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Firefox 3.0 ekes ahead of Internet Explorer 7 in Europe

IE 8 unfavourably skews stats

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Mozilla’s web browser Firefox 3.0 crawled past Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7 in European market share for the first time last week.

According to StatCounter’s latest report on browser popularity, Firefox 3 eked ahead of IE 7 in Europe by just one per cent when version numbers were broken down in the market share study.

It found that Firefox 3 pulled in 35 per cent compared to IE 7’s 34 per cent market share.

Microsoft’s IE 7 is currently its most popular browser in the increasingly crowded marketplace.

Users also still run its earlier IE 6 version, as well as the company’s most recent release - IE 8 - which appears to have helped skew the results in favour of Firefox 3.0 over the past week.

IE 8 currently accounts for 2.3 per cent of total market share in Europe following its mid-March release, which explains the slight blip in IE 7’s stats.

StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen agreed. "The move is partly explained by a small switch from IE 7.0 usage to IE 8.0 but also by growing market share overall by Firefox 3.0," he said.

However, more significantly: "The data shows that Firefox is closing the gap and is now just 10 percent behind all IE versions in Europe," according to Cullen.

StatCounter, which based its stats on aggregate data from their own network of users, said IE's total European market share remained at the top of the pile, accounting for 48 per cent usage, while combined versions of Firefox pull in 38 per cent of web surfers.

Opera is the third most popular browser with seven per cent share in the region, while Apple's Safari and Google's Chrome both rank below three per cent take-up. ®

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