Internet Explorer usage jumps up for August, Chrome drops

Browser Market share: August | July

Every month, we take a look at the market share of operating systems and also the browser market share of the top three players: Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome. Why do we do this? Well, for those of you who follow the tech scene closely, you will know that web browsers are competing heavily for your attention.

If you wondered why these companies want you to use their browser rather than a rival's, it is because there is a lot of money on the line for these products even though they are free. How do they make money? Well, it all comes down to searches. For Firefox, Google pays them hundreds of millions of dollars to be the default search engine and on Chrome, Google gets the default search preference too, while on Internet Explorer, Bing gets the nod as the default engine.

When you search, which users tend to do frequently in a browser, it racks up advertising dollars for either Google or Microsoft. So, to be the default search engine is a big deal to both companies, which is why Firefox is able to charge Google exuberant sums to be the default in its browser. More so, Firefox needs a large user base to justify this charge and that is why they are fighting for your business.

So here we are, looking back at August which shows that Internet Explorer has gained from July and Chrome has dropped below 20% share; Firefox has also gained a few new users as well. You can see the recent figures in the chart above with August on the left and July on the right.

Is Microsoft worried about Chrome? While only Microsoft can answer that question, it is likely safe to say that they do watch these numbers closely. Over the past few years, Chrome has been slowly catching up to Internet Explorer's market share which was likely the motivation behind their recent browser campaign, "The browser you love to hate".

Source: Net Applications

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You mean people are finally wising up? Holy crap, about time!!

Chrome has one of the dumbest designs ever, not to mention the simple fact it's made by Google, should be enough to have made people leave that POS alone LONG ago!! I guess fanboys do have some power of persuasion, unfortunately!

It good to see IE gains market share for the month of August. Almost all browsers gain with the exception of Chrome

Recently left Opera for Firefox..Don't like Chrome..IE is alright, but I need a few add-ons...I love Opera, but until they get sync/link working, Using Firefox, and using add-ons to get the functions of Opera that I like..(Prefer their speed-dial and search ('w star trek' to search 'Star Trek' on Wiki)). Add those to IE, and I might consider it lol

According to Netmarketshare at the end of 2011 IE had only 51% market share and over the past 3 years it has grown steadily every quarter to now almost 59% share. The above article fails to mention that this month is thus far the pinnacle of market share IE has recorded on the site. And given the consistency of share growth over every quarter these last few years (please go look at the data) there is no reason to believe IE is stopping at 58.5%. That's an increase of 7% share for IE in less than 3 years.

By comparison Chrome (on desktop) in the same time period has seen no growth. Chrome was at 19% share at end of 2011and it's at 19% share near the end of 2014. So whatever reason you want to believe MS marketing is what it is, the bottom line is that it has been very effective in significantly growing IE market share over the past few years. If anything Chrome usage had fallen by 4-5% over the past year until a PR problem at Firefox sent a sizeable chunk of users back to Chrome. Until Firefox's recent PR problems Chrome usage was declining precipitously at a dangerous rate.

Edited by Avatar Roku, Sep 1 2014, 10:50pm :

Competition is a good thing. What I don't like, however, is the sneaky way Google bundles their software with Flash, Java, and others. If one wants the browser, fine. Make it available and advertise it. But so many of my clients have Chrome and have no idea how they got it. One day their browser changed and they have no idea how to change it back.

And more than once Chrome has left settings changes that broke things in IE even after uninstalling Chrome.

Of course, Google gave up the "Don't be Evil" mantra long ago...

I tend to be annoyed by the forced inclusion of Flash as well, but Chrome does not bundle Java.

For what it's worth, IE also bundles Flash.

I think he's more referring to how when you download other software, Chrome comes with it, and usually sets itself default unless you change the install settings.

If that's the case then people need to look at installer packages properly before spamming the "Next" button.

Java not included with Chrome, Flash is built-in with Chrome, unless I missed something, I never had to install or untick any installation options when installing Chrome (installer downloaded from official source)

You can't. They make you select it at the web page now. If you wait for a "custom" option in the installer you're too late. The installer doesn't give you a choice. You have to uncheck their "recommended" options on the website in order to get the installer without Chrome.

Not sure if I should post this here or on the site revamp forum. But you can't say the graphic left and/or right because I just read this article on my S5 and the images appear one on top of the other as per the responsive design. Just saying....

I've had some real issues with IE on Windows 8.1 both at home and at work, so I've switched over to Chrome. Firefox was just way too slow to start up, even with no addons. IE was crashing a lot, and the same with my dad's PC which also has Windows 8.1. Now that I'm running Chrome 64 bit, it's real snappy and good.

