Internet Explorer market share dips below 50%

StatCounter Browser Market Share

According to StatCounter (via NetworkWorld), Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser had dipped below the 50% mark for worldwide market share. These September stats show a decline of 1.43% since last month, and a nearly 10% drop since last year. This contrasts Net Applications estimates that show IE holding closer to 60%. Either way, both sets of statistics agree that the once "King of Browsers" is still falling. With the beta release of Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft plans to change all of this. IE9 looks to be a promising solution for Microsoft, but its success will ultimately lie in whether or not it can regain the users that have gone astray. Merely getting users to upgrade from previous versions of IE will not help Microsoft's overall browser presence in the market.

Once upon a time (back in 2002), Internet Explorer commanded more than 90% of the worldwide browser market. In 2008, IE still maintained 67%. Times have definitely changed, and Microsoft now knows that bundling its browser with the world's most widely used operating system isn't a permanent safety net. In Europe, Microsoft had to add a ballot that allows users to choose which browser they'd like to run. This is showing to be factor in IE's continued decline.

Meanwhile, Mozilla's Firefox showed slight gains this month while Google's Chrome showed triple growth year-over-year. It will be interesting to see how the landscape shapes up in the coming months. IE9, Firefox 4, and further iterations of Chrome are all expected to go gold during this time.

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Can someone help me understand who is better at these stats?

StatCounter or NetApplications?

As i am reading about these all stuffs related to Browser & OS market share for last almost 1 year and am not fully sure why their data differ so much? Specially regarding IE6 and XP's market share?

alpesh hindocha said,
Can someone help me understand who is better at these stats?

StatCounter or NetApplications?

As i am reading about these all stuffs related to Browser & OS market share for last almost 1 year and am not fully sure why their data differ so much? Specially regarding IE6 and XP's market share?

I dunno.

But the stats of my cie web site (100 000 visitors each month) are closer to StatCounter ones.

This is what happens when you take years between versions of a browser ! MS seriously needs to make new releases faster with more features instead of just hundreds of bug fixes.

kInG aLeXo said,
This is what happens when you take years between versions of a browser ! MS seriously needs to make new releases faster with more features instead of just hundreds of bug fixes.

New releases faster? What's the point of that? Soon enough we'll be on version 20 which is never good. They just need to make more intermittant versions. IE 8 could have been 7.1, IE 9 can be 7.2 or whatever.

I dislike companies bringing out new versions every year.

I'm hoping Internet Explorer 9 is a hit with those who switched to Firefox and Chrome. It'd be great if that could boost Microsoft's market share even higher again.

It's funny because before I saw how good IE 9 is (and was used to IE 8), I wanted Microsoft to lose web browser market share

Calum said,
I'm hoping Internet Explorer 9 is a hit with those who switched to Firefox and Chrome. It'd be great if that could boost Microsoft's market share even higher again.

It's funny because before I saw how good IE 9 is (and was used to IE 8), I wanted Microsoft to lose web browser market share

I sure as hell don't want IE9 to be the highest share holder. It'd just let Microsoft just create shittier standards like they did in the pass and force web developers and other users to use IE only stuff. It's just totally BS.

I think the Love affair with FF is finally over, chrome is clearly growing the fastest, i think with ie9 it will be a 2 horse race between it and chrome. I have a feeling FF users are more likely to switch to chrome, and eventually FF will become irrelevant.

Hitman2000 said,
I think the Love affair with FF is finally over, chrome is clearly growing the fastest, i think with ie9 it will be a 2 horse race between it and chrome. I have a feeling FF users are more likely to switch to chrome, and eventually FF will become irrelevant.

This I think too.
Although I am not exactly a fan of Google, I want something new and fresh. Firefox seems to get more and more "features" each time there is a new release.

Mike Frett said,
What happened? Wasn't there a story just recently proclaiming IE was in the uptick?.

It is, but since IE9 is beta it is not counted for this.

I used both chrome and firefox a few times each and i remember why i uninstalled them the first time whenever i go back and try them again. Firefox always crashes and seems cluttered and chrome just never felt right. I guess since i'm so heavy on windows live, its just natural to use the IE integration, so its IE for me

That's odd. I recently read that Microsoft had high hopes for it's new release.
I'm a fan of Explorer. I like browsers that integrate well with the OS and are very customizable with room for additions.

apollos84 said,
That's odd. I recently read that Microsoft had high hopes for it's new release.
I'm a fan of Explorer. I like browsers that integrate well with the OS and are very customizable with room for additions.

Well, IE9 isn't even release yet.

