IE's market share is tanking

In Friday's IT Blogwatch, Richi Jennings watches Internet Explorer continue to lose market share -- mainly to Firefox and Safari. Not to mention why you shouldn't shout at your disk arrays...

Gregg Keizer reports:

IE logo
Internet Explorer's market share plunged by a record-setting amount during December, Web metrics vendor Net Applications Inc. said [Thursday].

Microsoft Corp.'s browser lost 1.6 percentage points of its market share last month, ending December with a 68.2% share, down from November's 69.8%. Since the end of October, IE has lost 3.1 percentage points, nearly half of its total 2008 losses. IE ended the year down 7.9 percentage points, a 10.4% decline in its share since December 2007.

Not surprisingly, the bulk of IE's December loss came from IE6's declining popularity.

Peter Scott adds:

Apple is seated third, and its Safari browser has a market share of 7.13 percent. Google's Chrome is a bit of a disappointment. While the adoption rate was quite rapid following its introduction, it seems most users just had a fling with Google, and its market share is currently just 0.83 percent. Opera currently has a market share of 0.71 percent.

Firefox is believed to have a much higher share among home users than corporate ones.

Michael Santo talks platforms:

If instead you drill down into platform usage, you see that in December 2007 Windows still held over 90% of the market (remember, this is based on browser usage per OS) while MacOS was holding 7.31%. By December 2008, MacOS had risen 31.7% to 9.63%, while Windows had dropped to 88.68%.

If, however, you add in the iPhone market share, .44% in December of 2008, up 267% from .12% in December of 2007, Apple had over 10% of browser market share on a platform basis.

Net Applications’ monthly surveys are conducted by sampling browser data from some 160 million visits to Web sites operated by the firm’s clients. It's an atypical way of measuring market share, but it is a consistent form of measurement, at least.

Mozilla's Asa Dotzler sounds happy enough:

the entire year has been bad, just awful, really really bad for Internet Explorer. IE has dropped just about 8 points since this time last year. That's twice the amount it lost the year before ... Firefox is unquestionably the biggest winner in 2008, gaining approximately twice as much as its closest competitor and taking more share from Microsoft than all other browsers combined ... That's not quite as good as our November growth, but still a solid month.


Chrome ... may get some press attention for being above 1%, but it's worth keeping in context that it was only about 1/3rd of the growth that Firefox had in the same month, so not really too exciting ... not as good as what they were hoping for, I'm sure.


Safari had its best month of the year in December, growing just over 3/4ths of a point to 7.93% share ... As with previous months, that's all on Mac. Safari for Windows is basically dead in the water ... what you're seeing here is ... the advantage of being bundled with the OS.

Victor Godinez anthropomorphizes:

And Google certainly isn't reluctant to kick Microsoft while it's down, as it now automatically recommends that Gmail users running IE6 switch to Firefox or Google's own Chrome browser (apparently Google is hoping that those users don't realize that IE7 exists or that IE8 is on the way).

I'm sure the Microsoft dudes are starting to get a bit frantic about the slippage in IE's market share, and I fully expect IE8 to get nearly as glamorous a launch as Windows 7 in order to try to win back some of those Firefox and Chrome converts.

But MarkusQ has déjà vu:

It's been renamed several times, somewhat refactored, had a few parts replaced and a lot more added, but [the Firefox] code base was once the most popular browser on the planet.

Todd Bandrowsky weeps for IE:

IE 4 was hands down better than other browsers. It mainstreamed a fully programmable DOM, where Netscape Navigator had what, document.write, and a bunch of junk about layers.

And, while we lament the death of Netscape, you do have to remember that while free IE may have killed Netscape on the client side, I'd be willing to bet that Apache utterly crushed Netscape on the server side. Does anyone remember Netscape web servers?

And 93 Escort Wagon cuts to the chase:

IE 8 is going to be the real determining factor as to whether Microsoft really "gets it" or not. Prior to IE 7's release we heard a lot of hype regarding how its development was being driven by Microsoft's new commitment to standards; only to be disappointed at all the things it still didn't do. Now they seem to be saying "this time it's for real" - we'll see.

I am hoping it's true, because I'm tired of basically doubling my coding time just to work around IE's current shortcomings.

And finally...

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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 23 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him on Twitter, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email:

Previously in IT Blogwatch:

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