April was an interesting month in the browser wars. Computerworld reports that Net Applications' analysis shows Google's Chrome browser increasing it's share of the browser market by .6 of a percentage point. It did significantly better than Firefox or IE, and it's the biggest monthly growth since its release in September 2008. While Firefox did show growth, it was only by .07 of a percentage point, and that's the second month of growth after four straight months of shrinkage starting in November 2009. IE fell to 59.95%, the first time IE has ever fallen below the 60% mark. While Firefox has generally been stable since the release of Chrome, IE has since dropped by 9%, leading analysts to infer that the lost market share is primarily being eaten up by Google. StatCounter posts diffferent numbers for each browser (IE: 51.42%, Firefox: 32.62%, Chrome: 8.82%), but both agree with the trend of IE losing significant share to Google.
Image courtesy of ConceivablyTech
ConceivablyTech sees an explanation for IE's troubles in the numbers. Net Applications shows that 62.6% of its users upgraded to version 3.6, while IE8 is at 27.6% compared to older version of IE. This points to a loyalty among Firefox users who are willing to stick with a product and upgrade it when newer versions of release. According to ConceivablyTech, this shows that IE simply isn't "compelling enough" anymore.
ConceivablyTech predicts a battle between Google and Microsoft at the end of all this. Even though Chrome's market share is a paltry 6.73% compared to the competition, it has sustained an almost double-digit growth rate (9.79%) growth rate, and doesn't seem to be letting up. ConceivablyTech doesn't see Mozilla as a likely contender due to a simple lack of resources. When up against two of the technology titans, Firefox won't have the size, clout, and money to put up a proper fight.