Last month, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer was used by 68.15 percent of the Web surfers monitored. In January 2008, that figure was 75.47 percent; in January 2007, it was 79.98 percent. If you’re in Redmond, that’s got to give you a litte shiver. The agents of this erosion? Mozilla’s Firefox browser, which started 2007 with a 13.70 percent share and finished 2008 with 21.34 percent, and Apple’s Safari, which climbed from 4.72 percent to 7.93 percent in the same span. Even Google’s new Chrome browser, still a blip in the market after being introduced just this fall, did what IE could not and won some new fans.
The Net Applications stats on operating systems were no more encouraging for Microsoft. In January 2007, 93.33 percent of the Web travelers monitored were running Windows; last month, that figure was down to 88.68. Across the same period, the Mac share rose from 6.22 percent to 9.63. And while the use of the iPhone for Web browsing is still comparatively tiny, the growth rate gives Apple even more reason to smile. In just the last six months, its share rose from 0.19 percent to 0.44 percent.