Crash issues with IE are most of the time caused by a buggy extension installed by a 3rd party program, or a buggy antivirus or security tool.

If IE/Metro doesn't crash but IE desktop does, then it's a faulty extension that must be disabled.

If IE/metro crashes too, then it's probably caused by a crappy antivirus.

On a clean install of Windows, IE is extremely stable. I can't remember the last time I saw it crash.

link8506 said,
Crash issues with IE are most of the time caused by a buggy extension installed by a 3rd party program, or a buggy antivirus or security tool.

I had a lot of IE crashes while I was using the new EMET, which seemed ironic.

I'll cosign that IE11 should not be crashing frequently in Win8.1 and it suggests some other abnormal problem with your PC/software setup. IE11 is pretty damn stable on all the PCs I've used it on.

dingl_ said,
I'm fine with this
IE11 is my primary browser on my 8.1 devices
so long as IE12 is even better, go go IE

Same with me, I've been using IE11 from day 1 on Windows 8. I hoped they'd have updated the IE developer channel build by now but they still haven't, shame but that's a glimpse at what IE12 could be.

Yep, but that doesn't fit into Neowin's narrative here about Chrome challenging IE. If anything IE has been on a tear for the past few years according to Netmarkshare while Chrome has been fluctuating wildly up and down next to Firefox.

Are you factoring that Net Applications only does desktop statistics while StatCounter shows Tablets and Consoles included with your link?

cybersaurusrex said,
They use a different methodology... which begs the question... why are their numbers so very different?

That can be explained by:
NA - "market share"
SC - "usage share"

Out of 100 users, 60 users use IE, 20 users use Chrome.
However, 60 IE users visit 200 sites/pages while those 20 chrome users visit 500 sites/pages (total is 1000 for the sake of argument).

NA gives 60 points to IE; 20 to Chrome.
SC gives 20 points to IE; 50 to Chrome.

Basically, IE has more users while Chrome has more "heavy" users.

cybersaurusrex said,
They use a different methodology... which begs the question... why are their numbers so very different?

The way they collect them and the scope/scale. Depending on how you get the data and from which sources it can show you two vastly different pictures. At this point I'm more inclined to go with what Net Applications has compared to StatCounter. Some others might feel different about it, but I've heard that a few big companies use Net Applications as a source while I don't think the same holds true for StatCounter.

And according to StatCounter, the most used web browser in China is Chrome version 21.0 (which is more than a year old).
http://gs.statcounter.com/#desktop-browser_version-CN-monthly-201308-201408

So I wouldn't trust statcounter's data too much.
It looks like they have trouble understanding some user agents and counts them as Google Chrome when it's actually something like 360 Safe Browser.

Crimson Rain said,

That can be explained by:
NA - "market share"
SC - "usage share"

Out of 100 users, 60 users use IE, 20 users use Chrome.
However, 60 IE users visit 200 sites/pages while those 20 chrome users visit 500 sites/pages (total is 1000 for the sake of argument).

NA gives 60 points to IE; 20 to Chrome.
SC gives 20 points to IE; 50 to Chrome.

Basically, IE has more users while Chrome has more "heavy" users.


Another, rather important note, is that NA counts China as 1,3 billion people and Belgium as 11 million, while SC counts them as equal (of course, idem dito for every other country). A small country like Belgium has the same influence on SCs stats as China, which is, of course, bs.

I don't think any of StatCounter's data matches up with reality on any metric (OS usage, tablet usage, browser usage, search engine usage, etc.). My impression of StatCounter is that it is a very unprofessional and unreliable site. Even the way they report data is disreputable (only combining versions of non-MS products). Netmarketshare is by no means perfect and is just giving estimates at best, but my impression is NMS is a much more credible source of data that is at least somewhat in line with reality and trends.

statcounter calculates page loads while netapps calculates unique users. so lets say I load a page in chrome and it prefetches 20 links, in statcounters data, I would count as 21 for usage, while in netapps, im one unique user,so I only count as one.

netapps is the more accurate measure for which browser is used by the most users.

this is a quote directly from statcounters page


StatCounter measures internet usage trends. We track which browsers are actually used most. To accurately measure browser usage, we base our stats on page views (and not unique visitors).

http://gs.statcounter.com/factsheet

sorry,prefetching doesn't count anymore,according to statcounter. but again, they still don't track unique users,only page loads,and don't geo weight either.

58% market share means nothing, users that just bought Windows machine got it on default.. they use it for quick browsing, and downloading other browsers.

digitheatre said,
58% market share means nothing, users that just bought Windows machine got it on default.. they use it for quick browsing, and downloading other browsers.

Why is the number of IE users rising every quarter for the past 3 years while no other browsers have increased?