Mozilla's share gaining streak in the browser market seems to be losing steam in recent months. According to the latest metrics from Net Applications
, Firefox lost about 0.2 of a percentage point in February to end with a slightly lower usage share of 24.2%. It was the third month in a row that it fell in the rankings, along with most other major browsers, even as Mozilla converted a sizable chunk of its user base to the newer Firefox 3.6.
Microsoft's Internet Explorer wound up grabbing 61.58% of the market after suffering a month-over-month loss of 0.54 percent, while Safari was down 0.08 points to 4.45% and Opera dipped 0.03 to a mere 2.35%. Google's Chrome, meanwhile, continued its climb for the sixteenth straight month. Its small 0.4 point gain isn't exactly overwhelming, but looking at the bigger picture its 5.6% share is remarkable given its short life on the market.
That trend looks likely to continue as Microsoft today starts offering a "browser ballot
" encouraging IE users to consider the other browsers on the market. If Chrome keeps up the pace of the last three months it is estimated it will break the 10% mark in October, 11 months ahead of a goal it set last year.