updated 03:40 pm EST, Wed March 4, 2009
Firefox Overtakes IE6
Firefox 3 has become the first non-Microsoft web browser to overtake Internet Explorer 6 in market share, according to new data from StatCounter. The open source browser climbed to 24 percent of users in February while IE6 dipped to just over 22.6 percent, making Firefox the second most popular browser by individual version. Although Internet Explorer 7 still leads with 40.8 percent, the Firefox increase narrows the gap as Microsoft's browser has remained largely flat since at least July.
The combined shares for each platform, regardless of version, also show Microsoft having ultimately lost share over time. Mozilla's browser has moved from from 25.5 percent in July to about 28.1 percent last month, while Internet Explorer has steadily dropped from 68.4 percent to 62.1 percent. The study points to many users opting to use Firefox or an alternative browser rather than opting for IE7; Microsoft's client is also limited to Windows while Firefox is also available on Mac and Linux platforms.
Other, less common browsers have also made slight gains but are relatively small in comparison. Opera 9 leads the smaller browsers and now has about 1.9 percent share, while Safari 3 is at 1.6 percent.