Report: Internet Explorer 11 now the second most used desktop browser worldwide

Microsoft officially released Internet Explorer 11 as part of Windows 8.1 in October, and in November it offered a version for Windows 7 users as well. Now the latest data from Net Applications shows that IE11 is now the second most used desktop browser worldwide less than five months after it was released.

The stats, based on data gathered from 160 million unique visitors to 40,000 websites, shows that in February 2014, IE11 commanded 12.80 percent of the browser market. IE8, which is supported by Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8/8.1, is still the most used browser by far, with 21.73 percent according to February's data.

Google's Chrome 32 is third on the list with 9.86 percent. Chrome 33, which launched just a few days ago, claimed just 3.70 percent on February's data. Microsoft's IE9 and IE10 are forth and fifth on the list at 8.80 percent and 8.04 percent, respectively. Mozilla's latest versions of Firefox, 27 and 26, are next on the web browser list with 7.90 percent and 5.78 percent.

Combined, all of the versions of IE command 59.19 percent of the browser marker share worldwide, according to Net Applications. Firefox is next at 17.68 percent and Chrome is third at 16.84 percent. Apple's Safari browser is a distant fourth at 5.67 percent and Opera is an even more distant fifth at 1.23 percent.

Source: Net Applications | Image via Net Applications

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Yes, but how many of the IE6, IE7, and IE8 users are actually bots? Going by my own stats for websites, I get a feeling that several of my IE6-8 users, and Opera users are actually bots..Especially if they are from Russia/China.

So, this claims IE usage is still well above 50%. And then there's those who claim it's now in the single digits.

Nobody reputable has claimed it's in the single digits. Don't bother digging up some developer website's statistics either; find some that aren't inherently biased.

IE8 is supported on Windows 8/8.1? One can use a standalone installer and install that old version of IE on Windows 8/8.1?

debsuvra said,
IE8 is supported on Windows 8/8.1? One can use a standalone installer and install that old version of IE on Windows 8/8.1?

No.

I realize that IE8 is the highest version number you can do on XP, but that was probably the worst browser ever made as far as on my machines. Just about the same thing between IE10 & 11. I don't really know why, but IE11 just seems to suck, for me, so I use IE10.

IE8 is the only browser that has crashed or caused any type issue since XP came out. As far as XP goes, if I were still using that OS, I'd be on IE7, Just never liked or had any good things to say about IE8.

As the third poster above says, Chrome on a HDD is slow. I only mention that because I've always wondered why people say it's so fast to load. It's the slowest loading browser of any of them, on my machines which all have HDD. Even if was faster loading, I still wouldn't use it though as I think it's set up dumber than heck and the fact it's made by Google!

As I said above, Chrome is lightening quick on all my systems. It always has been as I only use 3 extensions.

Some of you must be running some crappy extensions which is causing start-up delays.

Wow, impressive! I'm glad there is so much variation though, look how big the "other" category is! I'm surprised Safari doesn't have its own slice though. Opera had a big loss after it became just another webkit browser.

RabbitPunchies said,
I'm glad there is so much variation though
Web devs aren't!

RabbitPunchies said,
I'm surprised Safari doesn't have its own slice though.
Most versions of Safari other than 6.0 (around 3%) clock in at less than a percent and are handily beaten by IE 6 and 7. Safari in total has only 5% or so market share, which is hardly surprising.

Web users are, it means more robust design. Developers are reporting glaring inconsistancies as bugs at this point. Browser devs are able to catch bugs more easily. It's a better experience overall.

Of course, I never said one browser to rule them all is a good idea. Just a humorous comment that given the constant pain of crowser-browser testing and making sure sites look good on every browser version on different OSes and OS versions, developers would be glad if they only had one browser to code for.

It's not so much a specialization as a basic skills requirement since no-one wants sites coded only to support a single browser, but yeah, of course it helps pay the bills.

