[xplorer˛] — My file manager is better than yours :)
home » blog » 6 February 2011

Almost 4 years ago I compiled a list of the most popular file managers using the Alexa rankings of their websites as the main parameter. Back then Total Commander came top and xplorer˛ was a respectable 8th. Since then there have been many changes, so I decided to use today's figures for a new top-15 windows file manager list. The main parameter is still the worldwide ranking according to alexa.com but I also gathered some additional data:

  • Price (in US $). $0 stands for freeware, as you can imagine you find lots of those high in popularity.
  • US ranking (also by alexa). USA is the country that powers the software market by far so the US ranking tells a lot about the prosperity of each file manager.
  • Google ranking. This is the position of each website in the organic search results for the term "windows file manager" — I used a free rank checker tool for this information.
  • Old rank. The old alexa worldwide ranking I measured back in May 2007; this indicates the relative movement of each file manager in the past 4 years

#programworld$ priceUSAgoogle  2007 rank
1.Total commander31,09642141,744125,468
2.FAR manager116,9820732,367>100121,799
6.Directory opus201,564  86.17  160,5113875,866
8.Servant salamander  315,13229.95323,5105547,014
11.AB commander369,69639.95651,60340165,469
12.AcBrowser488,176  22.52554,1551087,701
15.Explorer++714,9640447,368  33

I don't think there's much point debating these figures too much, they are just indicators of global popularity. I believe alexa rankings got more reliable over the years. For example the relative order in terms of USA popularity agrees also according to google trends — although most websites are small fish to make it in detailed google statistics.

So what happened during the last 4 years? I see many of the tens of existing file managers went 404 or dead projects, leaving fewer contenders for the crown. But tradition is still strong with total commander and FAR manager holding the top spots. My heart warms to see xplorer˛ climbing up to position #3 (#1 in USA!) stepping over some heavy duty competition!

Despite the upward mobility of many file managers I don't see any new big players. If you are wondering where is PowerDesk, the answer is that I couldn't get any reliable statistics since it was sold from V-Com to Avanquest. I suppose it will be somewhere in the top 10 too. Big surprise is the decline of Directory Opus (and I thought I had problems with sales!).

So take this with a pinch of salt, believe what you will, but it surely made my day seeing xplorer˛ #1 in the USA according to alexa, the biggest web information company.

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