Internet Explorer has build up such a negative reputation over the years, deserved or undeserved I'm not going into that, people will simply stay away from it. Version 9 might improve that reputation among Windows users but it will take time before Microsoft will see that reflected in market share.

I also don't think it would be a bad idea if Microsoft would fire up a Mac version of the browser. All other major players are available cross-platform, Internet Explorer is the only one that isn't.

.Neo said,
I also don't think it would be a bad idea if Microsoft would fire up a Mac version of the browser. All other major players are available cross-platform, Internet Explorer is the only one that isn't.

I was wondering this too. Even if people aren't using Windows, wouldn't MS at least prefer to see people use IE on their Macs and Linux instead of the competitor?

.Neo said,
Internet Explorer has build up such a negative reputation over the years, deserved or undeserved I'm not going into that, people will simply stay away from it. Version 9 might improve that reputation among Windows users but it will take time before Microsoft will see that reflected in market share.

I also don't think it would be a bad idea if Microsoft would fire up a Mac version of the browser. All other major players are available cross-platform, Internet Explorer is the only one that isn't.


Once upon a time it was available for the mac, the default browser I think before it was discontinued and Apple then released Safari.

autobon said,
The Mac's dock doesnt quite work like the Windows version though, which IE9 makes heavy use of.

I fail to understand your point.

autobon said,
The Mac's dock doesnt quite work like the Windows version though, which IE9 makes heavy use of.

Windows 7 dock is just a knock off of Mac's DockBar

Tsk Tsk Tsk, why am i not surprise! IE needs serious UI overhaul. No adblock, no extension and what's up with bookmark UI and flat squarish tabs, seriously?

MaSx said,
Tsk Tsk Tsk, why am i not surprise! IE needs serious UI overhaul. No adblock, no extension and what's up with bookmark UI and flat squarish tabs, seriously?

What are you going on about with your "flat squarish tabs" remark? If anything, firefox is even more flat and "squarish." Also, the bookmark UI is the exact same one they had in IE8. Its only the first beta though, so I wouldnt go an a rant about the UI quite yet.

I remember Microsoft Internet Explorer version 6 (years). And I remember a company that wouldn't listen to its customers, a company that thought they were so big and strong that they didn't NEED to innovate to stay on top. And in the face of the free market they had there butts handed to them. I'm glad, but I hope they learned a HUGE lesson and come back stronger than ever.

I bet this wont take into account IE9 as they dont have it in there browser list yet, im more interested in the graph for mobiles showing the iDevices dropping and there competitors gaining share

Even though I'm a web developer and user of Firefox, why do I feel worried when I see IE's market share drop?

Meph said,
Even though I'm a web developer and user of Firefox, why do I feel worried when I see IE's market share drop?
Because IE9 uses non-bowser based CSS selectors, even for CSS3 selectors. Both Opera and the IEteam are trying to push for this.

Google utilized its ad market to push ads hard everywhere..and its time that Apple and MS/yahoo started to cannibalize the search (revenu) market from Google. Probably google ads will start to push in to the chrome window within next few releases for sure.

Chrome here, have used IE since Win 95 but as Im still on XP on most of my machines I have recently moved across to Chrome to keep consistency and the latest browser.

I've used Chrome a lot and just don't see the difference in speed on all of my computers compared to Firefox 4. I just really like Firefox for it's looks, load times and add-ons. Firefox Sync works leaps better than Chrome's bookmark sync.

Mainer82 said,
I've used Chrome a lot and just don't see the difference in speed on all of my computers compared to Firefox 4. I just really like Firefox for it's looks, load times and add-ons. Firefox Sync works leaps better than Chrome's bookmark sync.

The latest version of FireFox is 3.6.10. FireFox 4 isn't even out buddy. ;-) Beta products don't count as it's still in testing.

If nothing else IE9 is pushing the other browsers to address processing web content more like a JIT compiler construct, and standardize some of the missing gaps of HTML5.

This means is it will become essential for Chrome to get their hardware accelerated verision out the door, and also get Firefox to address hardware acceleration beyond just Direct2D. (Hardware acceleration is not about just shoving and composing in the GPU, it is about treating CSS/HTML/etc like code and breaking it down for faster performance.)

Right now on average hardware IE9 isn't a dramatic product, as there is not a lot of content out there that uses what IE9 does really well. However if you are a Netbook user or have a slower system, IE9 is something you should be playing with, as the performance on CPU bound hardware is rather dramatic even for an average user. (Also pick up the Adobe Flash build for IE9 that works with the IE9 acceleration.)

