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Internet Explorer Use Slips Below 55% 104

Posted by Soulskill
from the slowly-but-surly dept.
rfc1394 writes with this snippet from an Infoworld report: "Internet Explorer's market share continues to drop like a rock. Net Applications published its numbers for May, and Internet Explorer's total share declined yet again, from 55.11 percent in April to 54.27 percent in May, a drop of [0.84 percent] in one month. Contrast that with Google's Chrome, which rose from 11.94 percent in April to 12.52 percent in May, an increase of [0.58 percent]. In the past year, IE's share of browser usage has dipped from 60.32 percent to 54.27 percent. How long before IE usage drops below 50%?'"
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Internet Explorer Use Slips Below 55%

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  • Oh really (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    For optimal user experience, we suggest viewing this first post using Internet Explorer 9

  • by Lanteran (1883836) on Friday June 03, 2011 @12:19PM (#36331980) Homepage Journal
    I've read elsewhere that it's already below 50% on weekends. Either way, good news for web designers everywhere.
    • by Lanteran (1883836)
      Yeah, wikipedia pegs it at median 43%.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_web_browsers [wikipedia.org]
      • Re:That's odd (Score:5, Informative)

        by Foofoobar (318279) on Friday June 03, 2011 @12:31PM (#36332078)
        Net Applications bases their numbers on Fortune 500 companies (or something like that) so its REALLY slanted. IE actually already is well below 50%. It was also shown that while people were forced to use IE in the workplace, the second they left work, IE stats dropped dramatically as people started surfing at home on their personal computers.
        • So Net Application numbers are of IE Mind share vs. Market share. I wouldn't say the numbers are Really slanted. If you need to use IE at work, then you are using IE. So if you are making corporate web software you need to know what browsers are used at work.

          • by Foofoobar (318279)
            The fortune 500 does not represent the market as a whole; they are sluggish and slow moving whn adopting technology while the rest of the world moves much quicker. They are actually a very poor indicator of technology adoption. It's like measuring the military for technology adoption; we'd all still be on mainframes according to those statistics (which alot of fortune 500's still are oddly enough).
    • by mooingyak (720677)

      I can confirm that -- IE numbers for my employer (mainstream, VERY high volume) hover around 51% Mon-Fri, and around 46% Sat/Sun and Holidays.

    • "I've read elsewhere that it's already below 50% on weekends"

      That disparity is because China and Korea heavily use IE 6 and 7 which skew the numbers higher for IE. In North America IE had less than 50% marketshare for awhile. It is even lower in Europe.

      Most machines in China are pirated and therefore do not get Windows Updates which mean they use IE. Korea is IE because all banks and e-commerce sites force users to use activeX controls due to the lack of SSL thanks to US export controls with encryption. Thi

      • by Lanteran (1883836)
        I know that most Chinese machines run pirated copies of windows, but wouldn't that make them not want to use IE? Or is there another factor?
        • by cyfer2000 (548592)
          Chinese online banking systems are heavily relying on ActiveX because of the same reason of South Korea. So every time I recommended some one in China use non IE browsers, they would say "Duh, not working with my bank..."
      • by jc42 (318812)

        Korea is IE because all banks and e-commerce sites force users to use activeX controls due to the lack of SSL thanks to US export controls with encryption.

        Huh???? SSL is an openly-published standard with many free sources for various versions, as can be verified in seconds by googling "SSL specification" and "SSL source code". You'll get back thousands of links that include lots of versions of the source. There's no way the US government could be blocking all of them; the code is easily available anywhere there's IP access. And since you can download the spec, you can have your staff hackers do as much checking of the code as you're willing to pay them fo

        • My understanding is that the standardization of ActiveX for secure banking in South Korea happened before SSL was well-known and widespread. Also, this was a country-wide standard, not something that was internally chosen by banks.

          This is a good read [mozilla.com] if you're interested.

      • by rfc1394 (155777)

        "I've read elsewhere that it's already below 50% on weekends"

        That disparity is because China and Korea heavily use IE 6 and 7 which skew the numbers higher for IE. In North America IE had less than 50% marketshare for awhile. It is even lower in Europe.

        Most machines in China are pirated and therefore do not get Windows Updates which mean they use IE. Korea is IE because all banks and e-commerce sites force users to use activeX controls due to the lack of SSL thanks to US export controls with encryption.

