Apple and Google Attacking Microsoft in Hotly Contested Browser Wars

Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) browser, Internet Explorer, has watched its market share go down over the last few years as Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) share of PC sales has risen. IE’s market share most recently dropped nearly one percentage point from 53.7% in June to 52.8% in July. Mozilla Firefox, which is available for computers using both Microsoft and Apple operating systems, also saw a decline in its market share last month, from 21.7% to 21.5%.

Hot Feature: The Future of Streaming Video.

Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) relatively new Chrome browser continued to gain footing, rising from a 13.1% market share in June to 13.5% in July. Chrome has been steadily gaining since its release in September 2008. Last year, Google began advertising the browser and its new Chrome Operating System on ESPN.com (NYSE:DIS), the New York Times (NYSE:NYT), and other high-profile Websites. The Chrome Operating System powers Google’s new Chrome OS notebooks, or Chromebooks, launched in June by Samsung and Acer (TPE:2353).

However, Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPLSafari is the true standout. Before the iPad was launched in April 2010, Safari, which is only available on Apple devices, accounted for about 4.5% of the market. In just over a year, it has nearly doubled that. While Apple computers have also been gaining a market share, analysts are attributing the nearly 30 million iPads sold since last year as the major factor in Safari’s growth.

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