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Firefox eclipses IE6 in web share, threatens IE7

updated 03:40 pm EST, Wed March 4, 2009

Firefox Overtakes IE6

Firefox 3 has become the first non-Microsoft web browser to overtake Internet Explorer 6 in market share, according to new data from StatCounter. The open source browser climbed to 24 percent of users in February while IE6 dipped to just over 22.6 percent, making Firefox the second most popular browser by individual version. Although Internet Explorer 7 still leads with 40.8 percent, the Firefox increase narrows the gap as Microsoft's browser has remained largely flat since at least July.

The combined shares for each platform, regardless of version, also show Microsoft having ultimately lost share over time. Mozilla's browser has moved from from 25.5 percent in July to about 28.1 percent last month, while Internet Explorer has steadily dropped from 68.4 percent to 62.1 percent. The study points to many users opting to use Firefox or an alternative browser rather than opting for IE7; Microsoft's client is also limited to Windows while Firefox is also available on Mac and Linux platforms.

Other, less common browsers have also made slight gains but are relatively small in comparison. Opera 9 leads the smaller browsers and now has about 1.9 percent share, while Safari 3 is at 1.6 percent.

by MacNN Staff



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  1. coffeetime

    Joined: Dec 1969


    dumb story

    That's because people are moving from IE6 to IE7. This is like comparing apple and orange. Don't make any sense.

  1. rbsandka

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: dumb story

    If IE6 share went down,
    and IE7 share was flat,
    and Firefox 3 share went up,

    then the Firefox 3 gain is because people are moving from IE6 to Firefox 3, instead of moving from IE6 to IE7.

    It seems obvious to me.
    Am I wrong?

  1. mytdave

    Joined: Dec 1969


    IE share undeserved

    Yes, that is correct, overall IE share is dropping and Firefox is gaining.

    I suggest that if corp. IT weenies would install FF and give their users a choice, you would see many, many more people jump ship over a relatively short period of time. I'd say just about all of IE remaining web share is due to corporate use, everyone else has figured out IE stinks (and is a security nightmare).

  1. jimperrywebcs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Important Data

    Articles like this are important to me as an instructor of web design and development.

    Students often ask about supporting various browsers, and articles like this demonstrate how many potential viewers are excluded, if we do not account for various permutations.

    Like the IT folks above, I do not really care about which browser ultimately is most popular. I am intensely interested in which browsers that I must test against.

    Jim Perry

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