1. LimeWire (18.63%)
2. Azureus (3.43%)
3. uTorrent (3.07%)
4. BitTorrent (2.58%)
5. Opera (2.15%)
6. Ares (2.15%)
7. BitComet (1.99%)
8. eMule (1.98% )
9. BearShare (1.64%)
10. BitLord (1.38%)
It’s a little odd to include all those BitTorrent clients, given their very different nature. All but LimeWire, Ares, eMule, and BearShare are BT-only (their P2P download component — Opera is mainly a web browser, with built in BT support). Recent versions of LimeWire and Ares also support BT, so another provocative headline would be “LimeWire the most popular BitTorrent client?”
Most recent (for surveys publishing numbers in 2007) usage share for Firefox ranges from 11.69% to 14.32%. Of course usage share is very different from installation share (compare Opera installation share above at 2.15% and recent usage share between 0.58% and 0.77%) and P2P filesharing and download clients have different usage patterns, so any comparison is apples to oranges. However, if one could extrapolate from the Opera numbers for installation and usage, LimeWire is not more popular than Firefox.
LimeWire is still impressively popular. This probably is mostly due to open source being less susceptible to censorship than proprietary software (which has a half-life shortened by legal attack in the case of P2P). Still, I’d like to see LimeWire gain more recognition as an open source success story than it typically gets.
The really interesting speculation concerns how computing (and ok, what may or may not have been called Web 2.0) would have been different had P2P not been under legal threat for seven or so years. Subject for another post. We can’t go back, but I think it’s very much worth trying to get to a different version of there.
Yes, I know about significant digits. I’m just repeating what the surveys say.