It's Easy to Forget What a Global Phenomenon Firefox Is

by Ostatic Staff - May. 09, 2011

Here on OStatic, and elsewhere, the new version 4 of Firefox has been widely discussed, with some OStatic readers ditching the new version of previous versions due to reported performance problems. Still, it's easy to forget the global power that Firefox commands, especially in certain targeted areas of the world. In a highly interesting new Computerworld report, for example, Gen Kanai, Mozilla’s contributor engagement director for Asia, discusses the browser's growing prominence in Indonesia and parts of Asia. In Indonesia, in particular, Firefox is far and away the browser of choice, with neither Internet Explorer or Google Chrome anywhere near its market share level.

Researchers at StatCounter put Firefox's Indonesian market share at 85 to 90 percent. Computerworld reports:

"Mozilla does not fully understand why Firefox has caught on in Indonesia, Kanai said. But analysts and users say local Web developers benefit from Firefox's do-it-yourself plug-ins and extensions, which other browsers may not offer except for fees that not everyone in the developing nation of 238 million can afford."

Notably, extensions are what drove Firefox to nearly 30 percent market share in the U.S. and other parts of the world. It wasn't long ago at all that neither Internet Explorer nor Google Chrome even worked with extensions, although Chrome has been steadily closing this gap. It's also notable, though, that Mozilla is identifying parts of the world where Firefox has disproportionately large market share, and fostering its growth in these regions.

Indonesia is hardly the only part of the world where Firefox has a commanding market share lead. As we noted in this 2009 post, Firefox has dominant share in several parts of Europe, and its share is particularly high in markets such as Poland and Germany.

Computerworld notes that Firefox may have enourmous opportunities in Asia. Firefox 4 is available in more than 75 languages, and Mozilla's browser market share opportunities outside the U.S. may be much stronger than in the U.S. over the long haul.