Internet Explorer has continued its gentle drift southwards, having missed any boost from last year's release of IE 8 and the sales onslaught behind Windows 7.
Meanwhile, rival Firefox saw its forward market-share march apparently halted by continued uptake of Google's Chrome for the month of January.
Netmarketshare numbers for January 2009 reveal that Microsoft's browser has lost more than seven per cent market share compared a year ago, taking it to a new low of 62.12 per cent for all versions of IE. The browser is also down from 62.69 per cent in December 2009.
IE 8, released in March 2009, has 22.37 per cent market share, just inching past the browser-that-won't die, IE 6, on 20 per cent. While it was crowing about IE's growth and overlooking the market share decline, Microsoft repeated past calls for customers to abandon IE 6.
The decline in market share for Microsoft's browser came despite what should have been a fillip produced by the sale of new PCs running Windows 7 during the last three months of 2009. Microsoft last week claimed 60 million licenses of Windows 7 have been sold to date, a fact that saw income for its Windows business unit grow 98 per cent to $5.3bn on revenue that also grew 69 per cent to $6.9bn.
Firefox seems to have lost a fraction of its market share to Google's Chrome according to Netmarketshare. Firefox's market share for January was 24.43 per cent versus 24.61 per cent in December. Chrome scored 5.22 per cent, up from 4.63 per cent. A year ago, Firefox had 22.11 per cent market share while Chrome scored 1.52 per cent.
Netmarketshare reported the Redmond, Washington area of Microsoft's home state last month had the largest percentage of Windows 7 users in the US. Forty-two per cent of internet users were on Windows 7 in Microsoft's home city. ®