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IE9 May Not Be Enough To Save IE 328

An anonymous reader writes "The October market share numbers are in and Net Applications' numbers show a surprising drop in IE8 market share — the first time since the browser was introduced. Strangely, IE9 has not gained much and IE7 as well as IE6 are losing as well. The only two browsers gaining are Chrome and Safari — and both browsers have hit new record market shares. The frenzy around IE8 may have subsided already, and Microsoft is under tremendous pressure to roll out IE9 soon. StatCounter's numbers indicate that Firefox is close to surpassing IE in Europe."
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IE9 May Not Be Enough To Save IE

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  • Hmm. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tenchikaibyaku ( 1847212 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @11:34AM (#34089818)

    The frenzy around IE9 may have subsided already and [...]

    What frenzy? :-)

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jd ( 1658 )

      Sharks go into a feeding frenzy when things are being ripped up.

      • Re:Hmm. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by JWSmythe ( 446288 ) <jwsmythe@jws[ ] ['myt' in gap]> on Monday November 01, 2010 @12:16PM (#34090608) Homepage Journal

            I'm pretty sure it was more like a tasteless odorless chunk of chum was thrown into the ocean, and there was no reaction. There was no interest at all.

            More importantly, it hasn't even been released yet. It is available as a beta, but you have to implicitly install it.

            First, go to Google, and search for msie 9 []

            The first link takes you the Internet Explorer 9 Test Drive []

            Which the download button doesn't download, but takes you to the Explorer9Beta page []

            (Does Ford know that they've hijacked the "Explorer" name?)

            The download button does actually download.

            And no, I'm not a fanboy. I was just curious. Don't ask about performance though, all I got to was the download page. I didn't actually install it. :)

        • Re:Hmm. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @12:49PM (#34091050) Homepage

          IE might have had a better response with version 8 if they just hadn't started to mess around with those startup questions and halting the installation to ask stupid questions.

          I can't find any reason to actually provide Microsoft with my web usage statistics, so when they ask for it I always answer NO, and that is something that puts me off too - because that means that they do track people on the web in unclear ways. And when I answer NO, it also means that most other security-minded persons will do the same thing. The result is that it's only the unaware, noobs and fools that they get statistics from - which also explains why it seems like their software seems to be more and more adapted for dummies for every generation.

          • Everyone does that, so do Google and Firefox. They claim that the data is only used to help them determine which features people use, or how often certain things go wrong.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by JWSmythe ( 446288 )

              Actually, go to about:config in Firefox, and put in "http" as your filter criteria. It can (and does) send information off-site. Try changing the filter criteria to "safe", and see what it comes up with. It should be a more discrete list places that every request is sent to, like "".

              I'm not paranoid. If you're going to information so private that no one should know it, you shouldn't be playing on the Internet.

        • by foobsr ( 693224 )
          (Does Ford know that they've hijacked the "Explorer" name?)

          Well, from Wikipedia: "The Texas Instruments Explorer is a family of Lisp Machine computers. These computers were sold by Texas Instruments in the 1980s. The Explorer is based on a design from Lisp Machines Incorporated, which is based on the MIT Lisp Machine."

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by dryeo ( 100693 )

          (Does Ford know that they've hijacked the "Explorer" name?)

          Actually I think it was more hijacking WebExplorer, the browser that shipped with OS/2 in 1994.

    • by recoiledsnake ( 879048 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @12:31PM (#34090836)

      Talk about jumping to conclusions:

      This is not the result Microsoft would have hoped for, but the writing was on the wall when we heard last week from CEO Steve Ballmer that IE9 was downloaded only 10 million times within 6 weeks after launch. That is a big number, but given the expensive marketing campaign, Microsoft surely needed much more. We remember: Apple got 11 million Safari 4 downloads within one week and with a simple press release.

      Err, that's 10 million beta downloads according to the linked article, making it the most popular IE beta ever(according to Ballmer). That's in contrast to the Safari number which was a regular version launch.

