Safari Inches Towards an 8 Percent Market Share in Dec

Apple's Safari Web browser worked its way up to a 7.93 percent market share in December, reaching its highest level to date. Firefox also hit a new high with 21.34 percent of the market, while Microsoft's Internet Explorer continued its downward spiral with a drop to 68.15 percent of the browser market, according to data from Market Share.

Safari and Firefox both gained traction throughout 2008 at Internet Explorer's expense. Since Internet Explorer is pre-installed on every Windows PC, the trend shows that many Web surfers are willing to find and download other browsers as an alternative to Microsoft's offering.

Google's Windows-only Chrome Web browser finally managed to top the one percent mark with a 1.04 percent take of the market. While it isn't a threat to Internet Explorer's market dominance, the fact that Safari and Firefox continued to grow in December means that Chrome's increase most likely came at Microsoft's expense.

While the statistics are handy for getting snapshot overviews of a particular Web browser's popularity, looking at the numbers over time offers a better impression of overall popularity. In this case, the numbers seem to indicate a growing interest in Safari, Firefox and Chrome at the expense of Internet Explorer.