Despite Internet Explorer 9 Beta, IE Loses Ground

Dennis Faas's picture

When two million people download Microsoft's beta version of Internet Explorer 9 in only two days, many within the company started to believe the browser's declining market share was about to change. Now that the dust has settled, the results are beginning to look disappointing for the Redmond-based firm.

Internet Explorer Browser Usage Declines

Despite the fact that the Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) beta accounts for 0.25 per cent of the current global usage share during the second half of September, the overall share for Internet Explorer managed to slide by three-quarters of a percentage point.

While this might seem like a small figure, it is actually the largest decline that the company has experienced since March 2010, according to a recent data report published by Net Applications.

Internet Explorer Usage at an All-Time Low

As of October 1st, Microsoft's IE browsers accounted for 59.7 per cent of all browsers in current use around the world. This now stands as the lowest figure ever recorded for Internet Explorer and, worse yet, Microsoft has somehow managed to erase any gains that the browser managed to make this past summer.

The lost shares mostly went to Google and Apple, with the former's Chrome browser being considered a big winner. Chrome closed out September with a share of 8 per cent, up half a percentage point compared to last month's figures. Apple's Safari also increased their share by one-tenth of a point, bringing its total to 5.3 per cent. (Source:

Surprisingly, Mozilla's Firefox and Opera Software's Opera failed to make a significant impact in the market, as both companies only managed to up their totals by .03 and .02 per cent, respectively.

Internet Explorer 8 Boost Likely Internal

Seemingly, the only bit of good news Microsoft can take from the month of September is that IE8 continued to experience small gains, with the total number of IE8 browsers currently in use rising to 29.1 per cent.

However, instead of individuals jumping from a rival product to IE8, these figures are likely being boosted by individuals upgrading older IE models, therefore not having any impact on the overall Internet Explorer market share. (Source:

It's a good thing that people are still willing to take the plunge in upgrading to IE8 (as opposed to sitting back and waiting for the full version of IE9) because the new browser will have one major disadvantage over its predecessor: it will not run on Windows XP systems, which continues to be Microsoft's most popular operating system.

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