You'd be surprised how many people out there consider themselves web designers and don't do such basic things! When hiring at our firm, we've had to turn away quite a few people! We provide on-the-job training, but at some point you just have to say "no thanks"

True, many self-proclaimed web designers know nothing about good UI/UX design, and if they are devs too then their coding skills are hardly top notch. Even decent devs often ignore things like accessibility guidelines for people with disabilities.

I barely ever use IE. I switched to Firefox back in the days but now to Chrome permanently. So far so good, though I must say IE 11 is pretty good except that it does not have extension support, my primary reason for not using IE as default.

Does have extension support (possibly the first one to do so?), just doesn't have any (well almost any) extensions.

Romero said,
Does have extension support (possibly the first one to do so?), just doesn't have any (well almost any) extensions.
Why is that? All the Chrome and Firefox extensions are written by third party devs. Can't we write our own extensions on IE too? Is it that Microsoft doesn't allow third party add ons?

It does allow them and you can. I suppose it goes to show how many add-on developers know C++ as compared to JavaScript and XML. Since many of them are hobby coders the numbers are hardly surprising.

Romero said,
It does allow them and you can. I suppose it goes to show how many add-on developers know C++ as compared to JavaScript and XML. Since many of them are hobby coders the numbers are hardly surprising.

This. IE actually allows much more access using it's add-on model. But that requires expert coders; not hobby ones.

derekaw said,
I wonder why anyone would choose to download and install Internet Explorer? Seems strange.

I don't know either. It's so conveniently included with every version of Windows, so I don't have to download ANY browser!

siah1214 said,

I don't know either. It's so conveniently included with every version of Windows, so I don't have to download ANY browser!

Well, no wonder the usage is so high!

derekaw said,
I wonder why anyone would choose to download and install Internet Explorer? Seems strange.
It comes bundled in every version of this Windows. A better question would be why people need to download and install any other browsers when you can have such great browsing experience out of the box.

AAH! AAH!
WHY ARE YOU PEOPLE STILL USING IE8?!

Seriously. Don't give me XP as an excuse-- you're going to run into some serious trouble in 6 months when that hacker with a major undisclosed vulnerability waits until XP's support ends before auctioning it off to unscrupulous entities for massive profits.

All those XP-running machines will be compromised just because they're online, and Microsoft will shrug and tell you to upgrade.

If you're on Windows Vista and up, WHY AND HOW? Isn't IE now included with automatic updates?

cyberdrone2000 said,
AAH! AAH!
WHY ARE YOU PEOPLE STILL USING IE8?!

Seriously. Don't give me XP as an excuse-- you're going to run into some serious trouble in 6 months when that hacker with a major undisclosed vulnerability waits until XP's support ends before auctioning it off to unscrupulous entities for massive profits.

All those XP-running machines will be compromised just because they're online, and Microsoft will shrug and tell you to upgrade.

If you're on Windows Vista and up, WHY AND HOW? Isn't IE now included with automatic updates?

Because there is no need to. IE 8 still renders websites that users use so there is no need. Webmasters still make annoying workarounds as they still use IE 8 so the cycle goes round and round for years and decades, hence IE 6. Until 3 years ago 95% of sites still worked fine with it so corporations decided to never ever upgrade.

Facebook and yahoo need to stop supporting IE 8 and the problem will go away. These same sites stopped supporting IE 6 and the users eventually upgraded.

sinetheo said,

Because there is no need to. IE 8 still renders websites that users use so there is no need. Webmasters still make annoying workarounds as they still use IE 8 so the cycle goes round and round for years and decades, hence IE 6. Until 3 years ago 95% of sites still worked fine with it so corporations decided to never ever upgrade.

Facebook and yahoo need to stop supporting IE 8 and the problem will go away. These same sites stopped supporting IE 6 and the users eventually upgraded.

