Safari 5 takes no. 2 spot in July browser battle

It's a jungle out there in browser land, where anything can happen. In July, that anything was Apple's Safari 5 browser jumping up almost 10 percent to take the no. 2 spot in the month's browser battle.

According to Web analytics group Net Applications, Apple's Safari Web browser 8.1 percent bump up in market share was the largest one-month increase for that browser. Apple's browser passed Mozilla's browser and Microsoft's newest version of Internet Explorer to hold second place. Net Applications reported Safari 5 use at 11.2 percent, Internet Explorer 9 use at 11.0 percent, while Firefox 5 took fourth place at 9.0 percent use.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 led the pack, with a commanding 33.5 percent market share. Some IE 8 users may be stuck from upgrading, since IE 9 only runs on Windows Vista and Windows 7 OSes. Net Applications analysts believe that this short-term limitation will ultimately play off for Microsoft as Windows XP use declines.

"So what are the usage share ramifications for this decision? Microsoft seems willing to sacrifice usage share in the short term in order to leapfrog the competition in the long run by applying all their resources to modern versions of Windows," Net Applications explained, in a released statement. "Although Windows XP currently has 54% of global usage share, Windows 7 usage share is following a strong, fairly linear path upwards and Windows versions from Vista forward should have a majority share within a couple years."

IE 9 still has a long way to go to meet those expectations. The browser finished the month of July in fifth place among Windows 7 users, with a market share of 3.6 percent. Meanwhile, IE 8 still leads over its younger sibling, with more than half of all Windows 7 users choosing it for their Internet browser.

Internet Browser

Market Share (%) by July End

Internet Explorer 8

33.5
Safari 5
11.2
Internet Explorer 9
11.0
Firefox 5
9.0
Internet Explorer 7

8.0

Chrome 12

8.0

Firefox 3.6
5.7
Safari 4

4.0

Internet Explorer 6
1.7
Firefox 4
1.6

Stats courtesy of Net Applications.

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the associate Web editor for 1105 Enterprise Computing Group's Web sites, including Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com, ADTmag.com and VirtualizationReview.com.

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