Firefox now bigger than Internet Explorer in Europe says research

by PYB James | Jan 01, 2011

Mozilla’s Firefox web browser is now more popular than Microsoft’s Internet Explorer according to statistics published by Irish research company StatCounter.

Although the stats were questioned by other sources, the Dublin based researchers’ study on internet use in December showed that Internet Explorer’s market share in Europe is now 37.5 percent, just behind that of Firefox which reportedly has a 38.1 percent share.

If the figures are accurate it means that Explorer has lost its position as the top web browser in Europe after a decade of dominance. The Microsoft browser has apparently lost significant market share to Google’s Chrome browser, which StatCounter believes has increased its market share considerably in one year, citing a rise from 5.1% to 14.6% during 2011 for the Google product.

Barbara Hüppe, a Berlin based Mozilla spokesperson was quoted in the New York Times as stating, “This is very positive for us,” Ms. Hüppe said. “We have been the top browser in Germany, the biggest European market, since 2010. That has helped us a lot.”

Regarding Worldwide percentages, StatCounter still recognise Internet Explorer as market leader by some margin, with a 46.9 percent market share in December, compared with 30.8% for Firefox and 14.9% for Google.

Other research firms still rank Internet Explorer in front of Firefox in Europe. California-based Net Applications for example rank IE as having a 45.4% share of the European market, in comparison to 33.4% for Mozilla’s Firefox.

The variations in figures between research companies relates to the sample sizes of their surveys and rankings, but StatCounter’s stats are based on figures from millions of web sites which register which browsers their visitors are using.

In addition to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Mozilla’s Firefox and Google Chrome, the other two major recognised browsers are Apple’s Safari and the up and coming Opera Software product Opera.

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