Internet Explorer web browser use drops below 60%

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Microsoft's share of web browser use has dropped to an historic low below 60% for the first time since Internet Explorer 4 passed the beleaguered Netscape back in 1999.



According to statistics published by Net Applications, Internet Explorer dipped down to a 59.95% share of its observed traffic, falling from around 80% share in less than two and half years.



Of the 20 lost percentage points, nearly nine were earned by Firefox, which now has nearly 25% share. Another nine were taken by WebKit browsers: two and a half were eaten up by Apple's Safari (to reach 4.72% share), while Google's Chrome expanded to take 6.7% (from zero prior to 2009). Opera gained nearly a percentage point in the same period (to reach 2.3%).



Statistics published by StatCounter were even less flattering for Microsoft's Internet Explorer, which was ranked at a 56.57% share, with Firefox closing in with 31.29%, followed by 5.35% for Chrome, 3.63% for Safari and 2.25% for Opera.



Browser engines



Firefox's Gecko, Opera's Presto, and Safari/Chrome's WebKit engines are all powering the shift away from Internet Explorer and its Trident rendering system, which does not support the latest web standards nor push the envelope in JavaScript rendering speeds as Safari, Chrome, and Firefox have. The next release of Internet Explorer promises to add support for key features of HTML5, and hopes to slow the defection of its user base.



None of the web browser clients are commercial products, so the vendors involved all have alternative motivations for developing them. Microsoft created Internet Explorer to prevent Netscape from offering an open alternative to Windows in developing cross platform apps.



Once Netscape was crushed out of the market, its developers decided to form Mozilla, an open source project intended to continue its development in order to provide an alternative browser not controlled by Microsoft. Mozilla's Firefox rapidly outpaced the development of Internet Explorer, which Microsoft had slowed to a crawl once reaching a monopoly position in browsers around 2000.







In 2002, Apple created a fork of KHTML to deliver WebCore, a fast, clean alternative to Netscape's legacy of Firefox. WebCore served as the foundation for the new Safari browser Apple released in 2003, and was made available as open source. This served both the goal of Apple having its own top tier Mac browser (rather than relying upon Microsoft or an independent open source project to deliver one) as well as the introduction of a high quality, free rendering engine that could help promote the use of open web standards.



In 2005, Apple subsequently announced it would be releasing its entire WebKit browser engine as open source, in addition to the WebCore rendering foundation derived from KHTML. Nokia immediately released a WebKit browser for its S60 smartphone platform. In 2007, Apple released a version of Safari for Windows and a mobile version for iPhone and iPod touch.



In 2008, Google released its Chrome browser using WebKit. Google's Android, Palm's Pre and RIM's upcoming BlackBerry OS 6 all feature WebKit browsers, making Apple's browser strategy wildly effective in promoting open web standards among mobile devices, using open source.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 67
    paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,380member
    Wow, congratulations Firefox!



    I'm glad competition has come back into the browser market. I'm currently enjoying using Chrome, but think it's neat someone else will probably come up with something better soon.
  • Reply 2 of 67
    str1f3str1f3 Posts: 573member
    The next decade should be very interesting. Considering the iPad has such a head start in the marketplace and since it could conceivably become a full blown computer, one could see Safari/ mobile Safari becoming the dominant browser. It would also in turn get the EU or FTC on Apple to allow other browsers and potentially force open the iPhone OS.



    The one thing that is abundantly clear is that the MS monopoly is coming to an end. The future is Apple vs Google vs Facebook.
  • Reply 3 of 67
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by str1f3 View Post


    The next decade should be very interesting. Considering the iPad has such a head start in the marketplace and since it could conceivably become a full blown computer, one could see Safari/ mobile Safari becoming the dominant browser. It would also in turn get the EU or FTC on Apple to allow other browsers and potentially force open the iPhone OS.



