IE 7 reaches 100 million users

Web browser now second only to IE 6 in terms of usage in the U.S., Microsoft announces.

More than 100 million people have installed Internet Explorer 7, making it the second most used browser in the U.S., trailing only its predecessor--IE 6, the software maker said Friday.

"I'm pleased to report that on January 8, we had the 100 millionth IE7 installation," Microsoft Group Program Manager Tony Chor said on the IE blog. "However, even more important than installations is usage. According to WebSideStory (the company we use to measure browser usage), as of this week, over 25 percent of all visitors to Web sites in the U.S. were using IE7, making IE7 the second most used browser after IE6."

Microsoft said it expects IE 7 usage to grow as the company completes more localized versions, offers it up to more Windows XP users through Automatic Update and releases Vista to consumers at the end of the month. The final version of the new browser has been available for download by XP users since October and is also built into Vista.

Rival Firefox is not standing still, meanwhile. The latest version, Firefox 2, was released in October. Mozilla has also released an alpha, or early test version, of Firefox 3.

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