Internet Explorer market share dips

February 3, 2009 // 1:14 p.m.

Tags: #browser #chrome #firefox #ie #ie7 #ie8 #internet-explorer #market-share #opera #safari #web-browser

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.

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