IE 6 Adoption Soars, Netscape Use Plummets

According to the latest numbers released Wednesday by WebSideStory's StatMarket, Microsoft's Internet Explorer 6.0 has captured a 30 percent market share just seven months after its release - sending Netscape's usage plummeting to an all-time low of 7 percent. Netscape had previously held 12 percent of the browser market for over a year. IE 6 is now the second most-used browser in the world, only sitting behind predecessor IE 5.

"The fast adoption rate for IE 6 has been a definite threat to Netscape's usage share," said StatMarket vice president of marketing Geoff Johnston in a statement. "Although it looked originally as though Netscape had an entrenched core user base, IE6 has managed to take significant market share. It's do or die time now for Netscape."

However, Wednesday's report also cited news that AOL has finally followed through on its plans -- first uncovered by BetaNews last year -- to integrate Netscape's Gecko engine with its AOL client. Although only in beta at the moment, if AOL switches to Gecko in version 8.0 due this fall, Netscape's browser share would get a 13 percent boost, potentially breathing life into the browser war once again.

"Netscape 6 seems to be a stronger product than some of the company's earlier release versions, according to its users," Johnston said. "If AOL takes this step and Netscape continues to strengthen its browser, we could see another battle in the browser war."

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