Mozilla's Firefox has become the most popular browser in Europe, knocking Microsoft's Internet Explorer off the top spot, according to statistics from web tracking firm StatCounter.
The figures show that Firefox had 38.11 per cent of the market in December 2010, compared to IE's 37.52 per cent.
However, both browsers showed an overall drop against December 2009, when IE had 44.84 per cent and Firefox 40.8 per cent.
The decline appears to be down to dramatic gains made by Google's Chrome browser, which rose by 9.52 per cent to end the year on 14.58 per cent.
Opera and Safari brought up the rear, each polling around 4.5 per cent. Safari was the bigger winner of the two, rising from 3.4 per cent at the end of 2009.
The decline of IE also seems to suggest that the browser ballot screen, introduced in March 2010 to make internet users more aware of other browsers, is having the desired effect.
The news follows figures from Net Applications published yesterday which showed that Google has closed the gap with Microsoft and that its Chrome browser now has 10 per cent of the global market.
Microsoft will be hoping that its upcoming IE9 release will help it win back share, and persuade companies and consumers to move on from its outdated and heavily criticised IE6 platform.
V3.co.uk reviewed a beta of IE9 and was impressed with several of the new features, including hardware accelerated graphics and greater support for web standards such as HTML5 and CSS3.
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