        (1) Firefox supports SSL. (2) The U.S. no longer has export controls upon COTS (commercial, off-the-shelf) applications. If it's sold or given away publicly it's not export controlled. This has been the case for at least four or five years. See the government's rule page at http://www.bis.doc.gov/encryption/question1.htm [doc.gov] for more details.

    • Damn it -- I specifically design my websites for use on Tuesdays and Thursdays. How does this information help me?!!
    • "I've read elsewhere that it's already below 50% on weekends"

      That disparity is because China and Korea heavily use IE 6 and 7 which skew the numbers higher for IE. In North America IE had less than 50% marketshare for awhile. It is even lower in Europe.

      Most machines in China are pirated and therefore do not get Windows Updates which mean they use IE. Korea is IE because all banks and e-commerce sites force users to use activeX controls due to the lack of SSL thanks to US export controls with encryption. Thi

      • by mooingyak (720677)

        I've read elsewhere that it's already below 50% on weekends

        That disparity is because China and Korea heavily use IE 6 and 7 which skew the numbers higher for IE. In North America IE had less than 50% marketshare for awhile. It is even lower in Europe.

        Most machines in China are pirated and therefore do not get Windows Updates which mean they use IE. Korea is IE because all banks and e-commerce sites force users to use activeX controls due to the lack of SSL thanks to US export controls with encryption. This is no longer a problem but Ebay and the banks do not care and still require it.

        Even if everyone but China dumped IE tomorrow, you can bet a good 25-35% of IE marketshare would still be there thanks to that market. In other words ignore the IE statistics for the world if you develop websites and just focus on North America. If you need to make an Asian site just write it for IE only.

        I see IE usage drop on the weekends and I get little to no traffic from China.

        The biggest difference appears to be from mobile. For most traffic we see a hefty dip on weekends and other non-business days, but our mobile traffic shows hardly any variation by day of week.

  • How long before IE usage drops below 50%?

    In the past year, IE's share of browser usage has dipped from 60.32 percent to 54.27 percent.

    60.32-54.27 = 6.05
    6.05/12=0.504
    4.28/0.504 = 8.49

    I give it about eight and a half months.

  • As soon as IE loses majority I imagine it's remaining share will drop at an accelerated pace.
    • As soon as IE loses majority I imagine it's remaining share will drop at an accelerated pace.

      My intuition is the exact opposite for two reasons:
      1) IE has for quite some time now not been the "recommended" browser by websites, so there's little holding back users who want to switch to an alternative.
      2) The ratio of stubborn&clueless to likely-convert increases with every single convert. These folks aren't watching the metrics waiting to jump ship to keep "rooting for the winning team."

      I see three potential exceptions to reason #2: mobile users (though I suspect this market is approaching satura

      • by gdshaw (1015745)

        But I'm not so optimistic that I would expect these to produce a significant acceleration in alternative browser share.

        If you want some cause for optimism look at the StatCounter figures for IE in the Ukraine (4th place, 15.4%), Moldova (3rd place, 14.4%), Macedonia (3rd place, 11.2%) and Georgia (4th place, 13.1%). Not representative of the world by any means, but they show that Internet Explorer usage can sink to very low levels of usage even with the unfair advantages that it enjoys.

        (Not that it really matters whether they end up with 20%, 10% or 0%. The important point is that their monopoly has gone so they can't dicta

  • Champagne, lightly clad women, and music!!!

    IE is dropping like a rock. That sounds very nice.

    Thanks for the info! It gave me an excuse to open that left-over bottle of champagne!

  • Excellent! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by simp (25997) on Friday June 03, 2011 @12:28PM (#36332048)

    A bit of competition is always good. That way nobody falls asleep and we will see regular updates with new features. The obvious problem is of-course feature bloat: I predict that in the year 2016 all browsers, Firefox 27, Chrome 27 and IE 32, will be so filled with useless junk that a lone, angry, nerd will create a new lean&mean browser, with just one feature: render standard compliant HTML7 pages with 100% accuracy.

    According to Wikipedia a Phoenix can rise from the ashes again and again. The future will be the same as the past...

    • been done bud: http://www.uzbl.org/ [uzbl.org]
    • by Cinder6 (894572)

      HTML7? That's optimistic. HTML5 will probably still be in draft...

