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Firefox nabs 30 million users in eight weeks

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Internet Explorer's dominance of the browser world continues to melt away at a steady but glacial pace — with Mozilla earnestly waving a hair dryer.

Mozilla Corporation CEO John Lilly revealed in a Twitter post on Monday that Firefox gained over 30 million unique users over the past eight weeks. He calls the recent growth spurt "amazing."

Of course, that's his job.

Tristan Nitot of Mozilla Europe later told ZDNet UK that Lily's figure was an estimate based on the Firefox browser phoning home every 24 hours to check for updates.

Counting the requests gives Mozilla an idea of the number of active daily users. The org then multiplies that number by three to accommodate for people not browsing every day.

Based on that assumption, Mozilla saw a mean increase of 10 million daily users for a total of 113 million, Nitot told the publication. The x3 adjustment results in a total of 330 million users monthly.

He attributes much of the boost to the back-to-school cycle of students buying new computers along with the end of summer holidays.

It's a healthy boost for Firefox, but Microsoft's Internet Explorer remains the king-of-the-heap by a considerable proportion.

Browser counter NetApplications last reported that IE's September market share slipped by 1.26 per cent from the previous month to 65.71 per cent of total web surfers. Firefox, in the same timeframe, rose a modest 0.77% to 23.75 per cent total in September.

Meanwhile, other leading browsers like Safari, Chrome, and Opera only hold single-digit percentages of the market, with Safari in third place with 4.24 per cent.

Whether IE can take back the slow erosion of users with Windows 7 should be an interesting statistic to follow in the months ahead. ®

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