As the Firefox browser prepares to celebrate its 5th birthday, NetApplications reveals quite an accomplishment for the Open Source Mozilla foundation.  A few years ago, Microsoft’s standards-defiant IE 6 held 95% of the browser market share, having destroyed Netscape by using what was later ruled as monopoly tactics. 

Firefox, however, has been gaining steadily since its introduction in 2005 but faces fierce competition, not only from Internet Explorer but from Webkit browsers like Safari and Google’s Chrome which are very popular in the exploding mobile browsing category as well as the desktop.

For the week of Nov. 1 through Nov. 7, Firefox accounted for 25.1% of all browsers, said Vizzaccaro. Internet Explorer (IE), meanwhile, led all rivals with 63.3%, while Apple’s Safari, Google’s Chrome and Opera Software’s Opera followed, in that order, with 4.4%, 3.9% and 2.3%, respectively.

Asa Dotzler, Mozilla’s community coordinator said, “When we reached 20%, we became the favored browser for anyone who understood what a browser was.”

It is also interesting to note that Internet Explorer continues to tumble to 63%.  Falling below 50% seems like a possibility in the coming years with not only Firefox growing but also Chrome (the fastest growing browser) and Safari exploding, especially in the mobile space which Microsoft has all but ceded.

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