The amount of market share commanded by Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser has dropped for the seventh consecutive month.
Internet Explorer now has 67.55 percent of global browser market share, a drop of over seven percentage points in a year, according to figures from Web metrics company Net Applications, released Monday. Mozilla's Firefox browser, meanwhile, has gained market share in the same time frame, climbing over three percentage points to 21.53 percent.
Microsoft's browser has steadily lost ground to its competitors in the past year. Its share dropped sharply in both October and November 2008, when it lost over one percentage point in each month.
Apple's Safari browser now stands at 8.29 percent, up from 7.13 percent in November, when IE dipped. Safari has gained share more quickly than Firefox in that period: Mozilla's browser accounted for 20.78 percent of browser use three months ago, and now has 21.53 percent.
Google's Chrome browser, launched in September 2008, now has 1.12 percent of the market, having overtaken Opera in November. Opera's share of the market now stands at 0.7 percent.
Internet Explorer's drop of seven percentage point since February last year is a continuing trend. Microsoft lost over nine percent of browser market share in the preceding two years.
Most of IE's drop in the past year has been in Internet Explorer 6, which fell from 30.63 percent last February to 19.21 percent this January. Internet Explorer 7 has gained market share overall over the same time period, rising from 44.03 percent to 47.32 percent.
Microsoft launched the first release candidate for Internet Explorer 8 last week. It hopes to regain lost ground by adding features such as private browsing and a cross-site scripting filter.
Tom Espiner of ZDNet UK reported from London.