      And the drop in IE8 numbers was:

      This trend is even more puzzling as IE8 shed market share for the first time in its history and fell from 29.06% to 29.01% (a number that does not included shares of IE8 fragmented versions as Net Applications recently decided not to publish this data anymore.)

      A drop of 0.05%? That seems to be well within the margin of error and might have to do with the non-inclusion of IE8 fragmented versions.

      The article is bad and the title and summary of the Slashdot are even worse. Lets save the news of IE9's death after it has been released(in Spring 2011), okay?

      • TBH the drop IE usage is probably more to do with the "browser choice" update finally getting to more users.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by shawb ( 16347 )
        And using the phrase "may not be enough to use IE" is a bit hyperbolic considering that IE is still used over 50% of the time. That's twice as much as the current second place browser, Firefox. Which has twice as much usage as the third place browser, Chrome.
      • by billstewart ( 78916 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @04:22PM (#34094106) Journal

        Microsoft didn't launch Internet Explorer to take over the lucrative browser market - they gave it away free, competing with Netscape who gave it away free, and older browsers like Mosaic, some of which were also free, or even because it helped them take over the web page development tool market, which they could charge money for. They did it to save Windows, and to save their products which depend on Windows, like Office and Mail.

        The threat to Microsoft was the combination of Netscape, Java, and AOL, which were enough of an application platform to make the underlying operating system irrelevant, plus a distribution system that had people willing to feed dubious coasters into their home computers and a popular enough email system to compete with MSMail/Outlook. If the market got committed to that platform, and to compatibility with those standards, then it wouldn't matter if the underlying OS got replaced by Linux or Solaris or whatever.

        By giving the public IE, and making sure that it wasn't quite compatible with Netscape and taking advantage of its proprietary or non-standard features, Microsoft was able to take over enough of the browser market that Netscape/Java/AOL couldn't displace them.

  • by sempir ( 1916194 )

    Seemingly not!

    • IE-only websites (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Toe, The ( 545098 )

      And yet just last week, a friend told me he couldn't make a filing with the Georgia Department of Revenue because "his browser was insecure." Nevermind that he was using the latest version of Safari, which is likely more secure than any version of IE.

      What they actually meant was "we are too lazy to program for anything but IE... but that's OK, because 99% of the world uses IE... right?"

      • Re:IE-only websites (Score:5, Interesting)

        by causality ( 777677 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @11:55AM (#34090198)

        And yet just last week, a friend told me he couldn't make a filing with the Georgia Department of Revenue because "his browser was insecure." Nevermind that he was using the latest version of Safari, which is likely more secure than any version of IE.

        What they actually meant was "we are too lazy to program for anything but IE... but that's OK, because 99% of the world uses IE... right?"

        Now that's interesting because they are making a positive claim about browser security. They are not merely saying "at this time we only support Internet Explorer," which would be completely different.

        Since we like to solve problems with litigation in this country, to the point that there are often few or no effective alternatives, I have an idea. Why don't the makers of Safari and other browsers sue the State of Georgia for libel? They are making a claim of insecurity. As evidence, save the snippet of code/markup that checks the user-agent string and produces the message stating "your browser is insecure". Claim that the message is libel because it is based on merely not being IE, not on any rigorous study of browser security, and therefore cannot use "truth" as a defense. In fact it would not be hard to come up with evidence contradicting it. Therefore, intentional or not, it amounts to an attempt to coerce users to use IE and therefore Windows for no good reason.

        The point is to make it more expensive to defend such a suit than it would have been to make a standard, browser-agnostic site. A government agency in particular has no excuse for not making their sites as accessible as possible. They are not like private companies where you can just go to a competitor if a given company refuses to be reasonable.

      • What happened when you clicked on the link?

        "We have detected that the browser you are using is incompatible with this application. This site requires Internet Explorer 5.0 and above, Netscape 7.0 and above, or Firefox 1.0 and above"
      • And yet just last week, a friend told me he couldn't make a filing with the Georgia Department of Revenue because "his browser was insecure."

