Love it or hate it, Internet Explorer is still the browser to beat in terms of market share -- and it seems Microsoft isn't ready to roll over dead just yet. After roughly two years of seeing a constant decline in browser usage, the company managed revert this longstanding trend with a 0.57% gain for the month of June. While it's admittedly a small gain, IE appears to be reclaiming share at the expense of Mozilla Firefox, which has struggled to grow its market share this year.
Microsoft's browser came in at 60.32%, up from 59.75% in May, according to Net Applications. Mozilla's Firefox, meanwhile, dropped in usage from 24.3% to 23.8%, while Chrome saw modest growth climbing from 7 to 7.2%. Apple's Safari saw a slight bump from 4.8 to 4.9% and Opera remained fifth globally dropping from 2.4 to 2.3%. Microsoft was quick to gloat over Net Applications' report in a blog post by Ryan Gavin, who noted that IE 8 in particular saw three times the growth Google Chrome last month, "continuing the trend of being the fastest growing browser."
Although a couple of month's worth of data doesn't really make a trend, things might be looking up for Microsoft's browser and any positive momentum it gets will only help matters as Internet Explorer 9's launch approaches.
It wasn't all bad news for Firefox, however. Today IBM gave the open source browser its vote of confidence by making it the default option for about 400,000 employees. In terms of market share it probably won't mean much, but having a major corporation like IBM backing your product might help influence others, especially with the company calling Firefox "enterprise ready" and "the gold standard for what an open, secure, and standards-compliant browser should be."