IE8 and Firefox 3.0 - the Beginning of the End for IE6

Internet Explorer 6 has long been the most popular choice in terms of web browsers worldwide. IE6 was still holding the lion's share of the browser market as of August 2006 with a share of over 80%, according to data made available by Net Applications. Later that year, Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2.0 began eroding IE6's install base and converting its audience. However, it took IE7 well over a year to gain the upper hand against IE6.

Only in December 2007 did IE7's 40.61% share of the browser market
put it ahead of IE6, which had at that point only 35.18% left. Firefox 2.0 of course delivered its own contribution to tilting Internet Explorer 6, growing by the end of 2007 to a market share of no less than 15.80%. Since then, Firefox 2.0 jumped to 16.02% in January and 16.30% at the end of February 2008.

Internet Explorer 7 has increased its market share to 44.03% at the end of the past month, growing from 42.93% in January. But at this rate, it is clear that neither IE7 nor Firefox 2.0 will be able to deliver the final blow to IE6. The two browsers working in tandem did dislodge IE6 from its dominant position, but it looks like Firefox 3.0 and Internet Explorer 8 will finish the job.

The descendant trajectory of IE6's market share is only bound to accentuate with the imminent release of Firefox 3.0 and the upcoming availability of IE8. Mozilla is currently cooking Beta 4 for Firefox 3.0 and it looks like the new milestone for the open source browser will get some company from Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1.

It is clear that a large segment of Windows XP users have failed for over a year to deploy Internet Explorer 7, despite the fact that the browser is offered via Automatic Updates. At the same time, they have also remained loyal to Internet Explorer and not switched to Firefox. But maybe IE8 and Firefox 3.0 will do the trick and signal the end for what is without a trace of a doubt an obsolete browser.

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