IE losses share to others

Web sites saw visitors deserting Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser in favor of Apple’s Safari, Mozilla’s Firefox and Google’s Chrome in December, according to Web analytics company Net Applications.Internet Explorer was used by 68.15 percent of Web surfers monitored in December, down from 69.77 percent in November and 71.27 percent in October, according to preliminary figures published by Net Applications on its Hitslink Web site Friday. IE’s share has slipped from around 75 percent since the start of 2008.

Safari, Firefox and Chrome all profited from the slide in IE’s popularity.

Firefox’s share rose to 21.34 percent, from 20.78 percent in November and 19.97 percent in October, while Safari’s climbed to 7.93 percent, from 7.13 percent in November and 6.57 percent in October.

Google’s Chrome browser topped the 1 percent mark in Net Applications’ survey for the first time, with a share of 1.04 percent, up from 0.83 percent in November and 0.74 percent in October.

Opera’s share remained steady at 0.71 percent.

Net Applications warned that decreased workplace use of the Internet in December may have biased its results.