• Microsoft sends an Internet Explorer cake to Mozilla’s Firefox development team to congratulate them on shipping Firefox 3.

Mozilla engineers shipped Firefox 3.0 this week to much praise and accolades from bloggers and tech columnists across the Internet. But Mozilla also got a strange congratulations gift from their main competitor in the web browser wars… Microsoft.

Another Internet Explorer Cake For Firefox

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer development team sent their Firefox counterparts a congratulatory cake for their launch of Firefox 3. The Internet Explorer cake features a large IE logo made out of blue frosting and was delivered in person by several Microsoft employees. Mozilla CEO, John Lilly, proudly took the cake around and displayed it for his staff before he let them devour the cake. Apparently, this is becoming a tradition. This is the second cake that the Internet Explorer team has sent Mozilla. Microsoft sent the first cake back in October 2006 to congratulate them on shipping Firefox 2.0.

Internet Explorer Cake
Mozilla employee Al Billings holds the Internet Explorer cake.

Internet Explorer Is Rapidly Losing Market Share

You have to give Microsoft credit for having a good sense of humor. Internet Explorer’s market share of browser users is in rapid decline. Meanwhile, Firefox is seeing explosive growth. Recent reports give Firefox ~40% of the web browser market. A year ago, Firefox’s share was only in the single digits. Also, I’ve seen several reports that Google is launching a new web browser later this year. The Browser Wars are heating up and it looks like Microsoft is going to have a lot of competition.

2008ChromeIEFirefoxSafariOpera
June ?54.2 %41.0 %2.6 %1.7 %
May ?54.4 %39.8 %2.4 %1.5 %
April ?54.8 %39.1 %2.2 %1.4 %
March ?53.9 %37.0 %2.1 %1.4 %
February ?54.7 %36.5 %2.0 %1.4 %
January ?54.7 %36.4 %1.9 %1.4 %

Source: W3 Schools