Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is losing its grip on New Zealand web surfers as its free open-source rival Firefox gains traction, results from the Nielsen Company SiteCensus service shows.
Internet Explorer is still the dominant player in the web browser market, but its market share has declined from 72% in July 2006 to just over 60% in July 2009 according to Nielsen.
Firefox, created by non-profit European organisation Mozilla, is steadily eating away at Explorer’s customer base, with just over 20% of New Zealand web surfers using Mozilla browsers in July 2009, compared with just 11% in July 2006.
“The latest figures demonstrate the increasing fragmentation in the market,” says Tony Boyte, research director of the online division of The Nielsen Company, New Zealand.
“After more than a decade of dominance, the Internet Explorer family of products is facing a concerted challenge from open source software providers.”
Google’s Chrome browser, another free offering, is also steadily taking a percentage of the market share since its launch late last year. By July 2009 it has picked up 3.2% of the market.
“Chrome’s figure might come as a surprise, as many people had expected it to be even stronger than that, but the actual numbers are still high.
With the latest Nielsen Media Research Panorama research estimating that three million New Zealanders use the internet, Chrome’s uptake actually equates to about 100,000 people here,” says Boyte.
Apple’s Safari browser is quietly gaining ground, from 1.2% of the market in 2006 to 5.1% this year. AOL’s once-dominant Netscape browser has continued its steady decline since 2006. Then it was holding on to over 17% of the market. By July this year that number had dropped to 13.5%.
The Norwegian browser Opera is still clinging to a niche consumer base, though its share has dropped from 0.5% in 2006 to 0.4% in 2009.