        Always a mistake to make a claim based on a second-hand anecdote. GA resident here, no windows in the house, no trouble with my state filing...

        Just recently one of my Linux users was having a cow because she "couldn't log in" to an FAA site. "Only allows explorer", ahe said. Yet I logged in no problem to the same site with Opera on FreeBSD. People are stupid and hel

  • Silver Lining (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rakuen ( 1230808 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @11:35AM (#34089840) Homepage
    IE9 might not be gaining market share, but thank the diety of your choosing that IE6 is losing market share. Microsoft should probably throw an office party for the occasion.
  • by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @11:37AM (#34089878)

    Since when was IE9 actually launched? Are we seriously predicting the doom of IE because not so many people downloaded a browser that isn't even released yet?

    There are legitimate concerns for web developers about how widely IE9 will be adopted, not least the operating systems it will run on (or not), but for goodness' sake, this whole story is just premature.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Spad ( 470073 )

      Oddly enough, the only people downloading IE9 *beta* seem to have done so within a few weeks of it being made available and so it's reached saturation. Regular users aren't going to download a beta version of "the internet" and techies grabbed it, installed it, tried it and forgot about it pretty quickly.

      I eagerly await the article a couple of weeks after the IE9 RC is made available trumpeting the massive increase in IE9's market share.

    • Yeah! At one point chrome, safari, opera and firefox had 0 market share. That didn't mean they were a failure. It meant they didn't exist.
    • I can't understand it, about once a day we have someone complain that /. posts stories after everyone else. "Late to the party" is the phrase I seem to recall. For once they are ahead of the curve and now someone complains that they are "premature". There's no satisfying some people :)

    • Yeah, and IE10 has ZERO market share, too. People aren't even talking about IE11. Bunch of losers.
  • Really? I hate IE as much as the next web developer, but I don't think it needs to be saved. Seems like its doing well enough already.
  • Now, if IE6 turned out to be IE9
    I don't mind, I don't mind
    Alright, if all the hippies cut off all their hair
    I don't care, I don't care
    Dig, 'cause I got my own browser to live through
    And I ain't gonna copy you...
  • Save? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by saleenS281 ( 859657 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @11:38AM (#34089914) Homepage
    They've to 60% of the market! Are they losing market share? Definitely. But to claim it needs to be "saved" is ridiculous. When they're at 2% market share, then we can discuss whether or not the product will actually die and possibly go away. I realize this site likes to hate on MS, but can we be just a *BIT* less biased in the story summaries?

    Also, they're under tremendous pressure to release IE9? By who? The public? You can't say people are fleeing because IE9 isn't a big deal, and then turn around and say they have to get it out because all these people are waiting for it. Reality is, the average Joe has no idea that IE9 is in development, has no idea when it will be released, and *DOESN'T CARE*. They click the blue E, and they get to the internet. And every couple years, the window looks a bit different and they don't really know why, but it still works so that's good enough. *THE MAJORITY OF WORLD ARE NOT TECH GEEKS*.
    • Re:Save? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ElectricTurtle ( 1171201 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @11:44AM (#34090022)
      The pressure to release IE9 was internal to MS. MS is concerned in part that Chrome is making so much noise with their rapid release schedule that it makes the competition look like they are falling behind.
      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by saleenS281 ( 859657 )
        Care to cite that? I can't say I've ever seen an interview with anyone at Microsoft where they claim they're worried about Chrome's rapid release schedule. Again, the majority of the public have no idea when their browser even gets updated unless it notifies them with some impossible to miss notification page.
        • Care to not be a lazy ass and search for something yourself if you're actually interested? This isn't Wikipedia or formal writing, and unless you're sourcing a counter opinion (and you have sourced none of your assertions) I have no inclination to do extra work on such a trivial point.

