Following on from emerging rumours regarding the imminent launch of Internet Explorer 9 (IE9), newly released figures show Microsoft’s hugely popular browsing platform enjoyed a market surge during the month of February.
Specifically, numbers offered up by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and analytics firm Netmarketshare reveal that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer secured a 63.26 share percentage last month, which is almost a full point of improvement over January’s 62.40 percent.
According to the report, Microsoft’s upturn can be traced back to a significant swing in usage gauged on a country-by-country basis, with China posting a marked improvement while other major nations lost traction.
“In February, the C.I.A. released new data on how many Internet users per country there are,” the report noted. “It shows a large increase in the global percentage of Chinese users and a decrease in the global percentage of users from the U.S., U.K., Germany, France and other developed countries.
“These geographic shifts in Internet usage have a significant impact on the global usage share numbers starting in February,” it added.
Microsoft’s main rival in the browsing arena, Mozilla Corporation’s Firefox, lost just over a percentage point last month, finishing with a market share of 21.74 percent.
Although currently in beta and not yet ready for full mass consumption, IE9 still accounted for 2.9 percent of all Windows computers carrying a variant of Microsoft’s browser.
Further to that, Redmond-based Microsoft has said the Release Candidate version of IE9, which only launched in early February, has already been downloaded more than 11 million times.