Guardian.co.uk references a Net Applications' chart from January 2010 showing that IE8 now commands the largest maket share of any browser in the world. Previously, IE6 held the crown. For some time now, Microsoft, as well as many other companies (such as Google), have been trying to push people away from IE6 and upgrade to the latest available version. It seems that all the pushing, combined with strong Windows 7 sales, is paying off.
In January 2010, IE8 has captured 22.31 percent of the browser market. According to Guardian, if you count the times that IE8 is used in compatibility mode, its market share jumps another 3 percent. NetApps also shows that Windows XP's market share is declining. The world's most dominant OS has fallen from 75.02 percent in March 2009, to 66.31 percent in January 2010. As more users replace Windows XP with 7, IE 8 will gain market share as it is the default browser for most copies of the Windows 7 platform.
Here's the current browser market breakdown:
- IE8 - 22.31%
- IE6 - 20.07%
- Firefox 3.5 - 17.01%
- IE7 - 14.58%
- Firefox 3.0 - 5.29%
- Chrome - 3.92%
- Safari - 3.55%
UPDATE: The Windows Experience Blog discusses Net Applications' findings and elaborates on the substantial difference in malware protection that IE8 offers when compared to IE6. Living in times where phishing is rampant, Microsoft is adamant about users upgrading from the protection-less IE6 to a more modern web browser.
"As of today, Internet Explorer 8 has done over 350 million malware blocks.... Internet Explorer 8’s SmartScreen Filter blocks malware over 2 million times a day."
Microsoft feels that leaving IE6 behind is a crucial step in protecting your private information. It will also give users the opportunity to take advantage of the latest and greatest features that the Internet has to offer. Microsoft notes that back in 2001, when IE6 was introduced, "There was no social networking, no RSS feeds, and no real blogs. It was a different time – and people’s browsing needs were different. Today’s Internet calls for more." IE6 no longer cuts it.