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Internet Explorer Microsoft The Internet Technology

IE Market Share Falls To Historic Low 472

Posted by kdawson
from the going-going dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Predicting that Microsoft will lose market share from month to month isn't especially difficult. Yet it is amazing to see the downfall of what was once a bastion for Microsoft. It appears that Microsoft can't defend IE against Firefox and, as it seems, Google's Chrome. Net Applications now believes that IE has a share of less than 60%, which is about the range that IE had in early 1999, when IE5 was launched. IE is now officially back in the 1990s. Chrome, by the way, is the fastest growing browser, both in absolute numbers and percentages. It is well ahead of Safari and more than tripled its share within 12 months."
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IE Market Share Falls To Historic Low

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  • Most people are not complete morons. If they get burned once with IE, they'll tell their friends to use a different browser. And of course, they themselves will use a different browser. As the number of people recommending alternative browsers increases, more people will switch away from IE voluntarily...

    • by man_of_mr_e (217855) on Monday May 03, 2010 @09:41AM (#32071612)

      I'm not so sure about that. I have to wonder if the explosion of iPhone and Android based phones has not contributed significantly to this. Since IE is not available on those devices, one has to wonder, especially considerging that chrome and safari account for more than 5% of the drop in IE's share. (according to the charts, firfox is less than 5%, and opera stayed the same).

      What that means to me is that a significant number of people aren't switching on the desktop. The market is just growing, and those people using phone based browsers are probably still using IE on the desktop.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jonadab (583620)
        > I'm not so sure about that. I have to wonder if the explosion of iPhone
        > and Android based phones has not contributed significantly to this.

        I won't say they haven't contributed, but I don't think it's really the major factor. The 2010Q1 stats from our website at work (which, admittedly, is small and of mostly local import) show all known mobile platforms combined at less than 1% (and just barely ahead of Iceweasel), compared to Firefox (branded as such) at 19%, Safari at 16%, and Chrome at 4% (up *
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [nhojovadle]> on Monday May 03, 2010 @09:06AM (#32071296) Journal
    As a human being I'm normally predisposed to abstain from unconditional hate.

    As a web developer who has "done the dance" with former versions of IE late into the night too many times I hate hate hate and welcome this news. Nothing can undo those atrocities. IE6. Never forget!
  • by Gr8Apes (679165) on Monday May 03, 2010 @09:08AM (#32071312)

    This is the best news since... the last news that IE market share was dropping...

    • by Kjella (173770) on Monday May 03, 2010 @09:28AM (#32071468) Homepage

      I honestly don't feel that much difference anymore. A year ago it was something like 30% non-IE browsers, now it's 40% non-IE. Both are too big to ignore and many replacements of old IE-only systems from when they had 90% market share probably would have happened anyway. From here to about 80-90% non-IE where you can consider dropping IE support you are supporting the same anyway.

      • by Gr8Apes (679165)

        It allows people to drop IE6 and possibly IE7 support. IE8 is much better about supporting standards, thus the entire development process becomes much easier. Writing to straight standards will get you what you're looking for much more often with those two version of IE gone.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Monday May 03, 2010 @09:11AM (#32071326) Homepage

    There was a moment in time when MSIE had effectively 0% market share right? So this 60% is still a huge triumph if you choose to spin it that way.

    But seriously, any drop in market share is a historic low for Microsoft. And here's what I love about it -- Microsoft will be hard pressed to explain why it would choose to not completely support competing browsers with its web based applications such as Outlook Web Access and the like. It has been a while since I looked at it, but OWA did not offer full functionality to browsers other than MSIE. I don't know if that is still the case, but I suspect it is.

    In any case, it is in large part due to Microsoft's behavior that our next enterprise email server at the office will be anything but MS Exchange.

    • by MBGMorden (803437) on Monday May 03, 2010 @09:31AM (#32071500)

      In any case, it is in large part due to Microsoft's behavior that our next enterprise email server at the office will be anything but MS Exchange.

      Sadly, somehow our department has gotten it into their heads that "Microsoft is the way to go.". They had a few years when they tried to get OSS (mostly FreeBSD, but some Linux) systems working for most of the servers, and a lot of the tasks were delegated out to people who had no Unix experience at all. End result is that they became frustrated and rather than try to educate themselves, they blamed the system.

