Mozilla's Firefox has replaced Microsoft's Internet Explorer as the most popular web browser in Europe, according to StatCounter, a market-research firm.
The firm's research arm StatCounter Global Stats reports that in December, Firefox took 38.11% of European market share, compared to IE's 37.52%.
This is the first time that IE has been dethroned from the number one spot in a major territory, commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter. This appears to be happening because Google's Chrome is stealing share from Internet Explorer while Firefox is mainly maintaining its existing share.
Google Chrome in third place is gaining market share in Europe and has grown to 14.58% compared to 5.06% in December last year. We are probably seeing the impact of the agreement between European Commission competition authorities and Microsoft, to offer EU users a choice and menu of browsers from March last, added Aodhan Cullen.
In North America IE still retains a clear lead in the browser market with 48.92% followed by Firefox (26.7%), Chrome (12.82%) and Safari (10.16%).
StatCounter Global Stats is based on aggregate data collected by StatCounter on a sample exceeding 15 billion page views per month (4.9 billion from North America) collected from across the StatCounter network of more than 3 million websites.
StatCounter, which provides free website traffic information, publishes browser stats via StatCounter Global Stats, a free online research tool. It also monitors internet market share battles including Search Engines, Social Media and Operating Systems including mobile.