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Firefox's early inroads against Internet Explorer are beginning to show signs of losing momentum, according to web analytics firm WebSideStory. The firm reckons the open source browser has increased its market by only a single percentage point - from 6.75 per cent in April to 7.86 per cent in September - over the last five months. This compares to a one percentage point gain in market share per month that accompanied Firefox's initial release last year.

Internet Explorer's market share is holding up after suffering badly to Firefox in the period immediately after the browser's November 2004 release. WebSideStory put IE's market share at 88.46 per cent on Friday, 23 September only slightly down on 88.86 per cent in late April. The modest gains Firefox has made in the last five months are largely at the expense of other alternative browsers such as Opera and Apple Safari, according to WebSideStory.

"It looks like Firefox has hit the push-back point," Geoff Johnston, an analyst with WebSideStory told Information Week. "We always knew there was a finite number of early adopters out there and a finite number of Microsoft haters who would switch to something new."

WebSideStory's statistics on browser share are based on monitoring usage figures from thousands of websites. ®

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