Web Browser Wars, Michael Jackson Version

Like the fluid and swirling currents in the world's vast oceans, the global usage statistics for Web browsers are constantly on the move.

So what's the hottest, most popular Web browser today and what will the effects be on the next round of usage stats due to the shocking death recently of pop icon Michael Jackson?

OK, let's not get too far ahead of ourselves.

According to the latest June figures from several Web analytics companies, there are no great changes in the browser wars right now.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer, in all of its incarnations from version 6.0 to 7.0 and 8.0 continues to lead usage around the world, according to TheCounter.com, which gives IE a combined 74 percent usage share.

Mozilla's Firefox comes in behind at 18 percent for the month, followed by Apple's Safari at 4 percent and the Oslo, Norway-based Opera browser at 1 percent.

Compared to TheCounter's figures from January, IE's figures are down from 76 percent, while Firefox is up slightly from 17 percent, and Safari and Opera remain unchanged.

Two other Web analytics firms see the numbers quite differently for June and January.

StatCounter.com reports IE usage at 59.49 percent in June, down almost six significant percentage points from January when it was at 65.41 percent.

That compares to Firefox use of 30.33 percent in June, up from 27.03 percent in January, according to StatCounter.com.

Opera had 3.36 percent use in June, followed by Safari at 2.93 percent and Google's Chrome at 2.82 percent. Other browsers made up 1.07 percent of the usage.

Meanwhile, W3Counter.com gave IE a 56.92 percent combined shared in June, compared to 57.90 percent back in January.

Firefox had a combined share of 31.91 percent in June, compared to 31.26 percent in January, while Safari dropped slightly in June to 2.12 percent from 2.44 percent in January.

We'll have to wait until next month to see if Jackson's death and the huge publicity and Web traffic it inspired will impact browser usage numbers this month.

Stay tuned.

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