Safari loses, Firefox gains market share

Apple's browser posts biggest drop in 20 months

Even Apple's release of Safari 4 beta last week couldn't stem the browser's overall slide. For the month, Safari 4 averaged a meager 0.08 percent, although numbers nearer the end of February were more impressive. "The important thing about Safari 4 is that its trend line looks like it will take off fast," Vizzaccaro said.

With both IE and Safari down, Mozilla's Firefox had no trouble winning the share race last month. The open-source browser gained ground for the fifth month in a row to finish at a record share of 21.7 percent. According to Net Applications' data, Firefox users also continued to leave Version 2.0 for the newer Version 3.0: 88 percent of those using Firefox are running the latter, an increase from the 85% who were running the newest edition last month.

Mozilla dropped support for Firefox 2.0 last December, and made its third and final upgrade offer to users running that edition in early January. Since then, Google has shut off the antiphishing service that provided updates to Firefox 2.0.

Other browsers also posted increases last month: Google's Chrome boosted its share to 1.15 percent, while Opera Software ASA's flagship browser climbed slightly to 0.71 percent.

Net Applications' browser share data is available online.

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Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
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