Firefox, Safari, Chrome up, IE down in share rankings

Internet Explorer is on a steady downward trend, while Firefox, Safari, and Chrome are conquering a growing number of users, according to the latest market share rankings from Net Applications.

In January, Net Applications says IE had a 67.6% share of the browser market, while Firefox held 21.5%, Safari had 8.3%, and Google Chrome commanded a modest 1.1%. IE has lost a considerable amount of ground compared to six months before: in July of last year, Microsoft's browsers spanned 73% of the market in total, while Firefox secured only 19.2%. Further back in January 2008, IE's market share was sitting pretty at 75.5%, and Firefox had yet to break the 17% mark.

Interestingly, CNet News points out that the slow demise of Internet Explorer 6 has accounted for much of Microsoft's overall market share losses. IE6's share fell from 30.6% in February 2008 to 19.2% last month, while IE7 only climbed from 44% to 47.3% over the same time period.

These figures admittedly originate from just one source, so they may not represent the browser market as a whole. Still, Net Applications does have a relatively large sample size. The firm says it collects numbers from visitors to an "exclusive on-demand network of live stats customers" that spans "160 million visitors each month."

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