Now is an exciting time, with speed and standards only getting better on all browsers and platforms.

thenetavenger said,
If nothing else IE9 is pushing the other browsers to address processing web content more like a JIT compiler construct, and standardize some of the missing gaps of HTML5.

This means is it will become essential for Chrome to get their hardware accelerated verision out the door, and also get Firefox to address hardware acceleration beyond just Direct2D. (Hardware acceleration is not about just shoving and composing in the GPU, it is about treating CSS/HTML/etc like code and breaking it down for faster performance.)

Right now on average hardware IE9 isn't a dramatic product, as there is not a lot of content out there that uses what IE9 does really well. However if you are a Netbook user or have a slower system, IE9 is something you should be playing with, as the performance on CPU bound hardware is rather dramatic even for an average user. (Also pick up the Adobe Flash build for IE9 that works with the IE9 acceleration.)

Now is an exciting time, with speed and standards only getting better on all browsers and platforms.

As I've been saying, it still depends on hte hardware.

IE 9, even in beta form, is remarkably thread-efficient (part of the reason that it's deliberately limited to Vista and 7, as opposed to XP, is the better thread support of these two operating systems compared to XP. If you have 2 GB of RAM and a decent graphics card and hard drive (the graphics card can easily be AGP, such as nVidia's 7 series and AMD's X1K series), you have no reason to avoid Windows 7 unless you have an application or game that is 7-hostile.

I still prefer Firefox just because of the sheer number of addons that I've grown to love. Sure it's a resource hog like no other, but thats why I have 6 gigs of ram.

Unclean009 said,
I still prefer Firefox just because of the sheer number of addons that I've grown to love. Sure it's a resource hog like no other, but thats why I have 6 gigs of ram.

It really isn't the memory usage as much as the CPU utilization. It has gotten pretty buggy as of late. I have seen FF slow to a crawl on a system with 3 tabs open, 16 gigs of memory and a quad core. The latest FF4 has done little to impress, true its still a beta, but I actually think the Canary builds are better. The one serious flaw in Chrome is their bookmark sync, the one in FF is much better (though both were/are inferior to Xmarks).

bluarash said,

It really isn't the memory usage as much as the CPU utilization. It has gotten pretty buggy as of late. I have seen FF slow to a crawl on a system with 3 tabs open, 16 gigs of memory and a quad core. The latest FF4 has done little to impress, true its still a beta, but I actually think the Canary builds are better. The one serious flaw in Chrome is their bookmark sync, the one in FF is much better (though both were/are inferior to Xmarks).

Sounds like something else is wrong there because I have 3gig of ram and a dual core on my work pc and have up to 10 tabs open at a time with no noticeable change in performance.

ILikeTobacco said,

Sounds like something else is wrong there because I have 3gig of ram and a dual core on my work pc and have up to 10 tabs open at a time with no noticeable change in performance.


I have a i7 with 12GB and still FF3 just is slow. Loading pages goes as fast as any browser, but starting up a new screen just feels like ages. I'm a person that entirely closes and opens his browserscreen about 20 times per hour, so I really love it when it's snappy.

RuuddieBoy said,

I have a i7 with 12GB and still FF3 just is slow. Loading pages goes as fast as any browser, but starting up a new screen just feels like ages. I'm a person that entirely closes and opens his browserscreen about 20 times per hour, so I really love it when it's snappy.

i7, 6 gigs ram, win7....no slowness, does feel slightly slower than chrome, but no issues with browser speed at all. Starts instantly, closes instantly. Ill never give up FF cause the adblock is unmatched, and the other extensions dont have chrome ports..and never will.

I don't give out Firefox because of SearchPreview. This has made me stick with it, and not move to Opera as my default browser.

Unclean009 said,
I still prefer Firefox just because of the sheer number of addons that I've grown to love. Sure it's a resource hog like no other, but thats why I have 6 gigs of ram.

Firefox 4 have become so slow, unresponsive and unusable on my system. Anything is faster: IE9, IE8, Chrome, Opera and god forbid even Safari is faster (and this is on Windows).

ILikeTobacco said,

Sounds like something else is wrong there because I have 3gig of ram and a dual core on my work pc and have up to 10 tabs open at a time with no noticeable change in performance.

I don't think only the number of opened tabs matters in slow browser performance. But it also depends on which web site you open.

Some web sites do take more resources (in term of processing power and memory) than others, especially the ones heavily using AJAX and/or JavaScript. Even if you only open one tab of this kind of websites, it would hog down your computer resources.

ILikeTobacco said,

Sounds like something else is wrong there because I have 3gig of ram and a dual core on my work pc and have up to 10 tabs open at a time with no noticeable change in performance.

