Former Mozilla CTO: Google Chrome has won the browser war – hardly any future for Firefox

Although Mozilla recently started a campaign to convince users to switch from Chrome to Firefox, the company has lost the browser war, according to Andreas Gal, Mozilla’s former Chief Technology Officer in a blog. If the current trend on the browser market continues there is hardly any future for Firefox, according to Gal.

Former Mozilla CTO: Google Chrome has won the browser war - hardly any future for Firefox

He worked seven years at Mozilla as Chief Technology Office and left two years ago to work for a startup. In a reaction to the campaign of his former employer he refers to the statistics of StatCounter. Chrome currently holds a market share of 55% on desktop and mobile combined, while Internet Explorer and Firefox are at around 5-8%.

“If the 6 year trend holds, IE should be pretty much dead in 2 or 3 years. Firefox is not faring much better, unfortunately, and is headed towards a 2-3% market share,” Gal writes.

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The market share will continue to decline because web developers don’t test for browser with a small market share. This causes some websites and web applications to no longer work on all browsers, which makes even more user switch to the market leader, Chrome.  “A vicious cycle”, according to Gal.

When looking only at the desktop market share, Firefox has a larger percentage of users, but also there the trend is downwards. Gal expects that Firefox for the desktop will continue to exist for a while but with a shrinking market share. Gal expects that it’s nearly impossible to get new users for Firefox.

The dominance of Chrome doesn’t mean Google owns the web, according to Gal. He expects that the web will continue to develop itself.

“So while Google won the browser wars, they haven’t won the Web. To stick with the transportation metaphor: Google makes the best horses in the world and they clearly won the horse race. I just don’t think that race matters much going forward”, he concludes.

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