Let the Browser Wars Begin—Again

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Print this article Print


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News Analysis: With new browser versions from both Mozilla and Microsoft on their way, we can expect to see dramatic changes in the overall browser market. (DesktopLinux.com)

Firefox 2.0 is almost here, and Microsoft is expected to start pushing out Internet Explorer 7 to users via the Windows Automatic Update software-distribution mechanism by year's end. In short, the browser wars are about to begin again.

Depending on whose numbers you believe, Firefox has been continuing to erode IE's lead.

According to Janco Associates, Internet Explorer has continued to lose market share in 2006. It bottomed out to 75.88 percent share in July, which was down from 77.01 percent in January, and from 84.05 in July of 2005.

OneStat.com, meanwhile, reported earlier this week that the global usage share of IE has grown to 85.85 percent. That's a jump of 2.8 percent since July, by their counting. Firefox, on the other hand, is at 11.49 percent, a decrease of 1.44 percent since the web analytics specialist reported its July data. The rest of IE's gain came at the expense of Opera and the other browsers.

NetApplications, however, sees a very different picture. According to Ars Technica's reporting, IE hit a two-year low at 82.10 percent in September, while Firefox grew to a 12.46 percent market share. Safari, the Mac OS X browser, came in third with 3.53 percent.

As for Linux and browsers, DesktopLinux's recent survey of Linux users found that Mozilla's Firefox browser dominates the field. Firefox came in with 58.2 percent usage, followed by Konqueror at 16.3 percent, and Opera at 12 percent. Of all the other browsers, only Mozilla, at 4.7 percent and Epiphany, GNOME's default browser, at 2.7 percent, grabbed more than 2 percent of the users.

With new browser versions coming out from both Mozilla and Microsoft in the coming weeks, however, we can expect to see dramatic changes in the overall browser market.

Read the full story on DesktopLinux.com: Let the Browser Wars Begin

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Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor of eWEEK.com's Linux & Open Source Center and Ziff Davis Channel Zone. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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