Firefox gains ground on Internet Explorer in Europe, Australia

Popular alternative web browser Firefox is gaining ground on Microsoft’s Internet Explorer in a big way in Europe, according to French firm XiTi Monitor. The latest statistics put Firefox use at nearly 28 percent of European web surfers, up from just over 21 percent the same period last year.

In certain countries, the use of Firefox is nearly equal that of Internet Explorer. Slovenia had the highest Firefox utilization at 47.9 percent, followed by Finland at 45.4 and Slovakia at 40.4 percent.

In terms of overall Firefox usage per region, Oceania tops the globe at 28.9 percent. North America ranked lower at 18.7 percent. South America, Africa and Asia sat at around 15 percent.

"I hope we continue to gain market share, as our goal is to promote choice. Monopoly leads to lack of innovation," said Tristan Nitot, president of Mozilla Europe, to CNET.

Microsoft does not appear to be concerned about Firefox’s growth as long as it is on its operating system, as a company representative said in a prepared statement, "We're proud to see Windows remains the platform of choice, in part because it provides our customers with the widest range of both hardware and software options in the industry."

The folks behind Firefox, however, feel differently. "I think it should be a cause for concern for them--our intention is to encourage Microsoft to get back to work and improve IE," Nitot said. "We want a better Web experience for everybody."

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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