If there’s something that ticks me off the most, it is the marketing/PR of a company fudging statistics to suit their needs. Both Microsoft and Mozilla announced new versions of the browsers this month and number of downloads in the first 24 hours were used to showcase how awesome the browsers are.
Microsoft did a blog post claiming 2.35 Million downloads for IE9 and Mozilla announced 7.1 Million downloads. Woah! That’s a huge difference! I mean really that’s almost 3 times but. Yes, there’s a capital BUT here. IE9 is only for Windows Vista and Windows 7 whereas Firefox is available for all desktop operating systems. This little piece of information has been conveniently skipped by all. Why IE9 is not available on Windows XP is Microsoft’s decision, they’ve talked about that and I shall not get into that since it has nothing to do with the download numbers.
Today Romit Mehta asked Asa Dotzler if he could share OS specific numbers for the downloads since that would give a clearer picture as to who wonif the first 24 hour download numbers were the scale. The discussion had several analogies exchanged but Asa did not talk numbers, much like a PR professional he danced around but not being one he lost his cool and shit hit the roof. Here are some quotes:
Since I follow @Rawmeet and these statistics have been something of an issue for me since everyone started talking about them, I jumped into the discussion and here’s how that went:
Getting a PR response meant I had to take a dig at Mozilla:
I just got complimented by Asa for my persistence (and my blunt truth):
With that done, I decided to look at numbers. They weren’t going to come from Asa or Mozilla so the next best public source, Statscounter and here’s what I found:
The 28 days of March 2011
- Windows Vista 13.74%
- Windows 7 30.63%
- Total download base for IE9 = 44.47% (2.35 Million Times)
- Compared to the 100% marketshare Firefox had, they managed 7.1 Million downloads.
- This is 55.53% more and they got 3 times the downloads.
Windows XP has 47.22% of the marketshare which means if IE9 were available on Windows XP the download numbers would’ve well been close. Or in other words, Firefox 4 didn’t exactly do a hell lot better than IE9 despite the 3x downloads.
So much for the BS Mozilla and you might want to get your engineers some anger management therapy. Maybe the congratulatory cake Microsoft sent Mozilla wasn’t his favourite flavour.