    • Re:Excellent! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dkleinsc (563838) on Friday June 03, 2011 @02:30PM (#36332476) Homepage

      The most important part of this news, which has been true for a while now, is that no single browser is winning in anything remotely like a permanent way. That means that everybody still has motivation to stick to standards, making the old Embrace-Extend-Extinguish routine more and more difficult.

      Remember all those "This site is best viewed in ..." sections of far too many sites back in the day?

      • by m50d (797211)
        But back in the days of IE vs Netscape no-one paid attention to any standards - it was add features and see what sticks. The html 3.2 "standard" was declared retroactively, after IE had more-or-less won. The big days of web standardization were html4, with IE the dominant browser, and those standards were basically crap - nothing new got added, the wrong choices were made on the big incompatibilities (iframes, box model, object tag), and CSS2 has never been implemented to these days.

        Now we seem to be back t

    • "with just one feature: render standard compliant HTML7 pages with 100% accuracy" ... and it has to work with IE 6 or my client isn't interested. ... ducks.

    • by CODiNE (27417)

      Long live Project Mneumonic [wired.com]!

    • The recent /. [slashdot.org] article on what ails Microsoft is relevant here. They can no longer sustain their numbers as a regular, non-dominating competitor.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Internet-explorer-usage-data.svg [wikipedia.org]

      Five years of rank stagnation of web technology thanks to IE's domination of the market, what I call the Great Languish.

      Please do your part to remember the fiasco and to ward against it by discouraging monopolies both with your actions and your advice to others. If you're sticking with the dominant

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by man_of_mr_e (217855)

        So you're suggesting that people should use software they don't like, and are not comfortable with use, and possibly doesn't even meet their needs.. just because you say so.

        Yeah.... Good luck with that.

        • "... they don't like ..." "... doesn't meet needs ..." Binary states? Black and white thinking is harmful. Though I realize you're being extreme for rhetorical effect. Anyway, no software is perfect.

          When I chose to start using Firebird it wasn't a perfect browser. But it worked well, and I knew that small trade-off in function between Firebird and IE was an investment. And now it's paying off.

          Your average person won't get this, I agree. But others see more clearly. And they'll invest some inconvenie

    • According to Wikipedia a Phoenix can rise from the ashes again and again. The future will be the same as the past...

      Yep, and Phoenix Technologies will once again force that phoenix to change its name, just like they did the first version of Firefox (which was originally called Phoenix).

    • by Lanteran (1883836)
      Chrome 27? Methinks you underestimate the severity of chrome syndrome. I'd be shocked if the version number is less than 50 by 2016
  • This is great news, and the change is definitely non-trivial, but saying it's dropping like a rock seems like a bit of an exaggeration. At this rate it's going to be about another 5-10 months before it drops below 50%, and at the current rate it will take Chrome about five and a half _years_ to get above 50%. (Obviously it would pass by IE somewhere in the middle of that time frame, but i don't care to do the math now.)

    Look at what happened to Android's market share in the last year or two, and counterpoi
    • by Jason Earl (1894)

      At this point IE market share doesn't really matter that much. After all, in a bid to remain relevant Microsoft is finally embracing web standards. Instead of steering developers towards Silverlight Microsoft now putting its efforts into things like having a decent Javascript implementation, workable SVG support, etc. Even if Microsoft manages to maintain its current market share it is finally possible to code to web standards and create web sites that look and behave well across a wide array of browsers

      • ...Microsoft is finally embracing web standards

        Tell me about it. I am browsing this comment with IE 9. Windows update just installed it last night and I am playing with it. I have to say it is stunning and it feels like IE is back in the league with Firefox and Chrome. I find heavily graphic sites like www.msnbc.com scroll very smoothly with IE 9 vs Chrome and Firefox 4. For slashdotters on Windows I highly recommend to download and play with it. ... no you did not misread that last sentance. IE 9 even has

  • from 55.11 percent in April to 54.27 percent in May, a drop of 0.84 basis point in one month

    That would be 0.84% or 84 basis points. 100bp = 1%.

  • When do they hit 0%?
  • by Lunix Nutcase (1092239) on Friday June 03, 2011 @12:37PM (#36332106)

    Wait a second... Isn't this the same Net Applications that is constantly criticized over it's OS market share figures that show Linux as less than 1%? Apparently only the statistics that show anti-Microsoft things can actually be accurate. I would be willing to bet if a submitter made a story showing how Net Applications showed Linux had dropped from .94% to .91% over the same period that it would be flamed to hell as being inaccurate, etc etc yet when it shows IE dropping market share their figures are 100% truth. lol hypocrisy.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Comparing apples to oranges doesn't work very well...

