Firefox Browser Share Tops 20% in November; Microsoft Still Number One

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Includes: AAPL, MSFT
by: Marketing Charts

The Mozilla Firefox browser exceeded 20% market share in November 2008 for the first full month since tracking began, and remains the second-most-popular web browser behind Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Internet Explorer, according to data from Net Applications, which compiles shares for browsers, search engine referrals and operating systems.

Internet Explorer remains the market-share leader, with more than two-thirds (69.77%) of all usage, while Firefox had 20.78% share and Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Safari captured 7.13%. Other browsers, such as Chrome, Opera and Netscape all had shares less than 1%.

Firefox share jumped about eight tenths of a percent, which Net Applications said is much higher than average, in part because of increased residential use during the month. Firefox has a much larger residential share than corporate share.

In addition to showing steady growth for the past several years, the research cited the following four factors for the increase:

  • The US election: Firefox usage share increased significantly in the days surrounding November 4th (especially in some non-US countries such as Japan), then held roughly steady for the month.
  • The US Thanksgiving holiday: Firefox share jumped starting on Wednesday the 26th until the end of the month because of increased residential use.
  • Extra weekend days in November: The average 30-day month has 8.57 weekend days, while November had 10. Again, residential use on weekends drove the share increasae.
  • Higher unemployment: With an increase in unemployment, a higher than typical percentage of people browsed from home rather than the office.

Moreover, Firefox’s share trend is pointing to above 20% share for December and beyond, Net Applications predicted.

“Reaching 20 percent worldwide market share is a significant milestone for Firefox,” said Mozilla’s CEO, John Lilly. It’s a huge achievement by the global Mozilla community, one that just a few years ago most would have considered impossible. The open web is more vibrant than ever, and the thousands of Mozilla contributors around the world have played a major role in making it that way.”

About the research: Net Applications collects data from the browsers of site visitors to its exclusive on-demand network of live stats customers. The data is compiled from approximately 160 million visitors per month. The information published is an aggregate of the data from this network of hosted website statistics.

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