For nearly two years The Mozilla Foundation has enjoyed continued success after releasing its revolutionary browser, Firefox. And much of that success was squarely on the underdog's ability to eat into Microsoft's Internet Explorer's(IE) market share.
Now, for the first time since its November 2004 release, Firefox has lost market share of total online use, according to Web-analytics company NetApplications.
The figures show that Firefox users slipped by some 0.7 percent to just over 8 percent. From January to June of this year, Firefox had posted monthly market share gains of between 0.5 percent and 1 percent.
Microsoft's IE market dominance has been steady in the larger picture, with estimates ranging from 89 percent to 92.9 percent market share.
However, July's survey is a surprise to some who expected Firefox's market share to continue increasing, especially as it prepares to release its latest version 1.5.
"Microsoft's Internet Explorer actually gained ground at the expense of FireFox's recent strides," Dan Shapero, chief operating officer of NetApplications, said in a statement. "At 8.07 percent, FireFox is still flirting with mass appeal, so August should be an interesting and telling month.
Firefox's growth in the face of the ubiquitous IE, has been well documented. However, it is impossible to tell whether last month's results will become a trend or if it will be just a blip on the radar for the fledgling browser.
"Mozilla recently created a for-profit division just in time to see its FireFox browser drop .7 percent in 30 days," noted Shapero.
In May the Mozilla Foundation said its open source Firefox browser passed the 50 million-download mark in May, less than a year after version 1.0 was released.
The foundation seemed to be chipping away at Microsoft's global stranglehold, mostly by boasting a more secure product at a time when Redmond's ubiquitous tool was being pounded by bugs, forcing the software giant to release reams of security alerts.
The report also said Netscape dropped to 1.50 percent, down from 1.55 percent. Safari also increased to 2.13 percent from 1.93.
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