Firefox Usage Continues to Grow

The release of Firefox 1.5 has helped Mozilla gain additional traction against IE, according to details of a survey released on Wednesday by Web statistics firm NetApplications.com. The market share of the alternative browser reached 8.84 percent in November, up over one percentage point since September.

The findings suggest that Mozilla could still be on track -- although a bit later than hoped -- to attain a 10 percent market share by the end of 2005.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser continued its slow slide, falling to 86.08 percent, down a half of a percentage point from October's numbers. Market share of the browser has fallen every month except one since December 2004, when it controlled 90.31 percent of the market.

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"What's interesting is that in the last week of November, Firefox hit as high as 9.09 percent market share, which is indicative of its potential to hit a critical mass of 10 percent," observed Vince Vizzaccaro, executive vice president of marketing and strategic relationships at NetApplications.

"Mozilla promises a steady pattern of upgrades to Firefox, positioning itself to keep the market share gained so far, and to set the stage for greater growth in the future."

Usage of Safari has also continued to increase, reaching 2.78 percent in the November survey. While it is not exactly clear if the boost in usage is due to increased sales of Apple computers or users switching from Macintosh versions of Firefox and Internet Explorer, the browser has gained nearly a percentage point in the past year.

Netscape showed signs of stabilization with a 1.25 percent market share, virtually unchanged from the month before. The same went for Opera, which recorded a 0.53 percent market share in November.

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