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Internet Explorer market share dips

Internet Explorer market share dips

Internet Explorer's market share has dropped a full seven percent over the last year - meaning a win for rivals including Safari, Firefox, and Chrome.

Microsoft has taken another hammering in the world of the web browser with the news that not only does it have the slowest JavaScript implementation around, but its market share is steadily being eroded.

As reported over on CNet yesterday, a study by Net Applications has shown that Internet Explorer – in its many varied versions – has had a drop in market share of seven percent compared to this time last year. While the browser still maintains a majority share at 67.55 percent, it's clear that unless something changes it's a lead that could slip away from Microsoft very easily.

Apple's Safari has enjoyed a jump in market share to a not-inconsiderable 8.29 percent – possibly aided by the enduring popularity of the iPhone and iPod Touch platforms, both of which use Safari as the native browser. Google's new Chrome browser has managed to secure an impressive 1.12 percent, and has even beaten old-timer Opera which has to make do with a paltry 0.7 percent of the marketplace.

Mozilla Firefox remains the most popular browser after Internet Explorer, with 21.53 percent market share – up from 20.78 three months ago, but not growing as fast as some rivals, including Apple's Safari.

Some of Microsoft's browser woes can be attributed to users upgrading from Internet Explorer 6 – which fell from 30.63 percent last year to just 19.21 percent this year – to alternative browsers, rather than choosing to update to the latest release. The users are clearly going somewhere: despite a drop of more than 11 percent in IE 6 users, IE 7 has gained just over three percent additional market share. Clearly, those users are going somewhere.

With Internet Explorer 8 Release Candidate 1 now available for download, Microsoft will be hoping that its design choices – many of which, if we're honest, can be traced back to existing alternative web browsers – can tempt people back to the fold.

Which is your web browser of choice? Is Internet Explorer good enough for you, or would you never give up your beloved Firefox? Perhaps you think Chrome is the bee's knees, or that Opera is an under loved masterpiece? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

37 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
proxess 3rd February 2009, 13:27 Quote
I'm waiting for Chrome to come out for Linux to substitute Firefox on my eee because its more snappy. Other than that Firefox is all around me.
Grinch123456 3rd February 2009, 13:33 Quote
What I don't understand is why people would use Safari when every other browser available on the market, IE included, is better. Boggles the mind.
Lazarus Dark 3rd February 2009, 13:34 Quote
I use firefox mostly at home and work. The only time I ever use IE is when interfacing with another companies online system that only works with IE (I call that bad programming personally). On occasion, I use Opera, I'm surprised it never caught on more, it's actually really nice if you want something intuitive that works as is and actually looks really nice too. I guess the problem is that Opera doesn't have nearly as much community support as far as extensions and such like firefox does. I've never tried safari. Never felt the need to. I know a couple people at work who have switched to chrome, but they say there are more incompatible sites (keep in mind we interface with a lot of weird networking software on our client's servers--Citrix is the bain of my existence), so they have to keep switching back and forth with FF or IE.
Lepermessiah 3rd February 2009, 13:37 Quote
There is a large group of anti-MS people that scream use anything but IE, but in reality IE is fine as well, i personally have used all of them and really see no difference.
Tyrmot 3rd February 2009, 13:40 Quote
I use opera at home and FF at work and overall I prefer Opera, I can't understand why it has so little market share really, except for just poor exposure I guess.

Lazarus - get the IE tab extension that lets you render in IE within FF, that way you never have to open IE again!
naokaji 3rd February 2009, 13:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinch123456
What I don't understand is why people would use Safari when every other browser available on the market, IE included, is better. Boggles the mind.

I suspect the answer is simple, Apple Fanboys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazarus Dark
On occasion, I use Opera, I'm surprised it never caught on more, it's actually really nice if you want something intuitive that works as is and actually looks really nice too.

Opera has a problem, there are plenty of websites that are coded poorly, since opera sticks to standards very strictly it runs into trouble on poorly coded sites where IE simply ignores potential trouble and just tries to make something out of the code anyway.

