Firefox Dethrones IE as Most Popular Browser in Europe

By Erin Harrison January 04, 2011

Mozilla’s Firefox browser has overtaken Internet Explorer as the leader in Europe, the first time Microsoft’s browser has lost its top spot in a major market.

According to Web analytics firm StatCounter, in December 2010, the open-source Firefox took 38.1 percent of European market share, while Internet Explorer’s share slipped to 37.5 percent. Google Chrome saw its share rising to 14.6 percent from just 5.1 percent a year earlier.

“This is the first time that IE has been dethroned from the number one spot in a major territory,” commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO of StatCounter. “This appears to be happening because Google’s Chrome is stealing share from Internet Explorer while Firefox is mainly maintaining its existing share.”

However, in North America, IE still retains a clear lead in the browser market with 48.92 percent followed by Firefox (26.7 percent), Chrome (12.82 percent) and Safari (10.16 percent), according to StatCounter.

Cullen theorized that the agreement between the European Commission and Microsoft gives EU users more browser options.

“We are probably seeing the impact of the agreement between European Commission competition authorities and Microsoft, to offer EU users a choice and menu of browsers from March last year,” Cullen said.

In December 2009, European Union regulators accepted Microsoft’s pledge to give consumers better access to rival browsers, ending a long antitrust dispute.

Globally, Internet Explorer’s share slipped to 46.9 percent in December, while Firefox was at 30.8 percent and Google was at 14.9 percent, StatCounter said.

In December, Mozilla began offering users the ability to cloak their Internet activity for free.

As TechZone360 reported, Gary Kovacs, Mozilla’s chief exec, noted that there is a need for technology that supports something like a “Do Not Track” button, and Mozilla will deliver this in the first part of next year. Kovacs provided a glimpse of this new technology at the company’s headquarters.


Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

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