In a research report by Janco Associates Inc. as reported in a recent InformationWeek story, more than one out of ten business professionals use the Firefox browser and the number is expected to grow quickly.
I am one of those business people. I've been using Firefox as my default browser since late 2004. I particularly like the tabbed browsing feature in Firefox which allows multiple Web sites to be open in the browser. Tabs make it simple to move from one site to another while keeping each open and saves lots of time and screen real estate.
Obviously if 1 in 10 business people use Firefox, it has a lot going for it. Here's a writeup from Walt Mossberg, the personal technology reporter for The Wall Street Journal. "Security, Cool Features Of Firefox Web Browser Beat Microsoft's IE," Walt says.
Unfortunately, not all sites work with Firefox, which is very
frustrating. I still have Microsoft Internet Explorer available and
about once a week I end up having to fire up my alternative browser.
An example of a company that does not support Firefox (at least in its ordering system) is McAfee, the Internet security and virus scan people. When I went to renew my subscription to one of McAfee's products, I got this message: "To use McAfee software products, Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher is required."
Best Practice in Web marketing says that your organization must be compliant with the software and operating systems of your target market. Certainly if you sell to business people, you want to please the 10% of us who use Firefox and make your site work with the Firefox browser. You need to get compliant with Firefox ASAP. However, if you are still developing your site for Firefox, it is a good idea to create a message like McAfee did that says that you only support IE.