does a headline create truth?

| 6 Comments

The Mozilla community is engaged in a discussion around user adoption and retention that's been picked up by some in the tech media with headlines and articles suggesting that Mozilla's roughly 25% adoption/retention number is shockingly bad.

I wonder what they're comparing it to. Do any of you all know of any other software organization that offers software for download and publishes information about the number of downloads they get, the number of people who actually install the software, and the number of people that continue using it for a month or a year?

Do Adrian and Larry at ZDNet have something to compare Mozilla's stats to? I'm assuming that they do since they feel confident calling Mozilla's adoption and retention rates "shocking" and "poor".

Me, I have no idea. Perhaps 25% retention is phenomenal for downloaded software. Maybe it's sub-par.

We've had nearly 400,000,000 downloads of Firefox and we've got about 110 million users. Is that good? Is that bad? How does that compare to Skype, or RealPlayer, or LimeWire, for example? I certainly don't know and I've actually been looking for that kind of information for three or four years.

Maybe those very knowledgeable reporters over at ZDNet can share some of their wisdom.

6 Comments

I actually read another article about this which said 25% was actually good... Nevertheless, wanting to improve is always better!

I've downloaded firefox well over 100 times personally, and I have used it preinstalled on my fedora boxes every time I've installed it. Are all of these part of the 400 million downloads? If so, then I'm sorry. I'm wrecking the retention rate. I'm certainly still using firefox every day.

Aaron, we get 500,000 downloads per day and you're an anomaly. Out of 400,000,000 downloads, the number of people who have downloaded it more than once is probably pretty small. And, there are plenty of people who download it once and deploy it to dozens or hundreds, or even thousands (or in the case if IBM, tens of thousands) of users.

- A

How does patching fit in with that? Before our binary patching the update system would just trigger another download.

Also, is that tracking just releases or nightlies as well? If we count nightlies I've probably downloaded 1000+ copies of Fx :)

It's an awful rate.

People with less secure browsers are downloading trojans and spyware that will stay on their PCs for YEARS before they get rid of them.

Now that's what I call retention...

;-)

Robin, those are just counting full downloads. We've offered patch updates since 1.5.

- A

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