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Mozilla pegs worldwide Firefox share at 30%

Antarctica's browser of choice

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Mozilla estimates that Firefox now handles almost 30 per cent of worldwide web access.

On Wednesday, the open source outfit released its first ever quarterly analyst report (pdf), a collection of web-happy stats dubbed The State of the Internet. Crunching data from four separate online research houses - StatCounter, Quantcast, Net Applications, and Gemius - Mozilla says that its influence is the strongest in Europe, where it spans 39.2 per cent of the browser market.

Next comes South America at 31.1 per cent and then Africa at 29.7 per cent, with North America bringing up the rear at 26 per cent. Mozilla does not provide official numbers on Antarctica, but StatCounter says that on the bottom of the earth, Firefox has an 80 per cent share. Which only makes sense. Open source keeps you warm.

According to Mozilla, Firefox usage is growing most rapidly in Russia, where uptake spiked 20 per cent this quarter. Mozilla guesses this has something to do with chairperson Mitchell Baker's visit to the country in February. Now if we could only get her to visit all those companies still running IE6.

Russia, incidentally, is one place where Google is not the browser's default search engine. All those clicks are going to the native Yandex.

Indonesia, India, the Philippines, Australia, Mexico, and Turkey also showed Firefoxian growth in access of 15 per cent during the quarter. And according to the report, Asians are the most likely to beef up their browsers with add-ons - unless you consider that small sample size in Antarctica. Since January, Mozilla has seen 538 Antarctic add-on downloads from the continent's 1,000 inhabitants.

A recent Mozilla Labs study indicates that the average Firefox user has two to three tabs open at a time. But one unnamed participant went so far as to open 600. Presumably, none of the 600 were running Flash. ®

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