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Despite 100 Million IE 7 Installs, Microsoft's Browser Still Loses Ground

Although Microsoft recently touted the 100 millionth installation of Internet Explorer 7, Web measurement firms said that the new browser is simply being swapped out for older editions and hasn't had an impact on Firefox's continued climb.

"[As of] January 8th, we had the 100 millionth IE7 installation," said Tony Chor, an IE group program manager, in an entry on the team's blog. "Even more important than installations is usage. According to WebSideStory (the company we use to measure browser usage), as of this week, over 25% of all visitors to sites in the U.S. were using IE7, making IE7 the second most used browser after IE6.

"We expect these numbers to continue to rise as we complete our final localized versions, scale up AU [Automatic Updates] distribution, and with the consumer availability of Windows Vista on January 30, 2007," Chor added.

While Microsoft had the WebSideStory numbers correct, it didn't tell the whole story, says Geoff Johnston, an analyst with the Web metrics company. "[The growth of IE 7] seems to be exclusively at the expense of IE 6," says Johnston. "It's not eating into the Firefox share at all."

Firefox's share of the U.S. browser market, says Johnston, is at 14%, and has continued to grow each of the last three months. "I thought that IE 7 might flatten Firefox's growth, but it's not taken a hit from IE 7. All the movement there has been internal, from IE 6 users upgrading," he says.

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