All of Internet Explorer's rivals gained overall from August to September, though IE 8 did increase in popularity. Firefox gained the most among IE's competitors.
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Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and writes about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
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All four of Internet Explorer's main rivals gained a larger share of users worldwide from August to September, new statistics show.
According to Net Applications, which tracks browser usage globally through a network of 40,000 Web sites and some statistical processing, IE slipped from 67 percent to 65.7 percent of users.
Firefox has steadily won over more users since version 1.0 arrived nearly five years ago, and it continued the trend with an increase from 23 percent to 23.8 percent. Apple's Safari rose from 4.1 percent to 4.2 percent, Google Chrome from 2.8 percent to 3.2 percent, and Opera from 2 to 2.2 percent. Although a few tenths of a percent may sound small, multiplied by the millions of browser users over the Internet, it can mean a large absolute number of people.
Microsoft has restarted what had been a somewhat dormant browser developer program, releasing IE 8 earlier this year. But IE 6 still is the leading version of Microsoft's browser, followed by IE 7 in second place.
In a bright spot for Microsoft, though, IE 8 usage increased from 15.1 percent to 16.8 percent, as IE 6 and IE 7 dropped.