MozillaZine has some interesting statistic war data on the Firefox arrival. Now of course Microsoft is disputing the numbers. But it is sort of like arguing that the Sammy Sosa Home Run record doesn’t mean as much as the Roger Maris or Babe Ruth Records because of the extended season.

Microsoft has lost this battle. If they are willing to suck it up and try to win the war, they have to agree to the following:

  1. Internet Standards — CSS, XHTML, RSS, and HTTP/1.1 — do matter. In fact, when looking at Web performance, I have to fall back to the following argument: “I don’t care if MSIE does it, it is not in the accepted standards”. Microsoft has a very active research division that has participated in the development of these standards. Means they must buy into them at some level.
  2. MSIE hasn’t had any buzz since the start of the pop-up wars.
  3. MSIE suffers from a general perception of being insecure. Microsoft hates when the others can effectively use FUD against their products.
  4. Being multi-platform has it’s advantages. And Macintosh doesn’t count, especially since you don’t have a current version of your browser for OSX. Geeks use Linux, and OSX, and BSD, and Windows. But Geeks all love Firefox, and that runs on ALL platforms. So do 90% of the extensions and themes.

I like Firefox. But I do not underestimate the power that Microsoft can bring to bear if it wants to really develop a kick-ass browser. And in the end, all Web users win.