IE6 vs. IE7 vs. Firefox 2.0 vs. Firefox 1.5 vs. Safari 3.0 vs. Opera 9

In browser market share deathmatch

Windows has become a crowded platform as far as browsers are concerned. There is only so much room to grow, and Apple has introduced Safari 3.0 into the equation in June. Apple Chief Executive Officer Stave Jobs, revealed since the birthday of Safari 3.0 on 32-bit and 64-bit Windows Vista and Windows XP that it was settling for nothing else than dominating the browser market together with Microsoft's Internet Explorer, downplaying the relevance of household name such as Opera and Firefox.

But the fact of the matter is that the browser market for solutions running on top of the Windows platform is dominated by Internet Explorer and Firefox. In this context, Microsoft's Internet Explorer 6.0 is still top dog in the market share deathmatch. In accordance with statistics made public by Market Share by Net Applications, IE6 accounts for 46.21% of the browser market. Following the introduction of IE7, the share of Internet Explorer 6 began to erode. From October 2006 and until February 2007, IE6 dropped from 77.17% to 49.35%.

In the same period, IE7 exploded from 3.18% in the month of its launch to 29.12% in February 2007, after the general release of Windows Vista. Mid 2007 finds Internet Explorer 7 in holding no less than 32.02% of the browser market, and runner up to IE6.

Firefox 2.0 has been also expanding its share constantly in spite of IE7. From just 0.69% in October 2006, Firefox 2.0 is now accounting for 11.07% of the market. Mozilla has even sacrificed version 1.5 of its open source browser for Firefox 2.0. With support cut at the end of June, Firefox 1.5 dropped to just 2.85%.

Touted as an epitome of speed, performance, design and security Safari 3.0 underperformed in terms of audience. Apple's browser for Windows, at the end of the first month on Windows, is credited only with 0.18% of the market, despite having topped 1 million downloads in just 48 hours. Safari 3.0 for Windows has still a long way to go, as it is just a public beta scheduled for availability in October concomitantly with Leopard, but judging by the cold welcome it got, it will fail to be a worthy opponent.

But even with Safari 3.0 present, Opera delivered quite a performance jumping from 0.73% to 0.90% in June. With the exception of new-comer Safari, Opera is the classic underdog but the last month brought a consistent growth in the adoption of the browser.

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