      Fast forward to today. Our CentOS/Apache web server has been replaced with IIS (and that was one thing that had always worked great - they basically just replaced it because they wanted to go all Microsoft). Our PHP code on our site has been replaced with ASP.NET. Our Samba setup is being replaced by Windows + Active Directory. Our Lotus Domino server is being retired and there are plans to replace it with MS Exchange. And I just heard recently that Firefox is "just becoming a headache because there are still things it doesn't work right with. Maybe it's time to look at IE again?". Even simple stuff that it makes no difference on - for instance, just something to run VMWare server on. You never even touch the interface, but they want to waste a Windows license (and more system resources) on that because they feel that Windows is "just the way to go".

      Sometimes I just want to scream.

      • by man_of_mr_e (217855) on Monday May 03, 2010 @10:21AM (#32072110)

        Well, it sounds like they had real reasons to switch to IIS. You basically need it to use ASP.NET, and ASP.NET has significant traction these days and provides significant value for a lot of companies, at least over PHP. The functionality offered by Java/JSP is a lot closer, but PHP vs ASP.NET is like bringing a bazooka to water ballon fight.

        That's not to say that PHP is bad or sucks. Lots of sights make great use of it, but it just doesn't offer the same level of control, supportability, and enterprise integration that ASP.NET does. C# really is a vastly superior language to PHP's c-like system, which only recently became semi-object oriented. PHP simply isn't the right tool for a lot of jobs.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by erroneus (253617)

        That's a sad story with the exception of Lotus Notes. I seriously HATE that program. It is what we are using now. It is a royal pain in the buttocks.

        Unfortunately, Microsoft is the biggest cause of IT woes for many reasons. Not only are their implementations generally not standards compliant, they aren't even compliant with their own standards. Further, their achievement of "critical mass" has enabled them to abuse the market further by convincing the market that Microsoft "works" and everyone else is

  • by dingen (958134) on Monday May 03, 2010 @09:15AM (#32071356)

    Microsoft is desperately updating their browser to meet the same modern standards as the competition. IE9 is supposidly going to be a revolution for them, supporting all sorts of long standing stuff like SVG, CSS3, HTML5 and supporting a fast Javascript engine, which is exactly the direction in which Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera have been developing lately.

    Obviously Microsoft is doing this in an attempt to gain some market share again. It's great for web developers, because they can finally start really deploying some of that shiney new tech. But in reality, most people aren't aware of these webstandards at all and aren't switching to Firefox or Chrome because MSIE doesn't support them. They're switching because other browsers are faster, more secure, less obnoxious, more cool and support more plugins and other goodies.

    I don't think IE will ever be as big again as they once were, but because MS doesn't get what the root of the problem is, they're helping the web forward in the process of trying to get some users back. Which is actually great for everyone.

    • by tibit (1762298) on Monday May 03, 2010 @09:33AM (#32071522)

      Not too little, but definitely too late. SVG should have been supported since IE7. Same goes for quirk-less CSS2.1 support.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by moogsynth (1264404)

      Obviously Microsoft is doing this in an attempt to gain some market share again.

      If that were entirely true, then the browser would be made to work on XP systems. XP is still the most widely-used operating system on planet earth, remember, at least for a few years yet. I understand that Windows 7 is the best OS they've come out with and all that, but a lot of people aren't looking to upgrade to 7 any time soon. Desktop users and businesses alike. It's hard to see how much marketshare they can claw back by making it Vista+ only.

  • historic? (Score:5, Funny)

    by beh (4759) * on Monday May 03, 2010 @09:16AM (#32071362)

    "Falls To Historic Low"
    [...]
    "which is about the range that IE had in early 1999"

    ?

    So, it's historic, because it's the second time it's around that range?

  • What bugs me... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ranma-sensei (800217) <Ranma-sensei@aon . a t> on Monday May 03, 2010 @09:16AM (#32071364) Homepage Journal
    ...is that most people now either use Firefox or Chrome - which heightens these browsers' endangerment concerning malware specific to them.

    It's not as if it really affects me as an Opera user, but having to put up with Firefox at work, I'm not too excited about this, since the company I work at usually takes its time to update (FF 2.0.0.7, here).

    Oh well, at least MS's share is dropping...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sznupi (719324)

      At least now two alternative engines are starting to get recognition around the world, and newer one of those two seems to strive more for standards compliance (they wouldn't make this post [chromium.org] otherwise). There was a time when a lot of sites appeared to be made primarilly with "IE + FF" in mind...which didn't really change that much in the grand scheme of things.

