Feeds

Firefox 3.5 wins top dog browser crown - sort of

All versions of Internet Explorer still reign supreme, however

Boost IT visibility and business value

Firefox 3.5 trundled passed Internet Explorer 7 in the past few days to become, temporarily at least, the world's most popular web browser.

According to analysis outfit StatCounter, Mozilla's latest browser just slipped ahead of Microsoft's surfing tool in the week commencing 7 December by grabbing 21.93 per cent of the global market.

But it's of course worth noting that while Firefox might be top dog by version number, it's important to point out that Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 is also pulling in plenty of punters.

So when all the stats are combined Microsoft's browser remains the clear winner with a 55.44 per cent share, of which IE 8 holds 20.33 per cent of the market and IE 7 controls 21.2 per cent.

Redmond's unloved IE 6, meanwhile, retains 13.89 per cent of the market, at the last count.

However, Mozilla's climb in the browser wars continues to be significant. It now lays claim to 32.12 per cent of the market as of last week, with Firefox 3.0 securing 9.01 per cent of loyal surfers, and some users are still browsing on Firefox 2.0 and older versions.

StatCounter puts Firefox 3.5 ahead of competition

Firefox 3.5 nudges past Internet Explorer 7

Ultimately it's business as usual for Microsoft, even though its browser market share has taken a noteworthy slip now the decade is nearly out.

Importantly, Google's Chrome browser has also been doing a stellar turn since Mountain View - finally - pumped out a beta version for Mac fans.

Chrome is now the third most popular browser, according to StatCounter, after it went ahead of Apple's Safari last week.

That climb could, in weeks to come, be interpreted as a spike following Google's press and ad campaign to get users to download Chrome. But this being Google, we're sure it'll continue to sink its teeth into Microsoft's browser heartland.

However, we have to take all these stats with a pinch of salt, especially as even the web analysts differ greatly in terms of which browser maker has what share of the market.

Net Applications, for example, said last month that all versions of Internet Explorer held 63.62 per cent of the market in November, while Firefox reeled in a total of 24.72 per cent.

Of course, optimists might be hoping that the European Commission's announcement last week that it had ditched some of its antitrust action against Microsoft - after the software giant agreed to offer Windows customers a choice of web browsers via its operating system - could blow the market wide open.

One thing is for certain, the battle to be the world's most popular browser will continue unabated into the next decade. Whether Internet Explorer can retain its lion's share remains to be seen, however. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
Sin COS to tan Windows? Chinese operating system to debut in autumn – report
Development alliance working on desktop, mobe software
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?