved form helper 5. Visual refresh for phones running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) 6. Continued performance and memory management enhancements

Download

Mozilla Firefox Stories August 2, 2011

A new extension called Start Google Plus brings functionality of Twitter and Facebook to Google+. The extension not only allows you to post to all three social networks, but puts Twitter and Facebook into your Google+ stream too.

Another cool feature Start Google Plus offers is the ability to import your Facebook photos. SGP is available on Chrome and Firefox. Check out a few photos of the extension after the break. (via Lifehacker)

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Mozilla Firefox Stories July 30, 2011

Google today released a new bottom-floating toolbar for Internet Explorer and Chrome users (no Firefox?) called Google Related.  They explain it like this:

Google Related is a browsing assistant that offers interesting and useful content while you are browsing the web. For instance, if you’re browsing a page about a restaurant in San Francisco, Google Related will assist you by displaying useful information about this restaurant such as the location of the restaurant on a map, user reviews, related restaurants in the area, and other webpages related to San Francisco restaurants — all in one place.

Whenever you’re navigating to a new page, Google Related will look for interesting related content and, if available, display it in a bar at the bottom of your page. Google Related can display categories such as videos, news articles, maps, reviews, images, web sites and more. To preview a listed item or see additional items, just use your mouse to hover over different categories in the bar. For example, when you hover over a video link, the video pops up in a preview box and you can play the video directly on the page.

This is an interesting move that will likely get a lot more clicks through Google…if it catches on. expand full story

Mozilla Firefox Stories July 8, 2011

A new extension Google+Facebook adds your Facebook newsfeed right into Google+. As you can see in the screenshot above, a Facebook icon is placed right next to the home icon at the top of the page. While it doesn’t give you all the functionality of Facebook, it’s a nice tool to have to update your status and check out the latest news from your friends that haven’t moved to Google+.

Google+Facebook was developed using the Crossrider framework, a framework that is used to build an extension across all three popular browsers: Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. While we wish the extension was up on the Chrome Web Store, for those of us who use Chrome, it sadly isn’t. For now we’ll have to hit up the download that is available on Crossrider. Check out Crossrider’s demonstration of Google+Facebook after the break.

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Mozilla Firefox Stories July 1, 2011

A big milestone today as Google’s Chrome hits a cool 20 percent web usage share according to StatCounter numbers for the month of June (via TNW) based on aggregate data collected from their network of three million websites.

For the first time ever, Chrome passed the 20 percent mark globally, accounting for 20.65 share of all web browsing the world over. Compare that to just 2.8 percent in the year-ago period. Google’s browser is now chasing Firefox which fell from 30 percent in June 2010 to 28 percent in June 2011. All versions of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer have also fallen to 44 percent globally, down from 59 percent in June 2010.

In the United States Chrome’s rise was less rapid, hitting 16 percent in June while Microsoft’s and Mozilla’s browsers scored 46.5 percent and 24.7 percent, respectively. What’s especially interesting is Chrome’s share in South America where it grabbed 29.72 percent of the market, beating Firefox (24 percent) to the browser punch (Microsoft’s browser had 44.1 percent share). An indication of things to come globally?

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Mozilla Firefox Stories June 3, 2011

WebKit – an Apple-developed, open-sourced rendering platform – is picking up steam on desktop. On laptop and desktop computers, WebKit-powered browsers are closing in on Mozilla’s Firefox, which is the world’s second most-popular browser. Look no further than Net Applications’ numbers derived by monitoring more than 40,000 websites in their network (see above chart). Adding May 2011 web usage share numbers for Safari (7.28 percent) and Chrome (12.52 percent) brings us to the combined 19.8 percent market share.

That’s just shy of one fifth of all desktop browsing, putting WebKit within spitting distance of Firefox’s 21.71 market share. Trends do not favor browser vendors who have been pretty much bleeding market share to Google and Apple in past months. Chrome and Safari have managed to grow their user base over the past couple of months at the expense of Mozilla’s Firefox, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Opera Software’s Opera. A StatCounter survey supports those findings (see below). Why is Mozilla failing?

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