Firefox Slides In U.S., IE Gains Ground

By Gregg Keizer, TechWeb News

Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer browser gained market share in the last two months, a Dutch Web metrics company announced Tuesday.

While other measurement vendors said earlier this month that Internet Explorer (IE) continued its downward trend, Amsterdam-based OneStat's data had IE climbing by .37 percent since November 2005. According to OneStat, Microsoft's browser now accounts for 85.8 percent of all browsers used worldwide.

In the U.S., IE's rise was half as much -- .18 percent -- with 80.9 percent of Americans using the browser.

Mozilla Corp.'s Firefox, meanwhile, slipped .28 percent during the same period, ending up with 11.2 percent of the global market.

"The global usage shares of Mozilla and Microsoft's Internet Explorer browsers remain stable, and it seems that people are not switching so often to Firefox as before," said Niels Brinkman, co-founder of OneStat, in a statement.

But in the U.S., Firefox dropped dramatically; its share fell 1.52 percent, from 14.1 percent in November to 12.6 percent in January 2006.

In other browser news, Microsoft released its newest IE, Internet Explorer 7, in a beta preview which can be downloaded free of charge from the company's Web site.

Since Mozilla unveiled Firefox 1.0 nearly 15 months ago, analysts have predicted that Microsoft would regain some of its lost share when IE 7 appeared.

Internet Explorer 7 is scheduled to finalize in the second half of 2006.