posted on Nov, 29 2004 @ 11:10 PM
After continuous market growth over at least 6 years, Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser took a backwards step with the non-beta release of
Mozilla's open-source Firefox browser. In June, IE useage was estimated at 95.5% of all internet users. Five months later, after the release of
Firefox 1.0, IE had dropped to a low of 90.8% of internet users.
Statistics released by WebSideStory Inc., a Web analytics software vendor that tracks browser usage, showed that last Monday, 92.5% of the users
hitting the thousands of U.S.-based Web sites it monitors were running Internet Explorer. Only 3.7% were using Firefox, according to WebSideStory.
But the reason Firefox is creating such a stir is that its emergence coincided with the first downward turn in Internet Explorer's market share since
WebSideStory began keeping browser statistics in 1998, said Geoff Johnston, an analyst at the San Diego-based firm.
Johnston said the gradual drop in IE usage began on June 4. That day, IE accounted for 95.5% of users and the various Mozilla and Netscape browsers
had a combined total of 3.5%. Firefox wasn't tracked separately at that point, so its usage would have been included in the Mozilla/Netscape
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Firefox has gained a wide fanbase due largely to its providing a more secure browsing experience. In addition to its lack of the security holes rife
in Microsoft's browser, Firefox also prevents popup ads and spyware downloads. Internet users seeking a safer trip on the web are flocking to
Mozilla's offering, dowloading nearly 6 million copies of Firefox 1.0 since its release.
Microsoft still dominates in the corporate environment, but home users are chipping away at IE's market share by switching to Firefox. It's no
surprise, given the increased awareness of viruses that target Microsoft security holes.
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