August was an interesting month for the browser market, with all competitors seeing significant changes in their overall share, for better or for worse. According to numbers from Net Applications, Mozilla Firefox saw a big rise of 0.8 percent in August almost matching its highest market share in history, while Internet Explorer collectively dropped 1.1 percent in the same period. Google's Chrome, on the other hand, is slowly gaining on Apple's Safari.
Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser still dominates the market with its three actively used versions adding up to a 66.6 percent share. Still, last month saw one of the biggest drops for the Microsoft browsers and also one of the biggest for the ancient Internet Explorer 6. The 8-year-old IE 6 lost a 2.4 percent share, dropping to 24.8 percent of the overall market, though still the most commonly used browser worldwide.
Internet Explorer 7 also saw a sharp decline, losing 1.9 percentage points and falling to 21.2 percent. Microsoft's latest browser, IE 8, took up most of the lost market share but not all of it, rising by 2.7 percentage points, being used by 15.2 percent of the Internet population. Mozilla's Firefox picked up some of the market lost by IE 6 and IE 7 rising by 0.8 percentage points to reach 23.3 percent of the Internet users. The figure is for all Firefox versions though, but thanks to the automated update system, Firefox 3.5, the latest version, is rapidly replacing Firefox 3.
While the main battle is between Internet Explorer and Firefox, other browsers are coming up from behind. Apple's Safari saw a small bump in market share, which put it at around 4.1 percent, but Google's Chrome browser gained another 0.3 percent of the market, adding up to 2.9 percent. Meanwhile, the unloved Opera also gained 0.1 percent, reaching 2.1 percent of the Internet users.