Remember how Apple quietly slipped Safari 3.1 to users with the latest version of its Windows software update tool? Well, though it annoyed some people and sparked criticism by others, it appears to have paid off for the company, with Net Applications reporting that it tripled Safari’s market share in only a month.

According to the report, last month saw Firefox’s market share drop by nearly 1% following strong month-on-month growth over the past 12 months. Over the same period, usage of Safari on Windows grew from a barely detectable 0.07 to a 0.21 percent share – still a minor player on Windows but quite a boost nonetheless. It’ll be interesting to see the results for next month, though, now that Apple has tweaked its software update application amid heavy criticism.