I am forced to use IE at work, at home I am using FF.
rembo666 3rd February 2009, 14:03 Quote
I tried using all 3 browsers. By all 3 I mean Firefox, IE 8, and Chrome. I actually switched to IE 8 for a while because of the convenience features. What brought me back to Firefox were performance and more substantial customization options. However, I would be sold on IE 8 if not for some performance issues. Chrome is fast, but it's lacking in features and no plug-ins.

As for others:

I'm sure Safari is a good browser, but I don't use fruity computers or software (yeah, call me a hater, but I like to build my computers).

Opera is actually a very nice browser, but Firefox doesn't lose much if anything, but it has much better support.

I think in the end Firefox is still the best: it has good performance and phenomenal support and expandability. IE could catch up, but it doesn't look like they made performance a priority for IE 8, so they lost my vote (and I really tried to give them a chance).
Tyrmot 3rd February 2009, 14:04 Quote
It seems that maybe people are coding better as that problem doesn't seem to occur as much as it used to.

If you are using Opera, the following site is invaluable: http://www.fanboy.co.nz/adblock/opera/ as it basically acts as AdBlocker for FF
Kúsař 3rd February 2009, 14:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by naokaji
Opera has a problem, there are plenty of websites that are coded poorly, since opera sticks to standards very strictly it runs into trouble on poorly coded sites where IE simply ignores potential trouble and just tries to make something out of the code anyway.

I am forced to use IE at work, at home I am using FF.

It's not a problem of Opera. MS wanted to take over the internet and so they created & enforced their own standards. Thank god MS failed! I know at least about two webmasters who don't like MS because they had to write separate non-standard version of website for retarded IE. But it seems that some WMs chose to write website only for IE.
Mentai 3rd February 2009, 14:12 Quote
I'm not one for extensions so the switch to chrome was easy for me. There is one site I visit occasionally which is incompatible, but I still prefer chrome.

I wonder if IE's market share would increase much if they allowed pirated versions of windows to receive the security updates etc. I never owned a legitimate version of XP, that's why I changed to firefox when it came out, and I didn't even like tabbed browsing at first.
Grasshopper 3rd February 2009, 14:23 Quote
I switch to Chrome to test it and never looked back (used Maxton 2 at that point). It still need many things but Google is hard at work and stuffing new features with every new version. I've used FF for some time but it feels sluggish and the navigation way to unintuitive for me.
will. 3rd February 2009, 14:28 Quote
Has anyone actually used ie8?
It's a ****ing nightmare. It breaks all our sites which work absolutely fine on firefox, chrome, safari, opera and even ie7 and ie6... It's completely useless. So what if it can render sites using ie7 and ie6.. If it's own rendering method is completely broken what's the point!

If that whole damn team get laid off because of this recession, web designers around the world will rejoice. The whole bunch of them are idiots.
Er-El 3rd February 2009, 14:32 Quote
I'm a long time Firefox user, but after trying IE8 RC1 I think I'll be switching back to Windows Internet Explorer. I really can't see anything in Firefox compared to IE now that warrants going through the extra trouble of installing another browser every time I install Windows. I also like the way some of the features are better implemented in IE, such as RSS; I think the web slices feature is awesome, and there really isn't any notable difference in performance.

Anywho, I hope Bit-Tech do a review on IE8 when it's released and do a fair (I hope) benchmark on difference performance tests.
DXR_13KE 3rd February 2009, 15:15 Quote
i use a mix between firefox and chrome, firefox for power browsing were i have 30+ tabs open and need tons of options and chrome for fast action browsing, to check up on news and the bus time tables.
Yemerich 3rd February 2009, 15:35 Quote
I have chrome, ie7 and FF. There are some sites that doesn't render well in FF. But for webdeveloper, there's no browser like FF. Not EVEN CLOSE! Although I prefer FF most of the time, I have to use IE as my primary browse becase of those rather rare FF rendering issues. I keep Chrome as a referal when developing websites. Safari with that Mac look is just too distastefull for me, even being a good browser for javascript. Call me a naysayer.
will. 3rd February 2009, 15:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yemerich
I have to use IE as my primary browse becase of those rather rare FF rendering issues.

