According to statistics provided by Net Applications, Microsoft Internet Explorer's global market share fell from 78.58% in December 2007 to 68.15% in December 2008.
During that same period, the 10.43 percentage points lost by Microsoft accounted for almost all the gains among competing browser makers. Mozilla's Firefox market share rose from 14.95% to 21.34%, an increase of 6.39 percentage points. Apple's Safari market share rose from 4.85% to 7.93%, a gain of 3.08 percentage points. Google's Chrome browser, introduced in September, reached the end of 2008 with 1.04% market share.
Microsoft Windows remains the dominant operating system among the Internet users tracked by Net Applications, but it's a bit less so now than a year ago. The metrics company reports that the global market share for Windows fell to 88.68% in December 2008, down from 91.79% in December 2007.
Windows Vista use grew 16.06 percentage points during this period, from 5.06% in December 2007 to 21.12% in December 2008. Windows XP, however, lost 16.27 percentage points, dropping from 81.49% in December 2007 to 65.22% a year later. Windows 2000 went from 3.9% to 1.47%.
Apple's Mac OS X, meanwhile, gained 3.23 percentage points over the same period of time, rising from 6.4% to 9.63%. Simultaneously, the company's iPhone -- which, like the iPod touch, runs a version of Mac OS X -- saw its market share rise from 0.04% to 0.44%, taking Mac OS X as a whole past the 10% mark.
In terms of its share of the U.S. search market, Microsoft also fared poorly, declining from 9.8% in November 2007 to 8.3% in November 2008, according to ComScore. Yahoo's search share also declined over the same period, from 22.4% to 20.4%. Google saw its search market share grow from 58.6% to 63.5% over the same span of time.