The open-source Firefox browser now has almost 10% of the browser market, and is still taking market share away from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser.
Figures from web analytics company NetApplications show that Firefox, distributed by the Mozilla Foundation, had 9.6% of the browser market last December.
With Firefox having launched a major upgrade to the software at the end of the year – to version 1.5 – it is expected that the steady recent growth will continue. Firefox was only launched onto the market in November 2004.
NetApplications, which measures browser use among surfers based on monitoring traffic at thousands of websites, said Internet Explorer had 85% of the market in December, down from 86.1% in November.
In the last 12 months, IE has lost around 5% market share in this new browser war.
Microsoft hopes to fight back in the market when it launches its new IE 7 later this year, which it says will be equipped with new security and functionality features.
Apple’s Safari browser, which it distributes on the Mac platform, is now the number three browser in the market, with a 3% share, after overtaking Netscape on just 1.2%.
Before IE was launched in the nineties, Netscape was the number one browser.