Facebook already doesn't support IE8. Yahoo?! Ppffft. Google also does not support IE8. IE8 support is done and over with. It's time to upgrade one way other the other. No more excuses.

http://www.ehow.com/info_8622137_facebook-ie8-issues.html

It still works. Just some issues here and there with retyping the password. Editing most people do not do etc. Grandma will continue to use it otherwise.

Google cancelled IE 8 too quickly! A previous client of mine switched to Office 365 last year as their response. IE 9 was only 2 years old and therefore too imature to switch yet.

sinetheo said,
It still works. Just some issues here and there with retyping the password. Editing most people do not do etc. Grandma will continue to use it otherwise.

Google cancelled IE 8 too quickly! A previous client of mine switched to Office 365 last year as their response. IE 9 was only 2 years old and therefore too imature to switch yet.

What? IE9 worked fine from the start.

Unlikely, I don't think the desktop and Metro versions identify themselves differently, so the numbers must include IE11/Win7 + IE11 Desktop/Win8 + IE11 Metro/Win8.

AsherGZ said,
Also Chrome metro and Firefox metro.
Yeah, forgot about those. The latter is not even out though except in beta (even that's been delayed so much) so most likely it's undetectable. As for the former, I suppose some use it.

Romero said,
Unlikely, I don't think the desktop and Metro versions identify themselves differently, so the numbers must include IE11/Win7 + IE11 Desktop/Win8 + IE11 Metro/Win8.

They do identify themselves differently, actually. They have different user agent strings.

Desktop IE11:
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; WOW64; Trident/7.0; Touch; rv:11.0) like Gecko

Metro IE11:
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; Win64; x64; Trident/7.0; Touch; rv:11.0) like Gecko

Strangely, the difference is how it reports 64 bits...

The difference is purely because you have Enhanced Protected Mode disabled and thus IE11 Desktop is using a 64-bit frame/manager but 32-bit tab/content process. If you set IE11 Desktop to be 64-bit throughout the WoW64 subsystem need no longer get involved and the UA strings should turn out to be identical.

Edited by Romero, Mar 3 2014, 9:39am :

Dot Matrix said,

Incorrect. It's very much a feature on Windows 8.


It's only available in Modern apps, hence why I said it wasn't available 'system wide'.

virtorio said,

It's only available in Modern apps, hence why I said it wasn't available 'system wide'.

Considering Windows 8 *is* Metro... Anyways, why do you think Microsoft has little interest in continuing on the desktop now? Features like spell check prove they want to start new.

Yes, I've used that API. It is for querying spelling suggestions for a given text buffer for a specified language.

It has nothing to do with automatically adding spell check system wide to traditional text controls as the comment "Yes, in fact the whole OS has check spelling" implies.

virtorio said,
Yes, I've used that API. It is for querying spelling suggestions for a given text buffer for a specified language.

It has nothing to do with automatically adding spell check system wide to traditional text controls as the comment "Yes, in fact the whole OS has check spelling" implies.


Oh yeah, now turns out that you used this API but didn't know the spell checking feature of W8. Its like saying that I know how to drive, but I've never seen a single car in my whole live... please stop embarrassing yourself :\

68k said,
I just tested it myself, and indeed it does. Although, I'm sure I was on another website the other day and spell check didn't seem to work.
It's possible to disable spell check on some elements using an HTML attribute, so perhaps the web developer did that for some reason.

hmm don't know give me five and I'll check it out.....

Hmmm apparently google block access to the store from opera

but no biggie just use the user agent switcher from operas extensions page and change the UA to google chrome on windows and BANG it's as easy as that
Any app or extension you were wanting to run in particular

Edited by Athlonite, Mar 4 2014, 2:40am :

I've been using IE 10 and later on IE 11 Modern version for the last year and a half and I love it
In combination with a touch screen it's just great!

I'm on W7 and after updating from IE9 to IE10 to now IE11, I STILL can't tell any difference. Browser works just fine, though (edit: just had a weird crash while searching for Queen Elizabeth...).

So which will die first, IE8 or Queen Elizabeth ...?

