Firefox has become a more popular browser than Internet Explorer in Europe, according to figures from the web monitoring firm Statcounter.
Mozilla's open-source browser overtook Microsoft's staple in December and now commands 39.39 percent of the European market to IE's 35.54 percent, the statistics show. However, one year ago Firefox had a slightly higher share at 39.86 percent — of the two, it is Microsoft's browser that has seen the big market share shift, as in January 2010 it had 44.91 percent of the European market.
The biggest gain is Chrome's — Google's browser, which is faster and more lightweight than Firefox, shot up from a 5.78 percent European browser market share in January 2010 to 15.13 percent at the latest count. Safari also went up slightly, from 3.68 percent to 4.93 percent, and Opera stayed more-or-less flat, rising only from 4.33 percent to 4.39 percent of the market.
Statcounter's global statistics show IE down from a 55.25 percent share to 45.14 percent, Firefox marginally down from 31.64 to 31.44 percent, and Chrome up from 6.04 percent to 15.57 percent over the last year. On a worldwide basis, Safari is up from 3.76 percent to 5.11 percent, and Opera slightly up from two percent to 2.12 percent.
The firm seems to have a slightly different analysis of the situation from that of rival Net Applications, which has Chrome at only 10 percent of global browser market share and IE still up at 57 percent.Mozilla's browser is the most widely-used in Europe (Photo credit: pixelbully)