    The one thing that is abundantly clear is that the MS monopoly is coming to an end. The future is Apple vs Google vs Facebook.



    it's a pity that the evil that's represented by ie will only be replaced with an even bigger evil which is chrome



    those weasels on steroids will be hard to kill
  • Reply 4 of 67
    29922992 Posts: 202member
    go firefox go!
  • Reply 5 of 67
    gmcalpingmcalpin Posts: 266member
    So if my website (with several thousand visitors a day) shows 60% Firefox users and only 15% Internet Explorer users? does that mean people who read my webcomic are intelligent? Or just that I hate Internet Explorer so much that the site looks like shit in IE and people who use it never come back?



    hm
  • Reply 6 of 67
    dayrobotdayrobot Posts: 133member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by doyourownthing View Post


    it's a pity that the evil that's represented by ie will only be replaced with an even bigger evil which is chrome



    those weasels on steroids will be hard to kill



    Chrome is pretty similar to what Safari is... they come from the same codebase



    Usability-wise, Safari is better. Chrome is a bit buggy in that regard. Can't even bookmark links by right (option) clicking on them... Can't delete individual history items without typing in the address in the address bar, then pressing Shift + Delete while pointing at that option with the mouse. Can't move text around a text box by selecting it and dragging to a new spot (glaring bug!)... It's definitely half-baked. But rendering bugs, which are few, are the same in both.



    WebKit on desktop is pretty unified. Webkit on mobile though, is riddled with different issues and dissimilarities...







    Dan



    P.S. Good to see that people are finally getting a taste of the decent browsers!
  • Reply 7 of 67
    macinthe408macinthe408 Posts: 1,050member
    This entire article could've been condensed by making the headline read, "Internet Explorer web browser use drops below 60% because Internet Explorer sucks."
  • Reply 8 of 67
    Plan to buy my mom an iPad this summer, get her off her old Windows/IE computer... so that will be one less person using IE.



    I prefer Firefox and sometimes Safari (on Windows), good news for all the non-IE browsers.
  • Reply 9 of 67
    dayrobotdayrobot Posts: 133member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mesomorphicman View Post


    Plan to buy my mom an iPad this summer, get her off her old Windows/IE computer... so that will be one less person using IE.



    I prefer Firefox and sometimes Safari (on Windows), good news for all the non-IE browsers.



    Same here... I like Firefox, but it's a tad slow at times...



    I use Chrome instead of Safari, but only, only because Safari blurs text to the point of it being unreadable



    I wish they'd give people a way to disable that in favor of ClearType....







    Dan
  • Reply 10 of 67
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    It's nice to see IE not the only focus for web developers and as result seeing MS pushing HTML5 and other web standards for IE9. Also, IE6 is no longer the most commonly used IE browser version. In fact, IE8 is pretty close to equaling IE6 and IE7 from Ars.



    While it looks like Firefox as a significant lead over WebKit-based browsers, that is only on the desktop. Id like to see the percentages for all devices with browsers. WebKit has a significant advantage here and despite some of the pejorative comments toward Chrome it's been good for WebKit market-share and support on the whole.
  • Reply 11 of 67
    gchristegchriste Posts: 43member
    I'm torn between loving and loathing Chrome



    On the one hand I love it for its implicity and speed. It just works and works fast. On the otherhand it is made by a company I am growing to dislike.



    But, any choice other than IE is great!
  • Reply 12 of 67
    justbobfjustbobf Posts: 261member
    With a totally different set of numbers from w3schools. Are either correct?



    http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp
  • Reply 13 of 67
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by justbobf View Post


    With a totally different set of numbers from w3schools. Are either correct?



    http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp



    Why can't both be correct?
  • Reply 14 of 67
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    The things that make the browser choice irrelavant are programming paradigms. At the time Microsoft was trying to kill off Netscape Java was a serious threat. Now Jave is so-so. Microsoft's .NET has won the hearts of developers so more so than Java and Java will never come close again to threatening Windows' dominance.



    Chrome OS and Google Docs may threaten MS, but Microsoft has many products coming out this year that may change the landscape once more as with Netscape. We'll see.
  • Reply 15 of 67
    bigpicsbigpics Posts: 1,346member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by str1f3 View Post


    The next decade should be very interesting. Considering the iPad has such a head start in the marketplace and since it could conceivably become a full blown computer, one could see Safari/ mobile Safari becoming the dominant browser. It would also in turn get the EU or FTC on Apple to allow other browsers and potentially force open the iPhone OS.



    The one thing that is abundantly clear is that the MS monopoly is coming to an end. The future is Apple vs Google vs Facebook.



    As for the future being a war between Google, Apple and facebook (which has announced its "platform" intentions), an interesting conjecture.



    Anyone want to suggest any other candidates for future hegemony and rank them?



    Apple's premium strategy and limited number of SKU's may ensure they remain highly profitable and influential, but I'm not ready to write off Google or others in terms of user share (as opposed to market share and profit share - all of which have different dynamics), and facebook is certainly a phenomenon.



