Web sites saw visitors deserting Microsoftâ??s Internet Explorer browser in favor of Appleâ??s Safari, Mozillaâ??s Firefox and Googleâ??s Chrome in December, according to Web analytics company Net Applications. Internet Explorer was used by 68.15% of Web surfers monitored in December, down from 69.77% in November and 71.27% in October, according to preliminary figures published by Net Applications on its Hitslink Web site Friday. IEâ??s share has slipped from around 75% since the start of 2008. Safari, Firefox and Chrome all profited from the slide in IEâ??s popularity. Firefoxâ??s share rose to 21.34%, from 20.78% in November and 19.97% in October, while Safariâ??s climbed to 7.93%, from 7.13% in November and 6.57% in October.
Googleâ??s Chrome browser topped the 1 percent mark in Net Applicationsâ?? survey for the first time, with a share of 1.04%, up from 0.83% in November and 0.74% in October. Operaâ??s share remained steady at 0.71%. Net Applications warned that decreased workplace use of the Internet in December may have biased its results. â??The December holiday season strongly favored residential over business usage. This in turn increases the relative usage share of Mac, Firefox, Safari and other products that have relatively high residential usage,â? it said. However, Internet Explorerâ??s market share actually declined more slowly in December than it had done in November, according to the companyâ??s figures.