Report: Firefox Past 10 Percent Share

Web analytics firm Net Applications announced Monday that the open source Firefox browser has finally passed 10 percent market share, according to the firm's statistics for March. The 10.05 percent usage was up from 9.75 percent in February. Microsoft's Internet Explorer still holds a commanding lead with 84.7 percent of the market, Net Applications said.

However, according to another analytics firm, Firefox had already surpassed 10 percent market share last November. OneStat.com reported at the time that Mozilla browsers had reached 11.51 percent usage globally based on a sample of two million users from 100 companies.

Despite the conflicting numbers, it's clear that Firefox continues to gain a foothold -- especially overseas. Internet Explorer, meanwhile, is continuing its slow slide. The ubiquitous browser held 86 percent of the market last November, and its market share of the browser has fallen every month except one since December 2004, when it controlled 90.31 percent of the market.

"With a strong feature set, aggressive product development cycle, open source platform and by offering the browser for free, Firefox has the strategy in place to maintain its growth," said Vincent Vizzaccaro, executive vice president of marketing and strategic relationships at Net Applications. "But Microsoft has the much easier task of defending an entrenched position rather than attacking one."

Over the last year, Firefox has gained an additional 3.34 percent of the market.

Apple's Safari Web browser also continues to be on the rise, clocking in a 3.19 percent usage share in March, according to Net Applications. Netscape was listed in the fourth spot with 1.05 percent of the market, followed by Opera with 0.54 percent. A small number of users -- 0.34 percent -- continue to use the Mozilla Suite.

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