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As Microsoft look to have completed a serious search engine coupe following a major deal with Yahoo, other areas of their software empire are looking far from stable. With today’s announcement that Firefox is nearing a billion downloads, Internet Explorer’s market share stands at just 60%; whilst still a healthy lead – Mozilla now have around a third share – it’s a shrinking margin in an area that they formerly had near complete domination.
Whilst the ten digit figure Firefox has amassed will raise eyebrows, it is slightly misleading. The download statistic covers every download since it was launched back in 2004 and includes all updates and multiple entries by single users across many devices. However, with 31% of market share, which has included some record breaking gains, Mozilla’s Firefox is certainly by far and away the leading competitor to Microsoft’s Internet browser dominance.
Maybe there is a lesson to be learnt here by Microsoft, who themselves, in partnership with Yahoo of course, now try to peg back what many assume to be an unassailable search lead from Google. With Windows 7 nearing its release a new wave of pre-loaded Internet Explorer operating systems will be flooding the market though soon. So it will be interesting to see if IE8 will recapture the fortunes of past providers and banish the ghosts of 6 forever.