Mozilla's Firefox (FF) web browser has made dramatic gains on Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) throughout Europe in the past year with a marked upturn in FF use compared to IE over the past four months, according to French web monitoring service XiTiMonitor.
A study of nearly 96,000 websites carried out during the week of July 2 to July 8 found that FF had 27.8% market share across Eastern and Western Europe, IE had 66.5%, with other browsers including Safari and Opera making up the remaining 5.7%.
A particularly worrying sign for Microsoft is that in some key European markets FF is threatening to overtake IE as the market leading browser. In Slovenia (47.9%) and Finland (45.4%) FF usage has reached parity with IE, while in Germany, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia and Ireland, FF has either reached or is nearly at 40% market share.
Countries where FF market share has now reached 30% or more include, Austria, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Estonia and Latvia.
Strong gains for FF were also reported in France, Sweden and Switzerland where in all three countries FF is now approaching 25% market share.
Although clear market share gains for FF were reported in every single European territory, countries where IE still has not reached 20% market share include Britain, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Norway and Denmark.
Australasia, already a strong FF market, has also seen big gains in FF market share over the past four months, with an increase in FF usage from 24.8% in early March to 28.9% in early July.
Another worrying sign for Microsoft is that a separate survey from XiTiMonitor taken over the same period is that there has been a reluctance of IE users to adopt the latest version of the browser IE7, even in markets where IE is strong.
Only about one third of IE users have adopted IE7 compared to 85% of FF users who have adopted the latest version of the browser, FF2. Significantly, FF2 has a greater market share than IE7 in 17 European territories, while IE7 is ahead of FF2 in 16 territories.Mozilla, Firefox, Microsoft, Internet Explorer, IE, Browser News