      IE users do not change their browser identifiers so that web sites will work; on Linux and Firefox I need to in order to make some websites work (My bank -- which I CAN'T change if I want to get paid is one). I don't know of anyone who changes the Windows Firefox to say it's Linux to make a website work.

      So, I would suspect that my 5 Linux boxes (used by my 5 separate family members) all show up as Windows and IE for these stats as well :( Although, truth

    • Well, if that's the case it can be interpreted as "even with Linux marketshare undercounted by Net Applications, they STILL show Microsoft's browser is still losing market share!"

      Not (necessarily) hypocritical.

    • Apparently only the statistics that show anti-Microsoft things can actually be accurate.

      If Net Applications is opt-in, and the vast majority of those opt-ins come from Windows, then the vast majority of what Net Applications measures is Windows-based (obviously). So within that data set, the use of Internet Explorer decreases steadily while the use of Windows itself stays relatively unchanged.

      That indicates the decline of Internet Explorer within the Net Applications survey base, and is not hypocritical at all. The only question is the size of the Net Applications survey base.

  • Did someone just take freshman economics and want to dazzle us with his new vocabulary? Because, while technically correct, "basis points" is only commonly encountered when discussing finance. "Percentage points" fits in that sentence just fine.

    And it's "basis points" not "basis point". Hat's off to Soulskill for the usual high quality editing.

    • by kbielefe (606566)

      The reason it's commonly used in finance is that it makes clear the subtle distinction between "percent decrease" and "decrease in a value reported as a percentage." A 0.84% decrease from 55.11% brings you only to 54.65% (55.11 * (1-0.0084)), a drop of 46 basis points. A decrease of 84 basis points from 55.11% is a 1.52% decrease. The author used it appropriately except for that factor of 100 error.

  • I think this shows that a huge percentage of Internet browsing is now coming from iPads, other tablets, iPhones and Android phones. Certainly pays to make your web site browser agnostic these days. I see many web sites that popup messages saying to install run Chrome or Firefox for a better browsing experience.
    • by yuna49 (905461)

      TFA suggests otherwise.

      The dark horse in all of this: mobile. Everyone expects mobile Web browsing -- including with tablets -- to soar in the near future. Windows Mobile accounts for a measly 0.02 percent of all hits detected by Net Applications in May, while WP7 didn't even rate a roundoff error. Android ran on machines that accounted for 0.76 percent of all hits in May, and iOS ran on a noteworthy 2.38 percent.

      Sure, changes in these low usage rates could have accounted for a decline in share as small as

  • I'm assuming that by market share it's some globalish number of IE users and that because of this many users in foreign countries are using IE or something...My main issue for confusion comes from my experience having worked on two city websites, four websites for a major university and several small mom and pop company sites. From the analytics on each of these IE is always the least used browser, often times less than 25% of the users. Granted, I'm working with a small amount of fish in the ocean, but oth

  • Surely of more concern is that the number of Firefox users has stalled for the last year? In the same period Chrome has gained > 5% and it's rate is accelerating.

    • by Cinder6 (894572)

      Why is that a concern? (Honest question)

    • by Lanteran (1883836)
      Well firefox is holding steady, IE is losing huge. What I'm guessing is that around an equal amount of people are leaving firefox for chrome as are people leaving IE for firefox. Of course, plenty are leaving IE for chrome, too, so...
    • it's not a concern, it's awesome. i think IE 6 being stalled in development for years taught us that competition is good.
    • by BZ (40346)

      The number of Firefox users has gone up quite a bit in the last year.

      The percentage of Firefox users has been stable.

      The key insight is that the total number of browser users has gone up a lot in the past year...

      As for Chrome's market share gains, some of that is because it has some good points and some is because Google is spending insane amount of money on advertizing it.

  • Is this just desktop numbers or are they including mobile? With the huge rise in people actively using mobile browsers(the majority of which are not MS), it could just be a case of the numbers being skewed because of these new devices and that all people really care about is what is easy to get to and use. They may still have IE only on their PC, but they just don't use it because they're surfing from their couch.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I just read that lynx is now taking the lead in web browsing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynx_(web_browser)

  • http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp [w3schools.com]

    I know this is YMMV source, but according to it, IE hit 50% in August of 2008.

