Microsoft's browser share slide accelerates as IE9 fails to hold users

One in eight online users now runs Google's Chrome

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Data from StatCounter, an Irish competitor to Net Applications, showed the same broad trends: In its tallies, IE lost share, and Chrome and Safari gained.

Microsoft has aggressively promoted the demise of the 10-year-old IE6, complete with a special deathwatch site that displays the browser's current share.

The company again boasted today of its success in driving down IE6's number.

"We continue to see positive momentum in people upgrading to a modern browser with the share of IE6 and IE7 worldwide dropping almost another point in May," Roger Capriotti, the director of IE product marketing, said in a Wednesday blog.

As IE executives have for the last several months, Capriotti ignored the overall decline of IE and instead focused on the success of IE9 on Windows 7, the platform Microsoft has said is the only one that matters.

"For Windows 7 customers, the best browser for experiencing [the Web] ... is IE9," said Capriotti.

IE9 has made progress on Windows 7, according to Net Applications: It pegged IE9's share of all browsers running on Windows 7 in May at 12.2%, a 63% increase over the previous month. Net Applications also said that IE9 averaged an even-higher 17% share in the U.S. over the final three days of May.

But other browsers remained more popular on Windows 7, including IE8, with a 42.5% share, Chrome 11 (14.8%) and Firefox 4 (14.1%).

Net Applications calculates browser usage share with data obtained from more than 160 million unique visitors who browse 40,000 Web sites that the company monitors for clients. More browser statistics can be found on the company's site.

May 2011 browser statistics

Browser Market share
Microsoft Internet Explorer 54.27%
Firefox 21.71%
Chrome 12.52%
Safari 7.28%
Opera 2.03%
Opera Mini 1.27%
Netscape 0.74%
ACCESS NetFront 0.04%
Flock 0.04%
Mozilla 0.02%
Playstation 0.02%
Konqueror 0.01%
Obigo 0.01%
Source: Net Applications

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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