As opposed to the IE which has no rendering issues?
reflux 3rd February 2009, 16:20 Quote
Opera is an under loved masterpiece indeed. Best browser out there, tiny market share. What gives?
War-Rasta 3rd February 2009, 16:32 Quote
I've tried FF, IE and Chrome and I don't think I'll be leaving FF any time soon. Chrome is heading in the right direction, but it's still lacking way too many features. FF has me hooked on plugins as I can get my browser to behave exactly the way I want it to. It'll be a while before Chrome has that amount of plugins available and by then FF will probably have some other features I'll be interested in, if not then I'm likely to switch to chrome.

At work I use FF also, but I need to deal with plenty of internal sites which are not FF at all so I use IEtab for them, other than that I don't use IE at all.
Psytek 3rd February 2009, 17:14 Quote
I use firefox mainly, I always test first in FF, I'm currently trying chrome out for casual browsing on my Gaming PC, but without the plugins that firefox has, it cant really compete.

I also use the webkit nightly for testing, instead of safari, which is an awful browser which crashes all the time (and I'm a mac user/apple fanboy)
lewchenko 3rd February 2009, 17:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinch123456
What I don't understand is why people would use Safari when every other browser available on the market, IE included, is better. Boggles the mind.

Ever tried using IE on a Mac ? No.. thought not. So it doesnt really boggle the mind does it..

The safari % increase is also inline with apple's growing market share as well. I personally use firefox on both my mac and my pc.
Cupboard 3rd February 2009, 17:46 Quote
Firefox most of the time, Chrome on my old laptop for all the reasons above.
Opera on my phone, because it is good. In a different league to Pocket IE, which is appallingly appalling and significantly better than Skyfire too, which I didn't really get on with.
Tabbed browsing on my phone :)
lp1988 3rd February 2009, 18:01 Quote
Firefox at home and IE at work, don't really like the design of Safari.

is it just me or is IE looking more and more like a FF rip off..
yodasarmpit 3rd February 2009, 18:27 Quote
IE and FF at work, FF at home and Opera on my phone.
Perforated 3rd February 2009, 18:38 Quote
Yeah, the MS approach seems to be "if it ain't broke - quick! Make a note of what they're doing differently!"

The whole "compatibility mode" thing really turns me off. It sounds like they couldn't just make it work, so now you've gotta choose how it renders...? Since when was it cool to have to press a button for something to render? And the whitelist - wtf?

So not only does it lack Opera's compliance, Fx's extensibility and Chrome's speed, they found a new overcomplication for the hell of it! Genius!

I've been Fx since v0.8. Currently have 3.0 installed, with three profiles - general use, web design and, uhh, stuff I don't want the missus stumbling accross. The only thing Fx lacks is the "anonymous surfing" mode, but hey, I'm a heavy user so I'd have the extra profile anyway ;)
The plug-ins make it invaluable, especially for web design - test editting CSS on-the-fly is such a boon, ditto instant window resizing.

Opera Mobile on my phone, because I've seen nothing better.

I have IE7 and Opera for just-before-live testing, but that's about it... I'd try Chrome, but it just doesn't have anything that vital yet.
Lepermessiah 3rd February 2009, 18:40 Quote
Their browsers, they all work as intended, never understood all the fuss over what browser to use, they are browsers for peats sake.
Nicb 3rd February 2009, 19:50 Quote
I guess the debates will continue as long as people don't understand what the difference is behind the scenes of the browsers. No browser is perfect but Firefox is so customizable from personal to security I cant see the competition.

But for some its all about just viewing the web. They all will get you there.
zelachang 3rd February 2009, 20:33 Quote
Honestly, I don't see what's so great about plugins. The only one I ever used in FF was Adblock, the rest seemed to just slow things down without really adding anything. Chrome + Privoxy feels about twice as fast as FF and I like how each tab is its own process. On the downside, a couple sites don't work too well with chrome but that's the only time I'll turn to IE or FF.
n3mo 3rd February 2009, 21:54 Quote
Firefox is used for browsing the Internet from your computer, IE also works the other way around :)
1ad7 3rd February 2009, 22:46 Quote
My biggest thing about firefox is I seem to run into less spyware and pop ups with it. Security is what made me switch and now I just love it :) but as it gets more popular I think in a few years I might have to switch to something less popular atleast for banking etc...
will. 3rd February 2009, 23:25 Quote
In my opinion:

