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IE's Market Share Falls Below 90 Percent

A Dutch Web analytics provider released statistics this month showing that market share for the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser fell below 90 percent for the first time in several years as Mozilla browsers surged to 7.35 percent.

"It seems that people are switching from Microsoft's Internet Explorer to Mozilla's new Firefox browser. The total usage share of Microsoft declined 5 percent and the total usage share of Mozilla increased 5 percent," Niels Brinkman, co-founder of OneStat.com, the firm that released the study, said in a statement.

Internet Explorer still dominates the global browser market with a global usage share of 88.9 percent, according to the firm. But it has dropped 5 percentage points since May, when IE commanded 93.9 percent of the market. In January of this year, OneStat.com had IE's market share at 94.8 percent. For December 2002, Microsoft's IE market share was 95.0 percent, according to OneStat.com.

The Mozilla Foundation released the 1.0 version of the Firefox browser to much industry hoopla this month. Most of the OneStat.com-documented surge appears to have come from pre-release versions of Firefox. At the end of May, the total usage share of Mozilla was 2.1 percent. All Mozilla browsers are currently at 7.35 percent, with Firefox alone carrying a usage share of 4.58 percent. The Mozilla Firefox 0.1 version accounts for 2.79 percent of total usage, while the 1.0 version accounts for 1.79 percent. Other Mozilla browsers made up 2.77 percent of total usage.

Microsoft IE 6.0 remains the leading browser with a growing market share, according to OneStat.com. IE 6.0's 80.95 percent of total usage is up 11.65 percentage points since May. Other notable browsers include Opera with 1.33 percent and Safari with 0.91 percent.

OneStat.com's methodology involves measuring the percentage of Internet users visiting sites using OneStat.com's services. The company says research is based on a sample of 2 million visitors divided into 20,000 visitors in each of 100 countries each day.

The new results follow a similar report last month of a slide in Internet Explorer market share by the Web analytics firm WebSideStory. WebSideStory's numbers still have IE north of 90 percent, but the firm's statistics show IE slipping 0.8 percentage points to 92.9 percent between Sept. 10 and Oct. 29. The WebSideStory report also finds IE slid 2.6 percentage points since June, and puts total Firefox usage at 3 percent.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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