Linux and Technology blog

October 16, 2006

Browsers Market Today, IE still losing ground

Filed under: News, Software — rakeshvk @ 4:32 pm

New browser usage statistics are out for September, and they’re showing some interesting changes in browser market share. Internet Explorer, which has been the market share king for many years now, has been falling steadily since the launch of Firefox 1.0 and has now reached its lowest point in over two years at 82.10 percent. Firefox, on the other hand, has been growing steadily, reaching 12.46 percent market share. Safari holds its third place spot, but sees increasing numbers as well at 3.53 percent.

Both Firefox and Safari are seeing their highest numbers for the year, apparently at the expense of Internet Explorer. Firefox passed the 10 percent mark just under a year ago and has been enjoying continued success on Linux, Windows, and OS X. It has even become the browser of choice for many savvy users. Safari, while holding much smaller numbers than IE and Firefox, is also becoming nothing to sneeze at. A year ago, Safari had less than 2 percent of the browser market but has almost doubled its numbers since then. Netscape and Opera both carry under 1 percent of the market and Mozilla is dead last, just above “Other.”

It’s no surprise that Internet Explorer has been losing ground steadily over the past couple of years. There have been no significant innovations in the browser since XP SP2 was released over two years ago, and most of those were security tweaks. The downhill trend could change soon, though.

Data source: Market Share by Net Applications

Due later this month, Internet Explorer 7 will see a complete overhaul of the browser with a number of significant improvements in security, interface, and major bug fixes such as improved CSS compliance (the sound of a thousand web developers rejoicing can be heard in the distance). The security improvements include more user protection against phishing and malware and the inclusion of parental controls. Anticipation for IE 7 has been building ever since the beta was released this summer and could bring back a few Firefox converts if things go well when it’s released later this month.

However, that won’t happen without a fight from the Firefox camp. Firefox 2.0, which is also slated to be released later this month, comes with its own slew of improvements to search engine management, interface improvements such as an integrated spell checker, and its own version of malware and phishing protections. Firefox 2.0 will not be as significant of an update as IE 7, but is still highly anticipated nonetheless by Firefox fans. Will either of these major releases affect the numbers, and will IE be able to recover lost ground?  -arstechnica

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