Let the Browser Wars Begin—Again

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 years end. In short, the browser wars are about to begin again.

Depending on whose numbers you believe, Firefox has been continuing to erode IEs 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. Thats 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 IEs gain came at the expense of Opera and the other browsers.

NetApplications, however, sees a very different picture. According to Ars Technicas 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, DesktopLinuxs recent survey of Linux users found that Mozillas 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, GNOMEs 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.

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