+1

Definitely suspect something else dragging down performance (if this is an issue in either 7 or Vista) with any flavor of IE since 7 (in both Vista and 7, 8 trumps 7, and the beta of 9 trumps 8). With any browser (not just IE, but Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or even largely-Linux one-offs like Iceweasel, Rekonq, and Arora), the biggest drag (among common add-ins/plug-ins) has been Adobe Flash; a badly-designed Flash-heavy page, such as some Facebook-based games, will drag even the burliest PC to a crawl. If I manage to avoid such sites (especially in tabbed browesers, which is just about any browser these days), I don't get bogged down, even on systems like the 2.4 GHz P4 Original Northwood (running Windows 7 Ultimate x86 on a mere 40 GB IDE hard drive!) that I am using currently until I can replace the dead motherboard in my normal PC (my normal motherboard supports SATA, as in my two hard drives; the Northwood's mobo is PATA-only). I have four other tabs open in the IE 9 beta (two of which are different pages on Facebook) without a quibble.

The momentum at the moment seems to have shifted to Chrome (at least for the tech audience). Microsoft has got a long way to go to make up ground (mostly image) over the failed campaigns of IE7 and IE8.

bluarash said,
The momentum at the moment seems to have shifted to Chrome (at least for the tech audience). Microsoft has got a long way to go to make up ground (mostly image) over the failed campaigns of IE7 and IE8.

The mementum will be regain once IE9 is out. For the rest of the world, IE9 doesn't exist until it comes through automatic update.

Chrome is a solid browser. It looks clean and simple. It's incredibly fast. It has excellent standards support. It is being developed at a fast pace. And now it has add-on support, including Adblock. It replaced Firefox as my default browser quite a while back.

IE9 beta was'nt as good as I expected it too be. Chrome works so fast on my laptop, it's just super quick and loads up super fast. For some reason with IE in all versions, it's always had this kind of sluggish nature to it. The loading times for pages was also slower for me

Ah well, ILChrome <3

Jagjit Singh said,
IE9 beta was'nt as good as I expected it too be. Chrome works so fast on my laptop, it's just super quick and loads up super fast. For some reason with IE in all versions, it's always had this kind of sluggish nature to it. The loading times for pages was also slower for me

Ah well, ILChrome <3


It's call beta.

Chrome seems promising. if the professional world as well as the education system start supporting it, it would have a much larger base. Various LMS's that colleges use still won't let you do any coursework unless you are on IE, FF, or Safari. That's the main reason I haven't made the switch yet. What is really annoying is the LMS solutions that only work for IE.

If it works fine on Safari then it'll likely work fine with Chrome since they're both based on WebKit. To a slightly lesser extent if 'more than just IE' is supported (eg. Firefox) then it'll probably be fine with Chrome too.

Everyone I know has switched to Chrome. Most people never go back once they've tried it. Sure, it might not have FF's addons, or IE's ActiveX-support and other specific stuff, but what average user needs that anyway. Google got exactly what regular people want, and regular people like it. I seriously doubt anything will be able to stop Chrome.

Ambroos said,
Everyone I know has switched to Chrome. Most people never go back once they've tried it. Sure, it might not have FF's addons, or IE's ActiveX-support and other specific stuff, but what average user needs that anyway. Google got exactly what regular people want, and regular people like it. I seriously doubt anything will be able to stop Chrome.

+1 - I tend to not particularly care for the add-ons, I just want a good pop-up blocker and I'm satisfied. Chrome's speed is what turned me onto it.

Ambroos said,
Everyone I know has switched to Chrome. Most people never go back once they've tried it. Sure, it might not have FF's addons, or IE's ActiveX-support and other specific stuff, but what average user needs that anyway. Google got exactly what regular people want, and regular people like it. I seriously doubt anything will be able to stop Chrome.

I completely agree. Chrome is so incredibly fast, the others are just no real competitors. Firefox 4's betas are a bit faster but it still is an incredibly sloggish browser.

day2die said,
Quite a few people who have use IE9 (including me) have moved back from Firefox and Chrome.

I did, Im really liking IE 9, the beta is even solid for me, all it needs is a adblocker, simple ad-blocker doesnt work for IE 9 yet, chrome is also great but the adblocker is not perfect like FF's, I constantly run into commercial ads when starting a video with chrome.

Opera is dead last (excluding the other browsers) I just can't imagine what's going to be next.
But what I do know, is that with IE9, Microsoft has chance on going up, at least a bit.

But we can't discard Chrome. Google has several methods to make you download Chrome: Youtube, Google, Ads and more. I would think that Chrome will prevail in a time, unless IE9 or greater do something about it.