Last week saw Microsoft lose European browser market leadership for the first time in years, according to data just released from web analytics company StatCounter.

In what will no doubt be cause for celebration from the thousands involved in the ongoing open source project, Mozilla's Firefox 3 nabbed the top spot from Internet Explorer 7.

The lead was narrow. Firefox 3 had a 35.05% share of the European web browser market last week, followed closely by Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7 with 34.54%.

As well as the switch from users going from 7 to Internet Explorer 8, a StatCounter exec says "growing market share overall by Firefox 3" explains the statistics:

"The data shows that Firefox is closing the gap and is now just 10% behind all Internet Explorer versions in Europe".