Well, at least IE10/11 on windows 8/8.1 have a proper password manager, through credential manager. No such luck on windows 7.

You might not be able to, but web developers sure can! Unfortunately they still need to code for the lower versions too of course, although hopefully most no longer have that albatross called IE6 hanging around their necks.

eddman said,
Well, at least IE10/11 on windows 8/8.1 have a proper password manager, through credential manager. No such luck on windows 7.
I use a third party app so never tried it, but what's wrong with the Credential Manager in Win7?

Interesting. That page definitely needs to be edited then. It does matter what MS says, and they have a responsibility to keep their documentation accurate.

The Credential Manager does work for websites in Windows 7, however, it's not for forms authentication, rather, it's for websites that display the Windows credential dialog. For forms authentication, IE has allowed you to save credentials for ages, but it didn't provide an easy way to manage these.

An example of where you may use the Credential Manager in Windows 7 to manage your web credentials would be websites, such as SharePoint, that use Kerberos authentication to log in the user. If transparent authentication doesn't work and the user has to be prompted, IE would display the Windows credentials dialog, and it's this dialog's credentials that are stored in the Credential Manager when you select to remember the credentials.

What's changed in Windows 8 is that the Credential Manager now takes over the management role that IE used to do transparently for stored credentials for forms authentication, and makes it obvious and easy to manage.

IE8 owes its market share mostly to XP users so its numbers are likely to decrease as they upgrade, while IE11 has Win7 and 8 users to thank. Quick uptake too because of the automatic update, which was a good decision they copied from others.

Hate to break it to you but XP marketshare is slightly growing. Many who buy new pcs with Windows 8 dust off the old XP discs and install it according to the statistics.

Hate to break it to you but those numbers are hardly trustworthy, and while many may be downgrading Win8 to 7 no statistic proves that they're installing XP instead. I doubt new Win8 machines even have XP drivers available.

Also XP users will upgrade eventually, perhaps to Win7 if not 8+, so IE8 numbers will decrease for sure with time exactly like I said.

sinetheo said,
Hate to break it to you but XP marketshare is slightly growing. Many who buy new pcs with Windows 8 dust off the old XP discs and install it according to the statistics.

XP marketshare isn't growing. That was a statistically insignificant increase, well within the margin of error.

All of these statistics are a poor indicator as they are derived from web browser usage of certain sites.

By all means interpret them but take them with a huge grain of salt.

Good.. I have no problem with it, so long as they continue on the right path. IE11 is my favorite browser on Desktop and Tablet

Hope to see more improvements when Windows 8.1 Update x hits

On a typical HDD , IE 11 is the fastest and most secure browser out there.
Chrome on HDD is a hog, slow to start and mostly unstable.
Firefox is better but not there .

Decebalvs Rex said,
Chrome on HDD is a hog, slow to start and mostly unstable.

Chrome is lightening quick on all my systems and is rock solid. You are using it wrong.

Decebalvs Rex said,
On a typical HDD , IE 11 is the fastest and most secure browser out there.
Chrome on HDD is a hog, slow to start and mostly unstable.
Firefox is better but not there .
Completely agree. I used to use Chrome a lot for web development but had to stop a few months ago when it suddenly became completely unusable due to stability (on more than one machine). They've clearly broken something and no sign of it being fixed yet.
I really like IE11 for web development but unfortunately on some sites the dev tools actually change the CSS and break the layout. A bug that was in the early releases, was fixed in one of the later builds and then rebroken before they released. I reported it to MS and provided them with a demo site that they looked at but no sign of a fix yet :-(.
I have to switch to Firefox on some sites purely because of this bug.

Steve121178 said,

Chrome is lightening quick on all my systems and is rock solid. You are using it wrong.


I think it depends on environment, since google lost focus on chrome for desktop. for example for me It works perfectly fast on my work machine but on my windows tablet chrome is really slow compared to IE (maybe due to to touch optimization)