Microsoft's head of Australian operations, Steve Vamos, stated in late 2004 that he did not see Firefox as a threat and that there was not significant demand for the feature set of Firefox among Microsoft's users. Former Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has used Firefox, but has commented that "it's just another browser, and IE [Microsoft's Internet Explorer] is better."
Firefox is nearly as popular as IE in Europe now, Chrome and Opera are vastly more popular than in the U.S, while Europeans could care less about Safari. IE is listed with 40.89%, Firefox with 39.47% (the trend indicates that Firefox may jump past IE next month), Chrome with 10.82%, Opera with 4.6% and Safari with 3.3%. By the way, Chrome is most popular in Africa, where it stands at 10.99%.
Firefox’ popularity in Europe is based on an obscenely high market share in Germany where the browser holds 60.88% of the market, according to StatCounter. IE has only 25.0% in Germany and Chrome only 5.48%, Opera 4.6% and Safari 2.9%. (...)
So why would we care about Europe? Because the browser developers have to care: North America has an estimated Internet population of 259 million users, while Europe is at about 426 million users. Conceivably, the European market is much more interesting and important to Microsoft, Mozilla and Google than North America.