French research firm Xiti Monitor has released some data about Firefox’s share of the market (if you haven’t been using Firefox, what are you waiting for?). Global figures for Firefox remain low, while Europe is the continent with the highest percentage of Firefox users at 14%. Of those European countries, Finland is crazy for Firefox with 31% of all internet users browsing the net with it.
What I find remarkable about these figures is that they demonstrate the difficulty of shifting mainstream perceptions and technological use. In almost any measurable manner, Firefox is superior to Internet Explorer. But IE comes pre-installed with Windows, and people are remarkably reluctant to shift their usage patterns. People in general do not want to install new software, and to learn a new manner of doing things is not a priority. When the average users learns how to use something, they will stick with it, even if there is something much better in the market.
I think that this demonstrates some interesting policy implications. For example, I think that official efforts to push a specific technological solution are doomed to fail, because users will not always choose what’s best for them.