Much has been made over the past week about Firefox 4 trouncing Internet Explorer 9 in total downloads since the new browsers were released. But Microsoft’s Internet Explorer team is cautioning that it’s too early to make comparisons.

In a post on the Windows blog, Microsoft’s Ryan Gavin points out that the company hasn’t started distributing the new browser through its Automatic Update mechanism, in contrast with Firefox, which prompted users to upgrade when they rebooted their browsers. Gavin explains …

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.

He concludes, “Windows Update for all our Windows customers will start sometime next month and by the end of June we will have a great sense of the enthusiasm on Windows 7 for IE9. Until that time, don’t get too wrapped up in the browser number gymnastics currently going on.”

But even in the long run, Microsoft may struggle to keep up, given that its new browser only works on Windows Vista and Windows 7, not older versions of the operating system, let alone other operating systems. Firefox, in contrast, has decided to support older versions of Microsoft’s OS, in addition to competing platforms.

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  • Mzermarts

    Not Considering the Evolution of IT World and Issues due to Spams and Hijacks, etc. is a Kind of Madness !

    Considering the LifeCycle of an Application Must be a Real-IT not only for professionals but and all the most for All Customers ! This is a view of Liberty !

    When You continue delivering Softwares for OS’s that have No Support in terms of LifeCycles It’is the “gage” of Disturbing the Users Minds, making them think that they are More Efficient, whereas they have an “Every Days Risky” position In FRONT of the Web and it’s multiple kinds of “Every Days Issues”.

    How many persons do We know that feel Stronger because they Use On or another app, without understanding the fondamentals like the Exposition Surface of a system or things like this.

    KB lists and every day Experince shows us the effects of the Misunderstanding of the processes end best practices, market growing every day, due to Bad Attitudes and thoughts about knowledges regarding to IT.

    It’s just not serious to make people think that navigations are More Protected by there Navigators against IE, whereas they have an OS which is starting being a TITANIC because of end of support and LifeCycle from the editor, after 10 years of Support !

    It would mean that the Editors pushs the customers to the Computer Death …
    “Have one of The Best Internet Navigators … installed on a undermaintained PC !” would be the summary of the Brand Guidelines … Waouw !

    see U

  • Manan

    I wouldn’t say Fx4 trounced IE9 in download. There was an explosive discussion on twitter with Mozilla employee regarding their unwillingness to share platform based download numbers. IE9 – Vista/7 Fx 4, gazillion Linux distros, XP, 7, Vista & OSX. Did some digging around using numbers from StatCount, my guestimate is that Fx 4 didn’t do a lot better than IE9 when one does a fair comparison (

  • Jeff Rodenburg

    I know Ryan and he’s a good guy and good for IE. However, as I was reading this yesterday, the latest Windows 7 patch for my laptop took me through the download/install for IE9. There *was* an automatic update applied to my PC.

  • Al Jigen Billings

    Well, Firefox *didn’t* prompt its users to download an update when it started. That hasn’t happened yet. All updates were initiated by a user doing either a manual “check for updates” within Firefox or going to and downloading Firefox 4.


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