The number of Internet users exploiting Apple's Safari browser has almost doubled since July 2003, though the installed base of such users remains a minority, according to OneStat.com.

Microsoft retains its stranglehold on Web traffic with all versions of Internet Explorer accounting for 94.8 per cent of Web traffic. Internet Explorer 6 is the leading browser with a 68.1 per cent market share.

Apple's Safari browser has increased its market 0.23 per cent from 0.25 to 0.48 per cent since July 2003.

Other browsers: Mozilla holds 1.8 per cent and Opera 7.0 0.8 per cent of the browser market.

Lead Safari developer Dave Hyatt's Surfin' Safari news Web site castigates Microsoft's browsers for being too lax in enforcing Web standards. "Fully half the bugs I receive in (Safari's) WebCore are not bugs at all, but are essentially differences in error handling and error recovery between Safari and the dominant Web browser, Internet Explorer."

He explains: "The whole reason nearly all Web pages on the Internet are malformed is because browsers let Web-authors get away with it. As long as browsers are permissive in their error handling and recovery, Web authors will continue to produce invalid Web pages, because they won't even have any idea the pages they are authoring are invalid!"