Browser Market Watch: Chrome Share Rises, IE Falls

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft's jubilation over the fact that Windows 7 has surpassed Vista to become the second-most used OS on the planet could be tarnished by the dreadful news concerning their browser, Internet Explorer (IE). According to the most recent figures, IE has officially fallen below 60 per cent market share for the first time in its existence.

In 2003, Microsoft sat atop the browser market with a whopping 95 per cent market share. The remaining five per cent was impacted by users of other operating system platforms (since Internet Explorer is a Windows-only browser). Seven years later, more than 35 per cent of once-IE users have been divided amongst a host of rival browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.

Google Takes More Browser Share

While still at a distant third, Google continues to take a bigger and bigger slice of the proverbial 'market share pie' each time new figures are released. In actuality, Google only controls about one-tenth of the market that Microsoft still enjoys (6.73 percent in total). But if you consider the rate of growth in a one year period, Chrome has managed to quadruple its market share. (Source:

It is because of this that Microsoft cannot afford to relax in their efforts to please the Internet Explorer faithful. After all, while Chrome continues to increase their market share, Internet Explorer is on a downward spiral.

Worse yet, Microsoft has no real answer to combat the exodus away from their once powerful browser. This will undoubtedly mean a loss of browser influence as well. At a 95 per cent share in 2003, there were very few options available for emergent developers (other than to comply with Microsoft's imposed regulations). (Source:

Internet Explorer 9 in Development

Microsoft does have an opportunity to get back some of their lost market share with their upcoming browser Internet Explorer 9. Still in its developmental stages, Microsoft has a slew of new features for IE9, including HTML5 and a new, faster JavaScript engine. Both, they hope, will make surfing in IE a better experience than can be found with their rivals' browsers.

Still, if this downward trend continues, Microsoft will soon be regarded as just another browser instead of the 'browser of choice' amongst Internet users.

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