    I know how browsers are detected. It's about as scientific as a Slashdot poll.

    This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.

    For example:

    1. I'd bet that Chrome's download page has a much lower percentage of Chrome users than the general populace.
    2. I'm sure M$ could show you stats with IE at 92% and the rest reading the files from FTP.
    3. Corporate vs. Academic sites would probably see great variation for a single browser.

    Wh

    • by bunratty (545641)
      Whether the sample is representative or not. The W3Schools site is not very representative because it's aimed at web developers, not the general public. If you look at Wikipedia's usage share page [wikipedia.org] you can find some samples that are more representative. They all show IE above 37% usage.
      • by KiloByte (825081)

        Any sane user of Firefox has AdBlock installed, which drives down usage measured by advertising and tracking companies by a lot. Thus, from all the datasets mentioned at that page, Wikimedia stats are the only ones I'd bother with.

  • I was under the understanding that most IE users were stil using IE 6 because big corporations didn't want to go through the hassle of updating not only their Explorer, but also any other platform that was dependant on it. Microsoft has been on a crusade to convince its users to stop using IE6, going as far as dropping support and security fixes. Faced with the fact that they must abandon IE6 and adopt a new one, it's only natural that they would choose the "best" explorer there is out there, and by "best"
    • by sjames (1099)

      It's as much CAN'T as it is don't want to go through the hassle. A bunch of corporations drank the MS cool-aid back in the '90s and used MS tools to develop web apps that (shockingly) only worked with IE. Since IE6 was so bizarrely incompatible with standards, even MS couldn't manage backward compatibility without declaring IE to be a special app viewer rather than a web browser.

  • The average Internet user is fairly clueless.

    The average clueless user doesn't go installing an alternative browser.

    The idea that approaching 50% of Internet users are savvy enough to even consider an alternative browser, let alone choose one, is implausible.

    Therefore I question the methodology.

    • by bunratty (545641)
      I think it's mostly experienced users installing Firefox and Chrome on their friends' and families' computers. It cuts down on the amount of work spent cleaning up malware attacks.
    • The average user does not spend all day in front of a computer. Those that do, have more discriminating tastes and account for a disproportionate volume of web traffic. I also question the stats, but only because I can't think of anyone I know who actually uses IE.
    • by sjames (1099)

      In the EU, they're presented a simple menu to pick one from. That's not enough to account for the big drop, but combine that with people who do know better installing just about anything but IE for friends and family and the smartphone browsers (definitely not IE, nobody uses Windows 7) and it looks a lot more plausible.

    • by tgeek (941867)

      The average Internet user is fairly clueless.

      The average clueless user doesn't go installing an alternative browser.

      The idea that approaching 50% of Internet users are savvy enough to even consider an alternative browser, let alone choose one, is implausible.

      Therefore I question the methodology.

      I respectfully disagree. The average clueless user installs any and every thing they can get their grubby little paws on. Browsers, freeware, malware, whatever - it doesn't matter as long as it's easy ("click here", "run now", etc. are clueless's best friends). Usually ol' clueless will have at a minimum: IE (whatever version), Firefox, Safari, and a bouquet of unsubscribed virus protection programs installed at any given time.

      "less clueless" users OTOH (in my experience) are the ones more likely to stop

  • I've got a domain registered and use Google Apps for it. Due to changes Google made in Feburary 2011, I'm no longer able to have FF open my Domain Apps and Personal iGoogle pages at the same time. It forces me to log-out of the domain apps every time.

    What I've found though is that IE9 works nicely with Google Apps and I now have it configured to deal with my business apps while keeping firefox for my personal browser.

    • by satuon (1822492)

      Yes, but IE9 has the disadvantage that it's not compatible with XP, so for 50% of the users the best version of IE they can access is IE8. I don't know how fast XP will fade but that alone might help Chrome and Firefox pick some converts who can't upgrade to IE9 because they're on XP.

  • in soviet russia web Browses you .....

  • I think when you look at the chart and add the numbers together you get a different story. Sure IE has 54%, but if you add other MS properties like Pocket Internet Explorer and the Danger Web Browser you get a total of, oh, never mind.

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