NEW YORK: Microsoft Corporation’s web browser Internet Explorer has gained market share it had lost to open source Mozilla Foundation’s Firefox in July, according to Website monitoring firm NetApplications.
NetApplications disclosed Friday that Firefox’s market share fell for the first time since its launch in 2004 from 8.71 per cent in June to 8.07 per cent in July while the share of Internet Explorer grew to 87.2 per cent from 86.56 per cent. Firefox has been gaining strength throughout last year, increasing its share between 0.5 per cent and 1 per cent at the expense of Internet Explorer.
NetApplications collects data on browser usage patterns from nearly 40,000 websites monitored by its HitsLink.com service. The findings have come as a surprise for NetApplications and the company’s chief operating office Dan Shapero said he did not expect the browser’s market share would slow down before it shrunk. He added that Firefox’s growth has been extremely impressive and he cannot tell whether the July fall is indeed the beginning of a downward trend or a one-time anomaly. NetApplications at one time had expected Firefox to command a 10 per cent market share, which it said, will be a milestone for the open source platform.
The third place in the browser market went to Apple’s Safari, which improved its position from 1.93 per cent to 2.13 per cent. Netscape, once the leader in the browser market, had only 1.5 per cent share against an earlier 1.55 per cent. Opera came fifth with a 0.49 per cent share.
Another monitoring firm, W3Schools.com, too recorded a drop saying he number of its visitors using Firefox has went down from a high of 21 per cent in May to 19.8 per cent in July. Internet Explorer versions 5 and 6 together commanded a share of 73.8 per cent in July, up from 71.4 per cent.
In the last few months, Firefox had brought out several security patches to correct some of the flaws and analysts feel these flaws could have damaged the reputation of this open source browser.
However, Internet Explorer had several serious flaws, including the way the browser handles JPEGs and a bug that could allow arbitrary code execution.
Microsoft has revealed that there will be quite a few security updates in its IE version 7, but this is not available to users of Windows 2000. This could prove to be advantageous to Firefox.