Propelled by the release of its Version 2.0 on 24 October 2006, the free Firefox web browser saw almost a 50 per cent increase in use during 2006, according to web measurement firm Net Applications.
The open-source Firefox browser was used by 14 per cent of computers online at the end of 2006, according to the firm. That was 46 per cent higher than its 9.6 per cent share of the browser market at the beginning of the year.
The biggest loser was Microsoftwhich also released a new version, Internet Explorer 7 last year. Despite the new version, its market share fell to 79.6 per cent from 85.1 per cent at the start of 2006.
Apple’s Safari web browser rode increased sales of Mac computers to finish the year with 4.2 percent of the market, up from 3.1 percent at the beginning of 2006. Safari is only available on Apple hardware running Mac OS X.
The Opera web browser also grew its share to 0.9 per cent of the market from 0.6 per cent, after signing deals with cell phone makers and game console makers such as Nintendo to have the software bundled with those devices.
AOL Netscape was, like Internet Explorer, also a loser. The web browser started the year with 1.24 percent but saw its share of the market fall to 0.9 per cent.
Internet Explorer 6 was still the most the most common browser in 2006 with almost 50 per cent of the market, according to statistics from web developers website W3 school