      But now perhaps sites will, to a greater degree, simply target standards... (just look at the link above to see why that's great news for you)

      BTW, reg

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, 2010 @09:18AM (#32071388)

    The reporting is also flawed because even if you change your default browser from MSIE to firefox, programs will still use the MSIE branded http dll to download things. To wit, make your proxy reject all requests that contain MSIE in the user agent string, and try to install the next version of lets say skype. Or browse in Outlook internet content. Or try to access any link through http from an Office 2007 document: http://blogs.msdn.com/vsofficedeveloper/pages/Office-Existence-Discovery-Protocol.aspx
    http://superuser.com/questions/41935/clicking-hyperlinks-in-email-messages-becomes-painfully-slow/42237#42237. I wonder if any of the legislators in Europe who settled with Microsoft over the Browser wars were aware of these issues. Bottom line: you cannot get rid of MSIE because Microsoft designed it that way!

  • so i have ie8, firefox, chrome, safari, and opera installed on my desktop

    i often find myself in this common usage scenario: 4 browsers open at the same time. ie8 opened with code being tested, opera running pandora, chrome with nytimes.com and other reading media on it, and firefox open with some online code documentation

    i use those 4 browsers all the time, i don't use safari at all really unless testing code (but since its webkit like chrome, that's often redundant)

    honestly, i lately have found myself prefering chrome over firefox. i love firefox, but chrome has a sleek ui and seems faster (opera's latest ui is pretty hot too, but opera has some compatibility issues, such as google map's api)

    chrome just has more... chrome. consider this small bird adequately bedazzled by the shiny bells and whistles

    currently i rank the browsers according to this personal preference:

    1. chrome
    2. firefox and opera tied for second best
    3. ie8 and safari not at all

    if firefox wants to win my heart back, it has to be super fast and bedazzle me with a hot ui. opera is doing a good job of that, but opera has issues

    • by Fnkmaster (89084) on Monday May 03, 2010 @09:49AM (#32071702)

      I love Chrome's speed. But I miss Firefox's rich library of extensions whenever I try Chrome (or a Chromium-derived browser). Most critically, I miss Adblock Plus and Flashblock. To a lesser extent, some of the other extensions I use.

      When I last tried Chrome, I believe I found that there was an ad-blocking extension for it (Ad-Sweep) but it required switching to the "developer channel" rather than the standard "channel". Rather than just downloading a beta version of the browser, there was an arcane process to switch channels that simply didn't work at the time. As in I jumped through the hoops, but Chrome never properly entered into the developer channel mode. The Channel Changer was simply broken at the time. Don't try to be too clever Google, just make a separate beta or nightly build and let me install it.

      Sure, there are proxy-based solutions and the like, but I can't use a browser that I can't add ad-blocking rules to easily and customize easily.

      I'll give Chrome a try again in 6 months, but it looks like for now, AdSweep still requires using Channel Changer, and unless that's been fixed I ain't screwing around with it again.

      Sure, Firefox can't compete with Safari and Chrome on speed, but on a modern Core 2 Duo or Core i5/i7 machine the difference is only perceptible on the most Javascript-intensive of sites.

  • Here's what I mean: -

    1: Better aesthetics. I mean, the current theme and all available ones are not that appealing to
    the eyes.

    2: Print Preview: Heck how can a today's desktop application fail to have this important
    resource? An application from Google should have "everything" necessary to be productive,
    and print preview is one of those things I believe.

    3: The over minimalistic paradigm Google has followed has gone too far. Heck, what ends up

    • I do agree with Google minimalist approach. Fair enough most space should go to the page but it doesn't take that much to eat up space with add-ons. If they haven't changed it yet, I'd also like control of how many websites display on my homepage. Perhaps it would look ugly to them but I want to display more than 8.
    • by Stevecrox (962208)
      I use chrome because of the minimalist UI, I don't want a web browser to take up screen real estate. Before that I used IE because it used the least screen real estate.

      I own a netbook, like most netbooks it has a 1024*768 resolution. Firefox and Opera can take up to a third of the screen just to show my File dialogs, etc.., 99% of browsing doesn't involve these dialogs so why should they continously take up space?
    • WHAT?! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by aussersterne (212916)

      Chrome has the best UI amongst all browsers, hands down. I adopted Chromium months ago and then went to Chrome, and despite minor incompatibilities now and then (mostly rendering issues), I can't leave it. I tried to switch back to Firefox for a while, but after a week or so I came back to Chrome, primarily on the strength of the UI.

      Nobody else seems able to come up with a UI that is:

      - Businesslike and no-nonsense
      - Small and out of the way
      - Free of rendering artifacts and glitches

      The default Firefox theme i

      • Re:WHAT?! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Ash-Fox (726320) on Monday May 03, 2010 @09:42AM (#32071616)

        Chrome has the best UI amongst all browsers, hands down.

