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Global IE market drops 11.4 percentage points in three months

More than a decade after Microsoft “smashed” Netscape with Internet Explorer, browser warfare is taking on new life. Last week Mozilla Firefox 3.5 was released, which has meanwhile been downloaded nearly 14 million times. In June, Apple had made Safari 4 available. In March, Microsoft introduced Internet Explorer 8 and Google the fastest version of its browser, Chrome.

Recent data from the Global Stats StatCounter reveal the relativity of the market shares reached by browsers and the preferences of Internet users, and the speed with which they change to newer versions.

In July, Internet Explorer – IE6, IE7 and IE8 – had 54.4% of consumer preferences worldwide, instead of the 65.8 registered in March.

However, IE8 has grown by 13.12 percentage points since its launch in March, and in July it already registered 15.39 percent of users’ preferences.

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In Portugal, IE 8 already has a market share of more than 20 percent, which makes it the fastest adoption version of Internet Explorer ever, read in the company’s statement issued today.

There is some parallelism between this growth and the losses of IE7 – from 49.1 percent in March to 30.1 percent in July – which reveals that Microsoft is likely to be able to get users of the version 7 upgrade to 8, according to TechCrunch’s analysis of the chart.

It should also be noted that, in the middle of June, IE8 finally surpassed IE6.

In three months, the three available versions of Internet Explorer lost 11.4 percentage points for Firefox, Safari and Chrome. Almost five points – more or less half – were collected by Firefox 3.0, currently preferred by 27.6 percent of users.

This count does not yet cover the new Firefox 3.5, which may be adding to the line designated “others” on the chart, along with Safari 4 and Chrome 2.0.

In April, Firefox version 3.0 took the lead in the European browser market, surpassing Internet Explorer 7, which until then held the title.

It should be noted, however, that Cnet News has already raised doubts as to the reliability of the results presented by StarCounter, due to the methodology employed and the history of the service. It alerts the news site to the danger of jumping to conclusions about a “fall in IE” from the analysis now provided.