Firefox's market share continues to decline. How long can the project support it?

Original note from: MuyLinux
To read the original in Spanish by J Pomeyrol, click here

The new version of Firefox is the first to be launched since the renewal brought by Proton, and which has not left anyone indifferent, generating both acknowledgments and rejections; and the launch of Mozilla VPN… At the moment it is the most outstanding thing that the company has done to produce benefits outside of Google, and at this rate it will need them to continue subsisting.

It must be remembered that Mozilla is not going through its best moments: the last thing that was known (we have run out of the main meter) about Firefox’s market share is that it continued to fall and if the bulk of the company’s income comes from Google by including your search engine as the default and Firefox will not stop losing market share. Well, that ‘main meter’ was NetMarketShare and its absence is very noticeable.

Since NetMarketShare disappeared from the scene, news about market share of browsers and operating systems is not the order of the day, because although there are alternatives, not all of them had their degree of reliability. Not even StatCounter can boast of it, although it remains the most important right now due to its implantation. And what does StatCounter say? That Firefox would have lost 12% of its user base so far in 2021.

The data is reported in FOSS Post, and it should not be taken as something safe, because if NetMarketShare stopped taking statistics, it was not because, but because a change in the transmission of the browser user agent promoted by Google for Chrome and adopted for the rest of Chromium derivatives “it will break our device detection technology and cause inaccuracies for a long period of time,” they said on NetMarketShare.

What is true for NetMarketShare is also true for StatCounter, of course. However, the latter continues to publish data and this is what the aforementioned medium seizes on, pointing out that if in January Firefox had 8.1% of the global market share, at the end of June it fell to 7.1 %, “Indicating that the browser has lost a large part of its user base in a matter of six months.” Let’s not talk about the mobile segment, where its presence is residual to the extreme.

As we have pointed out on numerous occasions, statistics are just that, statistics, not absolute values, so we should not take them as such … However, they are, if not the only one, the best indicator we have to measure these things and that is why We attach the importance to assume that Windows has 80% or that Chrome has 60% market share.

What is the reliability of that 7.1% share of Firefox? The truth is that it does not matter: Mozilla’s browser has been crashing for a long time and it does not seem that anything the company does is able to reverse the trend, rather the opposite. In the original news they mention how little Proton has liked, but also Mozilla’s positioning in the defense of identity policies, an effort that they do not apply to “improve the browser for their users every day.”

They also remember, and this is a painful example, how losses were recorded, dozens of employees were laid off and then a quarter of Mozilla’s workforce, while its CEO raised his salary to 2.4 million dollars a year , a shame that comes from afar … In an organization that claims to be non-profit, this is totally unfortunate.

The question is how long Mozilla can endure this situation, given that as its market share continues to decline, what Google pays will also be reduced and they will hardly be able to compensate it with donations, no matter how much Firefox fanatic there is, or with services like Mozilla VPN, whose infrastructure is not even its own - ergo, the benefits will be contained even if it succeeds - and whose competition is too tight.

agree, FF had a series of unpopular changes, e.g with addons, upgrades without backward compatibility, silly gui adventures and facing growing lack of trust, so there should be a major turn in all those aspects, the VPN-services wont make up for those bad decisions