        I don't particularly like the UI personally. I hate it when applications don't follow the OS GUI scheme - This includes colors to interaction of editbars.

        Free of rendering artifacts and glitches

        I have experienced these on Chrome, particularly with font rendering.

        The default Firefox theme is just huge.

        Well, I loaded up Firefox and Chrome here - I'm not really seeing this "huge" thing at all? I mean, yes, there is two extra bars by default in Firefox, but huge? No idea.

    • Print? Why would you ever need to print? If you need to send a copy of a document to someone else, that's what Gmail is for. If you need to read documents away from a PC, that's what an Android phone with a $60/mo plan is for.

      </sarcasm>

  • Internet Explorer has always been stuck in the nineties. That was the problem, really.

  • by kaizendojo (956951) on Monday May 03, 2010 @09:37AM (#32071562)
    and every month I say the same two things:
    • Net Applications numbers only include their customers as a dataset
    • Since they do not reveal ANY of their methodology, their entire study is suspect.

    Yet I know I will see this posted again next month...so would someone please explain the agenda to me?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bunratty (545641)
      They've taken a sample of web usage. Their data approximately matches the data given by other companies that take their own samples. I suppose you could say their data is suspect if no one was able to repeat the observations. Why do you think there's an "agenda"?
  • by blind biker (1066130) on Monday May 03, 2010 @09:41AM (#32071606) Journal

    I noticed a couple of months ago already, that Firefox's usage share is flat by all indicators. [wikipedia.org] It's been stagnating since July-August last year.
    Maybe that's fine compared to IE, which is shrinking, but pretty sad compared to, say Chrome.

    Which I really like and would use also at work, if there was a portable version (so I can run it without installing it).

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dylan_- (1661)

      Which I really like and would use also at work, if there was a portable version (so I can run it without installing it).

      If you mean Portable Firefox, it's here [portableapps.com]. If you mean Portable Chrome, it's here [portableapps.com]. If you want to try Portable Opera, it's here [opera-usb.com].

      And Portable IE7, though I believe you need IE6 installed, which isn't very portable at all, but it's here [keznews.com].

  • Are we being fooled? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Qwavel (733416) on Monday May 03, 2010 @09:59AM (#32071822)

    It's been great to see MSIE lose its grip on the browser market, but it seems that maybe things have become more complicated.

    As bad as MSIE is, the user can add whatever they want to it. For example, Flash delivers new codecs and Google was able to deliver an HTML5 compliant core that worked with MSIE6.

    But one of the browsers taking share from IE is Safari on the iPhone/iPad/iPod. Those users can't try a different browser or use any technology that Apple doesn't approve it. Can a third party deliver a new codec to Safari on these devices? Does Opera Mini for the iPhone come with Ogg codecs (I mention Ogg because I'm imaging Apple would Opera mini if it did)? I really don't know the answers to these questions and I hope someone will enlighten me.

    While Safari supports HTML5, times changes, and other things like codecs are becoming more important.

    So perhaps now we are looking at a much more fundamental threat.

  • index.html:
      ...
      <script language="JavaScript">
      if ( navigator.userAgent.toLowerCase().indexOf('msie') != -1 ) {
        window.location.replace("msie.html");
      }
      ...

    msie.html:
      ...
      <meta http-equiv="Refresh" content="5; url=http://www.microsoft.com">
      </head><body><p>msie users move along. There's nothing for you to see here.</body>
  • by NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) on Monday May 03, 2010 @10:36AM (#32072288)
    Microsoft is now producing a 'consumable' that cannot be easily consumed. I believe it was never their original intention, but the market has evolved, and they did not adapt. Internally, they probably feel obligated to support their installed base for compatibility reasons, but I suspect the team senses they are on the Titanic. It is rare, but sometimes you get to watch the inevitable unfold in slow motion before your eyes. It is tragic and spectacular to witness. Wait until MW7 releases with an IE8-compatible browser, it will sadly make their current situation seem bearable by comparison.
  • Ours is 50%:) (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jwhitener (198343) on Monday May 03, 2010 @03:43PM (#32076060)

    www.pcc.edu for the last 30 days.

    Internet Explorer 532255 50.94%
    Firefox 334610 32.02%
    Safari 119225 11.41%
    Chrome 53363 5.11%
    Mozilla 1922 0.18%
    Opera 1463 0.14%
    SeaMonkey 578 0.06%
    Mozilla Compatible Agent 482 0.05%
    Camino 377 0.04%
    Opera Mini 306 0.03%

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