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Firefox still chipping away at IE

More mainstream users are discovering the alternative browser

Mozilla Foundation's Firefox managed to slightly increase its usage share in the web browser market in May, as it continues to compete against the market's Goliath, Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

Firefox's market share reached 8 percent in May, up from 7.38 percent in April, while IE's slice of the pie shrunk a bit to 87.23 percent, down 0.77 percent, according to a statement released Wednesday by NetApplications.com, which makes applications for monitoring and measuring website usage.

Although IE's share is colossal, Firefox is consistently increasing its share by between 0.5 percent and 1 percent from month to month.

Its reach is growing beyond tech-savvy early adopters and into the mass market, according to NetApplications.com, which compiled the data from more than 40,000 websites monitored by its HitsLink.com service, which identifies among other things the type of browser visitors are using.

Firefox's steady market share gains reflect that it has proved itself as a secure and reliable browser and a viable contender in the market, says a NetApplications.com spokesperson.

"The message for web masters is clear: Make sure your website is compatible with Firefox, because more and more of your visitors are using it," he says.

Firefox could add to its momentum if it starts to gain converts among IT departments in large companies, he goes on. Becoming the standard browser in large companies, a segment where its adoption has been limited so far, could give a rapid boost to its market share, he says.

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