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FireFox 3 Stats: Why Users Removed The Browser

Firefox 3: Data Behind the Deletes

In an earlier post, Firefox 3 first impressions, we looked at the initial feedback from the search community.  It’s safe to say that the reviews were mixed.  Quite a few felt the 3.0 release was too buggy, and like Google Chrome, had issues with JavaScript and AJAX, found their extensions incompatible with the new version.  While others had no issues whatsoever.  I myself, after downloading the new version, had real issues with crashing and extension use, and recommended that others wait until the next release of FF3 and go back to Firefox 2.

For the past month, I have continually tried to re-install the Firefox 3 browser, and found that it continually crashed or tweaked out so badly I had to uninstall it.  FF3 offers a survey upon deletion, and once completed allows for the download of the data.  I did some quick compiling and here’s the results:

Reasons Why Users Removed FF3:

Percentages of Why People Removed FF3 Browser
Percentages of Why People Removed FF3 Browser

(SAMPLE based on 35,276 responses) As you can see, the overwhelming majority, 57%, deleted the browser expecting to replace their current browser, suggesting that FF3 just wasn’t up to snuff and that users would rather revert back to their old browser (IE, Opera, FF2, etc).

  • 19% deleted it to use as an additional browser along with their primary browser
  • 15% just wanted to “try it out”
  • 9% deleted for reasons not covered by FireFox

Example Responses:

There is still a mixed bag of responses.  Plenty of people that uninstalled Firefox 3 were happy with it’s performance (most of these responses came from the “try it out” section) and plenty of people were quite unhappy at the new upgrade.


FF3 is still in test but I thought it was good… gonna stick with the 2 version for a while… liked it better as it is… I do not enjoy the guess what page you want based on how you frequent feature… and you shouldnt take the go button from the address bar like Iexplorer… its very annoying. Great browser though. -#617082

Total failure it doesn’t work at all I’m running Windows XP Pro & successfully using Firefox; Internet Explorer; Safari 3.1.1  This Firefox release is fucking useless. -#617175

I am very impressed with firefox, its really damn cool appli..which i hav never seen before. I mean i hav tried all the browsers and till now its d damn coolest…I m a programmer n i knw what im talking about. I luv firefox ,trust me. Keep rockin firefox team, luv uuuuuuuu. -#619559

If You’ve Had Trouble Integrating Firefox 3:

Here’s a way to get it to successfully integrate and to stave off crashes (at least it worked for me).

  1. Completely delete (uninstall) your add-ons.

I know.  It sucks.  But, you’ll have less trouble running it without all your incompatible add-ons and extensions.  You start with a clean slate.  Most of the add-ons are now compatible with FF3 (at least from an SEM/SEO standpoint), so unless you highly customized each add-on, it’ll take about 5 minutes to put them back on.

2.  Completely remove FF2 browser

I’ve found this to be the key to success.  Most of us have integrated FF3 through FF2, and therein lies the problem.  There’s something quirky when you upgrade through Firefox, that causes the browser to crash and tweak.  I completely uninstalled it (through Add/Remove Programs), then used IE (Internet Explorer) to download FF3.  I’ve done it twice now, it works like a charm.  No hiccups, no issues.  Smooth sailing.

What This Data Suggests for Chrome:

It’s got a long way to go and market saturation is going to be difficult.  While Chrome does have unique features that make it desirable, it isn’t quite at the level of Mozilla.  And, while two have a solid partnership, Chrome, at present, doesn’t have enough incentives make users need it as a full-time browser.  Mainly, this comes with the AJAX and JavaScript issues.

It also suggests that when Chrome releases a full version, there will be community and user lash back.  Moreover, the full, sanctioned version will have to offer the user something they cannot get through any other browser.  It’ll have to be as adaptable and customizable as FireFox, it’ll have to be as sleek as Opera, and have to insert itself the way IE has in the marketplace.

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