Study: IE 6 usage zooms past Netscape 6

Just a week out of the gates, Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer (IE) 6 Web browser has already scooped up market share, surpassing AOL Time Warner Inc.'s rival Netscape 6 browser, according to information released this week by WebSideStory Inc., an outsourced e-business information provider.

In its first week on the market, from Aug. 27 to Sept. 3, IE 6 picked up 2.4 percent of global browser user share, exceeding global usage of Netscape 6, which was released late last year, WebSideStory reported. IE 6 has continued to gain market share in the last week and had 2.6 percent of the market share Thursday, according to Geoff Johnston, vice president of product marketing for WebSideStory's StatMarket Web site.

WebSideStory did not reveal the exact amount of market share Netscape 6 holds, saying that they sell that information.

The company defined global browser usage share as a percentage of daily Internet users worldwide who access the Internet through a particular browser.

Although IE 6 has received quick adoption since its release, WebSideStory predicted that it would not gain market share as rapidly as IE 5 did, noting that Netscape has a loyal core user base and that consumers will need a viable reason to switch from IE 5 to IE 6.

IE 5 is the dominant Web browser today, according to the company. When it was released in early 1999, IE 4 held 55 percent of the global usage share, and Netscape 4 boasted 26 percent, WebSideStory said. However, by the first quarter of 2000, IE 5's usage jumped to over 50 percent while IE 4 fell to 24 percent and Netscape 4 experienced a decrease in usage, falling to 18 percent of global browser users.

Since the release of IE 5, IE 4 has continued to lose market share while Netscape 4 has remained steady, the company said.

WebSideStory's gathered its information via its StatMarket Web site design and software optimization service, which collects data from 50 million Internet users a day accessing more than 150,000 sites.

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