IE share slips under 70 percent, Firefox surges past 20 percent

Rising unemployment also bodes ill for IE, says Net Applications

Of the top four non-Microsoft browsers, only Opera Software ASA's flagship dropped in share during November; it fell to 0.71 percent from October's 0.75 percent.

While Vizzaccarro praised Microsoft's still-in-development IE8, calling it a "pretty nice browser," he wasn't optimistic that it's arrival would turn the tide. "Because IE is used much more in corporations, and they're slower to change, IE8 won't have the same impact as a major Firefox or Safari release," he said.

Microsoft recently said that it will launch IE8 in 2009, sometime after a "release candidate" build is made available during the first three months of next year.

And don't forget unemployment, Vizzaccarro said, arguing that with more people out of work, it will be even tougher for IE to regain ground. "You have to factor for the unemployment rate, too," he said. "That's put a lot more users at home as well, which means more users using Firefox and Safari, not IE."

According to statistics from the US Department of Labor, the unemployment rate in the US rose from 6.1 to 6.5 percent during October. Last month's numbers are due out at the end of this week.

Net Applications' browser share data is available online.

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