Microsoft’s Response To Firefox 4 Adoption

There are always the statistics that anyone can bring out to make it look like their company is miles ahead of the competition. But, you do have to admit that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer team has a good explanation of how browser adoption is measured, and where their target audience is compared with Firefox and Opera.

Every browser has a mechanism for updating their users from a previous version of a browser to the latest and greatest. For IE9, it is done through Windows Update. In the case of FF 4.0 and Chrome 10 their update mechanisms are turned on as part of their initial release to web (RTW). In the case of IE9 which RTW-ed on March 14th, we just turned on Windows Update for IE9 RTW yesterday – even then only for existing IE9 Beta and RC users. We have yet to turn on any updating for any Windows customers who have not previously downloaded the IE9 Beta or IE9 RC. So, every IE9 download is from a customer actively seeking out Internet Explorer 9 and downloading it. No automatic update or in-product prompts. As a matter of fact, of the downloads we’ve seen through Sunday, March 27th, over 90% have come from non-IE9 RC and Beta users. And remember, we report completed downloads – not attempted downloads where a user may hit a download button repeatedly but without fully downloading IE9.