    But then Google does seem to be expanding in too many different directions with too many partners to truly achieve excellence in all of them and with the danger of losing focus on core competencies. And facebook is hotter than hot, but then so was, uhhh, what was it called? Oh yeah, MySpace. And AOL was going to rule the world once upon a time.



    And MS is a young enough company to make a comeback once the Ballmer era ends if they bring in the right team. Finding the balance between their business market and their desire to connect with the folk is the key, but like Apple with iTunes, they have enormous consumer assets to leverage and are in 85% of computer-using homes already.



    It's hard to spot anyone else. HP has the potential on paper, but their first committment is also tied to business (like IBM a big chunk is devoted to services to corporations), and outside of printers and mostly commodity PC's they've tried, but never demonstrated real retail flair. Not a primary hardware maker. Not Sony - since the Walkman era, their proprietary tendencies have isolated them rather than created huge markets, e.g., BetaMax, Memory sticks, their own music codec (ATRAC), MiniDiscs, etc.



    Not a cellco. IBM gave up on retailing to consumers long ago. Samsung? Innovative company, vast resources, but doubtful, no? Intel has thought about the idea a few times on a few levels (hardware and OS's), but they'd have to learn a lot of new competencies in a hurry. So MS is the only addition I have to your list.



    But then in tech history, there's always some rising unknown ready to come out of left field.
  • Reply 16 of 67
    laleslales Posts: 31member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DayRobot View Post


    Same here... I like Firefox, but it's a tad slow at times...



    I use Chrome instead of Safari, but only, only because Safari blurs text to the point of it being unreadable



    Dan



    I find Firefox considerably slower than Safari on a 2009 MBP. Also, blur texxt in what what way? I did a side by side comparison of this exact page between the two browsers, and apart from multi-quote and quick reply, I saw NO difference whatsoever.



    However it does surprise me more than a little that Chrome surpassed Safari in market share so quickly. Also that more Apple users don't defer to Safari rather Firefox (whose ONLY positive in my mind is the plug-in search capabilities).



    Since I haven't experience blurry text with Safari, it seems like a no brainer.
  • Reply 17 of 67
    dayrobotdayrobot Posts: 133member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lales View Post


    I find Firefox considerably slower than Safari on a 2009 MBP. Also, blur texxt in what what way? I did a side by side comparison of this exact page between the two browsers, and apart from multi-quote and quick reply, I saw NO difference whatsoever.



    However it does surprise me more than a little that Chrome surpassed Safari in market share so quickly. Also that more Apple users don't defer to Safari rather Firefox (whose ONLY positive in my mind is the plug-in search capabilities).



    Since I haven't experience blurry text with Safari, it seems like a no brainer.



    I'm on Windows.



    Most Chrome switchers are on Windows. Because Chrome brings WebKit to Windows in a better way than Safari. Chrome uses the default Windows anti-aliasing algorithm, while Safari brings over the Apple way, which is much too blurry in comparison, even though it preserves the typographically correct text shapes.



    When using Safari on Windows, you feel like you suddenly need new glasses...esp on a 13" screen...while on a 27" Mac at its native resolution, it's perfectly readable....







    Dan
  • Reply 18 of 67
    asciiascii Posts: 5,932member
    Chrome's quick growth could be to do with the fact that it's advertised on google.com's front page (just maybe).



    I think the war is basically won now. With IE only have 60% share, companies have no choice but to make standards compliant sites. So even though MS still has the bulk of the clients, they can no longer control the markup.
  • Reply 19 of 67
    spindriftspindrift Posts: 674member
    We deal a lot with the public sector, so we still have about an 80% IE user base. It's really annoying because although we develop to current standards, we have to create IE specific content because local government and councils etc are all running IE.. and a shocking number of those are still on IE6 and IE7.
  • Reply 20 of 67
    I also on Windows (Macs too) and used to browse with Firefox (Windows only) but now just stick with Safari. Firefox to me is too bloated/heavy with the plug-ins and stuffs (slow to launch) and I've never tried Chrome on either Mac or Windows. Too much Google TBH. Safari on Windows used to be quick but I feel nowadays it's getting slower. Blurred texts only on certain web sites but most annoyingly cannot use Click2Flash! If you go to site like www.shopto.net the CPU will be up high coz of the flash video demos that is playing automatically. Text goodness for the AdBlocker it is less stressful.
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