Firefox keeps chipping away at IE's share

Firefox in May continued its trend of increasing its share of the Web browser market at the expense of Microsoft's IE.

The Mozilla Foundation's Firefox managed to slightly increase its usage share in the Web browser market in May, as it continues to compete against the market's Goliath: Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE).

Firefox's market share reached 8 percent in May, up from 7.38 percent in April, while IE's slice of the pie shrunk a bit to 87.23 percent, down 0.77 percent, according to a statement released Wednesday by NetApplications.com, a maker of applications for monitoring and measuring Web site usage.

Although IE's share is colossal, Firefox is consistently increasing its share by between 0.5 percent and 1 percent from month to month. Its reach is growing beyond tech-savvy early adopters and into the mass market, according to NetApplications.com, which compiled the data from more than 40,000 Web sites monitored by its HitsLink.com service, which identifies among other things the type of browser visitors are using.

Firefox's steady market share gains reflect that it has proved itself as a secure and reliable browser, and that it is a viable contender in the market, said Dan Shapero, NetApplications.com's chief operating officer, on Friday.

"The message for webmasters is clear: Make sure your Web site is compatible with Firefox, because more and more of your visitors are using it to go to your Web site," Shapero said.

Firefox could add to its momentum if it starts to gain converts among IT departments in large companies, Shapero said. Becoming the standard browser in large companies, a segment where its adoption has been limited so far, could give a rapid boost to its market share, he said.

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