Firefox Losing Its Grip?

For nearly two years The Mozilla Foundation has enjoyed continued success
after releasing its revolutionary browser, Firefox. And much of that success was
squarely on the underdog’s ability to eat into Microsoft’s Internet
Explorer’s(IE) market share.

Now, for the first time since its November 2004 release, Firefox has lost
market share of total online use, according to Web-analytics company
NetApplications.

The figures show that Firefox users slipped by some 0.7 percent to just
over 8 percent. From January to June of this year, Firefox had posted
monthly market share gains of between 0.5 percent and 1 percent.

Microsoft’s IE market dominance has been steady in
the larger picture, with estimates ranging from 89 percent to 92.9 percent
market share.

However, July’s survey is a surprise to some who expected Firefox’s
market share to continue increasing, especially as it prepares to
release its latest version 1.5.

“Microsoft’s Internet Explorer actually gained ground at the expense of
FireFox’s recent strides,” Dan Shapero, chief operating officer of
NetApplications, said in a statement. “At 8.07 percent, FireFox is still
flirting with mass appeal, so August should be an interesting and telling
month.

Firefox’s growth in the face of the ubiquitous IE, has been well documented. However, it is impossible to tell whether last month’s results will become a trend or if it will be just a
blip on the radar for the fledgling browser.

“Mozilla recently created a for-profit division just in time to see its
FireFox browser drop .7 percent in 30 days,” noted Shapero.

In May the Mozilla Foundation said its open source Firefox browser passed
the 50
million-download mark
in May, less than a year after version 1.0 was
released.

The foundation seemed to be chipping away at Microsoft’s global
stranglehold, mostly by boasting a more secure product at a time when
Redmond’s ubiquitous tool was being pounded by bugs, forcing the software
giant to release reams of security alerts.

The report also said Netscape dropped to 1.50 percent, down from 1.55
percent. Safari also increased to 2.13 percent from 1.93.

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