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Firefox Use Rises as IE Falls

While the stock market sits on pins and needles worried over any further delays in major Microsoft products, some users apparently are tired of waiting -- at least when it comes to browsers.

According to the latest report from Amsterdam-based Web analytics firm OneStat, in June, Microsoft’s share of the browser market fell to 83 percent globally. Meanwhile, the various Mozilla browsers and their direct relations rose to nearly 13 percent, leaving the balance primarily to Apple’s Safari and Opera.

Microsoft shipped the latest beta -- Beta 3 -- of Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP at the end of June. The company has declined to pin down a ship date even though this is the final beta test cycle.

It remains unknown what impact on Microsoft’s market share the final release of Windows Vista will have next year. However, it is likely that pent-up demand among XP users will generate a surge in Microsoft’s market share when IE7 finally ships. Beta 1 shipped nearly a year ago and there has been no significant updates to IE since 6.0 was released several years ago.

Likewise, Firefox has experienced surges in its usage whenever the Mozilla Foundation comes out with a major release -- notably last fall’s release of Firefox 1.5.

The latest numbers from OneStat show Microsoft has lost nearly 2.5 percentage points since its November 2, 2005 report -- a fairly precipitous drop in just eight months.

In the U.S., IE currently has about an 80 percent share versus nearly 16 percent for Firefox, according to OneStat.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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