Firefox is great for anyone making websites, or someone who really wants to customise their experience.
Chrome is great for netbooks because it's so lightweight. Also good for mums and dads as it will keep them safe but is so simple to use they would have to try hard to get confused.
Opera is good for people who like firefox but don't really need the plugins. It confuses mums and dads because it changes the appearance of scroll bars and other elements plus it's generally cluttered appearance so they get confused.
IE is good for nothing unless you don't care and are happy with pre installed.
Safari is actually quite good, but in the same camp as IE, but on a mac. It does make websites look very pretty though.

Firefox has a few rendering errors, but usually only with badly thought out code, so it is forgiven and unnoticeable if you use properly built sites.
Chrome is a little buggy at rendering and has some issues with PNG's, but for a first attempt it's very good. Also, super fast at javascipt.
Opera has quite a few rendering issues, worse than chrome. Quick though.
IE still doesn't handle png's properly. Renders stuff badly and is horribly slow starting up and closing down!
Safari is quite slow to get going, but is very quick otherwise. It renders stuff at about the same standard as firefox. It's just very clunky to use though.
Nikumba 3rd February 2009, 23:41 Quote
Using IE8 at home in Win7 and its fine, only had one or two sites that have problems, but nothing major. I use IE7 in work for the most part, the rest of the company is on IE6, due to how our intranet is designed.

I have firefox on both home and work machines, the one in work I have setup with our work proxy so I can check sites etc.
NeedlesKane 4th February 2009, 03:30 Quote
oh god safari can be naff sometimes, especially when thats all there is for the iphone, ive been using opera for a few years now and would rather use ie than firefox. opera is fantastic, quick, secure, and the mouse gestures i couldnt live without. chromeim also a fan of, seems so lightweight
Von Lazuli 4th February 2009, 05:12 Quote
I'm using IE7, running the custom add on pack IE7Pro, V2.4 Beta. Works nicely, is faster than traditional IE and has great little additions, such as blocking all Flash windows unless prompted, inbuilt proxy access, mouse gestures, all fun things.

I went on a search for a new browser about a month ago and just didn't feel happy with anything I came across. Best I found was Maxthon, but that was buggy and randomly opened new tabs, much to my annoyance. Chrome is ok, but I can't tweak it to my liking, and it misses some of the Ad blocking I look for in a browser. Mozilla is ok, but in the end I went for old familiar. IE7 with IE7Pro...

Laz
asphinx 4th February 2009, 06:46 Quote
At work I try to use FF wherever possible, I am still forced to switch to IE7 sometimes though. At home I primarily use FF as well, but when I start to test/debug web sites, that when the fun starts. I have zero tolerance for web developers who insist on developing for a single browser. It's one thing to make a conscious choice NOT to support a certain browser due to non-compliance of web standards or what have you, but when a lot of developers out there don't seem to have the patience, care and/or knowledge to make their site multi-browser compatible I just get pissed off. Yes Microsoft.com I'm looking at you.

Besides, it's just awesomely hilarious to debug a web page in Netscape 4.8.
Spaceraver 4th February 2009, 07:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinch123456
What I don't understand is why people would use Safari when every other browser available on the market, IE included, is better. Boggles the mind.

Consider the amount of people who owns an iphone or ipod, and factor the updates to itunes. how many of those do you think just clicks yes to the updater and get safari and the whole installed?

Or quicktime for that matter.

That's easily 60% of the installed userbase. Maybe more.
Xir 4th February 2009, 08:01 Quote
I use FF1 and IE6 on one box, and FF3 and IE7 and Chrome on the other.

I really don't use any of the new features, use FF as my standart and only if a website doesn't run properly start IE.

None of the above really sync or export their bookmarks properly... :(
I know there are workarounds...copying pasting and reformatting bookmark files but it's really just too much of a hassle.
Export in a general readable format would be best.
Bluefan 4th February 2009, 10:05 Quote
FF3 everywhere. Opera is good, but not my first choice, and konqueror as third. I'm curious what chrome on linux would be like.
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