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Apple\'s Safari showing major growth amongst browsers

The popularity of Apple Computer's Safari Web browser continues to grow at a noticeable pace this year, with recent market share figures pointing to an over 75 percent increase in usage over the past twelve months.

Although it maintains its standing as the No. 3 browser on the Internet, a recent market share report by Net Applications shows Apple's WebKit-based Safari to have garnered a 3.19 percent share in March, an increase of 1.81 percent from last year.

During the same time period, Microsoft's Internet Explorer saw its market share slip over 3 percent, from 88 percent down to 84.70 percent. FireFox — the only other browser to succeed Safari in the rankings — appears to have benefitted the greatest from Explorer's slump, posting a near 3 percent gain to 10.05 percent market share, up from 7.38 percent a year ago.

When Safari's 3.19 percent share is broken down into specific versions, the Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther" version of the Apple browser represented a 1.14 percent share, while the Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" version accounted for 1.94 percent. Safari users running Mac OS X 10.2 "Jaguar" account for just 0.10 percent of Internet traffic.

Comments made by Safari software engineers imply that the browser's market share should continue to post gains this year, especially as WebKit-based browsers start hitting other platforms like Nokia’s S60.

The new browser for the S60 enables a full Web browsing experience on mobile devices, with wide support of industry standards including W3C's HTML 4.01, XHTML 1.0, CSS 1, 2, & 3 (partially), DOM 1, 2, SVG-Tiny, and Web standards such as, ECMAScript, Netscape style plug-ins such as Flash Lite and audio.

The same market share report noted above also shows that Apple's Mac OS X operation system is slowly gaining popularity amongst Internet users. From April 2005 to March 2006, users of the Apple OS on the Net increase in share by over 0.75 percent, from 3.52 percent to 4.29 percent.

"Safari

Safari (Tiger) Market Share Gains. Credits: Net Applications