Internet Explorer Loses Market Share to Chrome, Safari
Microsoft’s share of the global browser market fell 0.92 percent in September in comparison with the prior month. What’s more, Internet Explorer’s market share has declined 7.5 percentage points since the same time last year, according to the latest data from Net Applications.
On the other hand, 22.1 percent of all Windows 7 machines accessing the Internet worldwide were running Microsoft’s latestIE9 browser at the end of September, the web metrics firm said Saturday. The other top browsers running on Windows 7 machines were IE8 (31.6 percent), Firefox 6 (13.7 percent), Chrome 13 (13.1 percent) and Chrome 14 (5.9 percent).
Microsoft specifically designed IE9 to take advantage of the advanced graphics capabilities of the latest desktop PCs, laptops, netbooks and media tablets running Windows 7. As a result, IE9 on Windows 7 machines accounted for a 31 percent market share of the browser market in the United States last month.
“Microsoft has been pushing IE9 and Windows 7 as the best browsing experience on Windows 7 because of IE9’s use of hardware acceleration and its integration with the Windows 7 user interface,” said Net Applications, which is based in Aliso Viejo, Calif.
Leveraging Windows 7 Machines
Given that most people never change the browser that ships with their new machines, IE9’s market share will inevitably continue to rise as more people upgrade to new hardware. According to Net Applications, machines running Windows 7 accounted for 30.4 percent of all browser users worldwide at the end of September.
However, IE9’s emphasis on advanced hardware characteristics made it impossible for Microsoft to offer IE9 support on older machines running Windows XP, which was introduced in August 2001. Microsoft reports that IE6 still held a 9 percent share of the global browser market in September.
In China, for example, IE6 held a 28.7 percent market share and also continues to post significant numbers in South Korea (11.9 percent), Japan (7.1 percent), India (7.1 percent) and Taiwan (6.6 percent). Asia as a whole currently accounts for more than 42 percent of the world’s Internet usage, according to Internet World Stats.
Elsewhere in the world, however, IE6 is tottering on the edge of extinction. In the United States last month, for example, IE6 held a mere 1.4 percent share of the browser market and also posted similar low share numbers throughout Europe, Africa and South America.
Chrome Uptake Climbs
Mozilla notified its browser developer community last April that Firefox would be moving to a shorter development cycle with respect to future releases. Under the new system, Mozilla can in theory issue a Firefox browser refresh at six-week intervals from now on. Nevertheless, Firefox’s 22.5 percent share of the global market at the end of September was slightly down from where the browser stood in April.
The shorter development cycles are great for individual users, but corporations take a while to accept and implement a new browser throughout their workforce, said Net Applications Executive Vice President Vincent Vizzaccaro.
“This factor alone can put a ceiling on what non-IE browsers can hope to achieve in terms of usage market share,” Vizzaccaro said. “Mozilla may be backing off of a rapid development cycle and [I] would guess that the reason [would be] to bring corporations back into their mix of users.”
By contrast, Chrome’s share of the global browser market leaped from 12.5 percent in April to 16.2 percent in September. Apple’s Safari browser uptake also rose in September as is generally the case at the start of the annual back-to-school shopping season.
“This year, Mac share rose 0.42 percent to reach 6.45 percent of worldwide desktop usage and 13.7 percent in the United States,” Net Applications said.
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