This is the first time that Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser has lost the top spot in a major market, according to the analytics firm. The figures show that during December, Firefox claimed 38.1 percent of the market while Internet Explorer fell to 37.5 percent.
Firefox's jump to the top was actually helped along by Google's Chrome browser, which saw its share in Europe rise from 5.1 percent last year to 14.6 percent this year. Ironically, the Firefox browser only seems to have managed to maintain its share from the previous year.
The major losses for Internet Explorer in Europe have come after Microsoft began pushing out a "Browser Choice" screen to European users under an agreement with the European Union to settle an antitrust case. The screen lists other web browsers as an alternative to Internet Explorer (in random order), and directs the user to the alternative browser's homepage.
Globally, Internet Explorer is still clinging on to the top spot with 46.9 percent of the market, followed by Firefox with 30.8 percent of the market. Microsoft hopes to reverse the downward trend with Internet Explorer 9, which the software giant has tuned up for better performance and enhanced security compared to its predecessors.
Written by: James Delahunty @ 5 Jan 2011 9:09