Netscape's share of the browser market continues to fall but is holding up well so far against Microsoft's free Internet Explorer onslaught.
According to market analysts Dataquest, during the third quarter of this year Netscape's share of the browser market fell to just under 58 per cent, while Microsoft's rose to around 40 per cent. This turnaround continues the trend from the end of last year when Microsoft had only 20 per cent and Netscape dominated with 73 per cent.
However, Netscape's share has remained stronger than most of the industry expected, considering that Microsoft only gives its browser away for free. The giant is also being investigated by the EC and the US Department of Justice over charges of forcing PC vendors and Internet service providers to sign exclusive distribution agreements for the product.
Netscape is attempting to battle against this giveaway by distributing at minimal cost millions of copies of its browser via ISPs, telecommunications companies and hardware vendors.
These latest figures were released too early to indicate whether the release of the new versions of Explorer and Navigator at the end of the third quarter have had any major impact on the browser preference of users.
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