Use of FireFox climbed a staggering 34 percent in November, reports WebSideStory, a web analytics company.
The report comes just hours after FireFox 1.0, the browser´s first official version release, reached its 10 millionth download.
WebSideStory noted that they have only been tracking FireFox as a separate browser since June, but that it has seen reasonable gains even since that time. October´s was the largest it had noted, with a 13 percent rise, and November´s 34% rise was the largest gain for any browser in history.
Much of the growth is credited to the official launch of FireFox on November 9, and the media frenzy that ensued.
Unlike previous gains, most of last month´s gains were at the expense of Microsoft´s popular Internet Explorer browser, which has seen a modest slip in market share every month for the last year. Previous months had seen most of the growth for FireFox coming from users of other Mozilla or non-IE browsers – whereas this months numbers show that FireFox is finally starting to make a serious dent in IE´s market share, which has slipped a full percentage point since October.
Analysts at WebSideStory noted that according to their data IE still maintains a 90 percent market share, while FireFox is only approaching 5 percent. He says people shouldn´t pin their hopes on a renewed browser war.
“If the question is, ´are we heading down to a true browser war´ where we´re neck and neck at 50/50 [browser market share], I don´t think that´s ever going to happen again,” he said.
“What we may see, though, is a significant sub culture of people who use [Firefox] and are loyal to it as an alternative to Internet Explorer,” he said. “The question really is, then, where will that stop — will it stop at five percent, 8 percent or will it make it all the way up to 15 percent?
That´s hard to say. All we know for now is that for the last six-plus months, it´s been growing at a consistent rate.”
Numbers have varied in browser market share. Earlier this month, another Web analytics company, Dutch-based OneStat.com, reported IE market share down to 88.9 percent, with the Mozilla browser at 7.35, though Johnston had issues with the findings at the time.