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Firefox 3.5 passes IE7 as most popular browser

updated 03:15 pm EST, Mon December 21, 2009

Chrome, Safari make small gains too

Firefox 3.5 has overtaken Internet Explorer 7 as the most popular single version of a web browser, according to new data from StatCounter. As of last week, the Mozilla browser took 21.93 percent of traffic, or just enough to edge out IE7's 21.2 percent. Microsoft still has the edge in overall share, but the data points to IE8 growing at a slower rate than Firefox.

Safari 4 hs been growing slightly in recent weeks but has been largely flat at 3.03 percent. Other browsers, excluding Opera's 0.42 percent, reached 9 percent collectively, but individually didn't typically have enough market share to stand on their own.

The rise isn't given an explanation but can be credited to Firefox's added speed, compatibility and cross-OS support, which includes Linux and Mac OS X where Internet Explorer is using a comparatively aging web engine and is limited to Windows PCs. Some of Microsoft's total Internet Explorer share is also based on corporate PCs and older systems in the developing world, many of which still run the default installation of Internet Explorer that shipped with Windows XP or Vista.

Firefox and other browsers are poised to get further help as the EU browser ballot will make Firefox an option for those who otherwise would never have tried an alternative.

by MacNN Staff



  1. syzygi

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Just now?

    Seriously who's stupid enough to use IE 7 much less IE 6? I thought FF passed IE years go. Where did they get this data, third world countries? FF and Safari are so much faster and technologically advanced. IE 7 was out dated the day it cam out. Mozilla’s Gecko rendering engine and Apple's web kit have been ahead of IE for how many years now? Common IE users ditch the Edsel today.

  1. sharp3d

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Sadly, lots of companies, hospitals, government facilities etc. lock employees out from installing new programs (IT has to do it) and many visitors are people using XP at work to browse the web. Dell still sells computers with XP as an option.

    This is a often a hurdle for web designers... a site design may work in modern browser versions fine, but older browsers don't show correctly (or break the design) and yet still represent a significant portion of traffic (who haven't, won't or cant' upgrade).

    A typical approach is to make some browser specific layout changes (for example hide a vote button that won't work for ie 7 and earlier).

    The good news is every sites traffic is truly unique, because their customer or reading base is. Some industries may not need to worry about compatibility issues if say 90-95% of the traffic is savvy and uses a modern browser. I am SURE gets a higher safari bar than 4% show in this graph.

    Anyway glad to hear FF is the #1 browser (rather I am happy IE7 isn't), I personally will keep using Safari!

    ps. If you haven't heard several big sites like digg & Youtube officially dropped support for IE7

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    People will just use what's on their computer. And some people might actually like IE.

    And sharp3d, those sites did not officially drop support for IE 7. IE 6 perhaps, but not 7.

  1. sharp3d

    Joined: Dec 1969



    @testudo - right. my bad, Thanks for noticing. Personally most of y sites work ok with IE7, 6 is another story. Then again IE6 is old... it came out a before 9-11 and the Nintendo Gamecube.

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