Internet Explorer 9 Arrival Looms, as IE Shares Dip

Dennis Faas's picture

Despite Microsoft's recent success of Kinect and Windows 7, the once-dominant web browser Internet Explorer (IE) has fallen on tough times. According to a recent report, Internet Explorer market share has fallen to new lows -- despite a newsworthy IE9 beta debut, which had 2 million users download Internet Explorer 9 beta in just two days.

In contrast, Google's Chrome browser is steadily advancing in popularity. January 2011 represented a record month for Chrome, which cracked the 10 per cent market share barrier for the very first time. Chrome's first public release was September 2, 2008.

Safari, Chrome Poach Internet Explorer Users

Also shooting skyward in popularity was Apple's Safari browser, whose piece of the pie now stands at 6.3 per cent, compared to 5.89 per cent in December.

The usage hike is actually more impressive than it looks; in fact, the analysts responsible for the report, Net Applications, say it's the most significant single-month usage increase they've ever recorded. Experts suggest this trend has a lot to do with recent sales hikes for Mac hardware.

Good news for Apple and Google means not-so-good news for Microsoft and Mozilla. Internet Explorer dipped to an all-time market share low in January, 56 per cent, down over one percentage point from December 2010. Over the last ten months Internet Explorer has slipped four per cent.

Mozilla Firefox Stays Static

Mozilla has neither good nor bad news to report, with Firefox continuing to hover around the 22-23 per cent mark. However, lack of growth must be a concern for a company that a few years ago seemed to own the hottest browser on the market.

"We're seeing the trend [of IE's decline] continue, but where once the growth went to Firefox, now it goes to Chrome and Safari," noted Net Applications vice president of marketing, Vince Vizzaccaro. (Source:

Internet Explorer 9 to Debut Shortly

There's hope yet for Microsoft, as Internet Explorer 9 is showing small but impressive gains. The new browser, which is currently available only in beta form, rose to a 0.50 market share last month. (Source:

The final release of Internet Explorer 9 is expected during the first half of 2011. (Source:

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