Netscape may be losing out to Microsoft in the browser wars, at least in the home market, suggests a new survey.
The survey, by Inteco, found that Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) is used by 38% of UK households, just 10% less than Netscape's more established rival, Navigator.
With CompuServe soon to bundle IE with its Web software, Microsoft's share looks set to rise even further. Inteco president and CEO Tom Bachman said: "The future looks bleak for Navigator outside the corporate environment."
The research, called Interactive Home, polled 1,000 high-income households (those with an annual income in excess of #25,000). High income households are the biggest home market for Internet software, accounting for nearly 70% of all home Internet usage in the country, according to Inteco.
But it wasn't all bad news for Netscape, as the survey also found evidence that the two rival browsers can coexist. Of those households using Navigator, more than a quarter also use IE. However, Bachman said consumers were paying the price of owning the two products.
"Users don't want two browsers any more than they want two word processors," he claimed. "But the alternative is to miss out on a lot of exciting content.
Developers face a similar dilemma - take sides and risk losing part of your potential audience, or duplicate and develop for both non-standards."
Although the UK market is showing signs of succumbing to Microsoft, the company has had less success in Europe's other largest user of home computers.
In Germany, over half of high-income Net surfing households use Navigator, but only a quarter use Internet Explorer.
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