IE Usage Falls Again, Firefox Gains

Use of Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser has fallen for the seventh straight month, and the decline is beginning to accelerate, according to new data from research firm WebSideStory. Usage of IE stood at 90.3 percent, a one month decrease of 1.5 percent. Meanwhile, Firefox usage rose nearly a full percentage point to 5 percent of the market.

WebSideStory also showed gains in Apple's Safari browser and Opera Software's flagship browser. The original Mozilla browser showed some weakness, falling slightly since December.

Other browser usage surveys, however, show Internet Explorer to have already fallen below 90 percent. Rival OneStat.com in November said IE's share stood at 88.9 percent. OneStat.com at that time pegged Firefox usage at 4.58 percent.

Although Microsoft could not immediately be reached for comment, officials at the company have repeatedly stated to the media that they are not concerned about Mozilla's Firefox.

In a November 2004 interview with BetaNews, Gary Schare, Director of Windows Product Management at Microsoft, said that Firefox's "free ride" was over. "We think that getting the first set of early adopters is a lot easier than getting the next set, and then crossing over into the mainstream is pretty difficult," he said.

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