          And nobody at MS would ever say in an interview "we're scared of the competition, so we're doing this!" I mean really, how naive are you? Analysts and industry observers have said these things.
          • I have searched and come up empty. From either MS or "industry analysts and observers". Given your response, I'll just assume you pulled that "quote" out of your ass.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

      Frankly I fear that Mozilla's stand on H.264 will help IE a lot. I mean why download Firefox if it will not play a large amount of video on the web. If IE9 doesn't suck you will see a lot of people stick with it instead of Firefox.

    • The issue is that for the available consumer market, IE is in the throes of death.

      By "consumer" I mean, not business. Business users are probably going to still use IE for their work-related apps. Consumer meaning... people computing at home.

      By "available" I mean, people who are smart enough to choose between browsers, and which one actually gets used.

      Of the available consumer desktops out there, what is IE's market share there? If you subtract business users? Falling off a cliff, and that's what they are c
  • by chill ( 34294 )

    I would prefer it if there is no clean winner. Competition is driving the companies to put serious efforts into the browser market. The result is everyone benefits from faster, more robust and frequently more secure browsers.

    I like having Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, IE and all the others out there, at each other's throats.

    • The real kicker is that the potential direct revenue from web browsers remains $0. Even if they win, not one of these players will be able to make a browser a profit center. Which is great for everyone who uses a browser, of course, as you mentioned.

      • Mozilla and Opera get their revenue from their respective browsers. Microsoft makes money from users who need to buy Windows to run IE to access web applications that require IE.
    • by gaspyy ( 514539 )

      Yes, yes, yes. This is what fanboys of brand X forget. Having a dominant brand in any area is bad for us.
      In photography, for all Canon vs. Nikon bickering, the fact that they have similar power and because they are constantly challenged by Sony, Pentax, etc. forces them to innovate.
      Same with iOS vs. Android, browsers, cars and just about everything.

      Personally, I'd love IE9 to be the best and coolest browser (for a while anyway). It would be yet another incentive for users to abandon IE6 or 7 and would force

    • We don't need IE in this. It's just making sure we all have to wait more for something that others already do.

  • by Nimatek ( 1836530 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @11:43AM (#34090002)
  • by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) * on Monday November 01, 2010 @11:45AM (#34090028)

    Gee, I wonder why a beta browser from Microsoft isn't gaining market share. Don't predict any death knells for the browser until it's actually, you know, released. Geez.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tom ( 822 )

      It's not about marketshare, it's about user numbers already declining.

      That means people have tried the beta, and gone back to whatever they were using before. That is not a good sign, especially for the 50% or so that are going back to an older version of IE.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        It's not about marketshare, it's about user numbers already declining.

        IE user numbers have been declining for the last, oh, 6 years or so? It's not news. IE9 is supposed to change that, but it's too early to tell.

        That means people have tried the beta, and gone back to whatever they were using before.

        Your typical IE user won't ever bother trying a beta (he doesn't know what a "beta" is, and doesn't hang out in places where it was announced). The people who tried the beta are mostly web developers, or just curious techies. In the grand scheme of things, they are a tiny part of IE's current 50% global market share.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Piata ( 927858 )

        That's because any good web developer will check to see how their sites work in IE9 and then return to their browser of choice. Your average consumer is not going to try the beta, nor will many people stick with a beta indefinitely until it's released. I have Firefox 4 installed on my computer but I only use it to check out major updates to the beta; otherwise I'm using Firefox 3.6 or the latest version of Chrome.

        This article is pretty irrelevant in regards to how well IE9 will do once it launches.

    • Thank you. I'm not a fan of IE by any stretch (sadly, I'm in the more futile "Opera user" segment), but this really seems like a non-story. Maybe I'm just annoyed because of all of Samzenpus's troll stories yesterday being followed up with this, but I think the failure to note anywhere that IE 9 is in beta beyond "roll IE 9 out soon" is a significant failure in the summary.

  • by VGPowerlord ( 621254 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @11:48AM (#34090096)


    This is not the result Microsoft would have hoped for, but the writing was on the wall when we heard last week from CEO Steve Ballmer that IE9 was downloaded only 10 million times within 6 weeks after launch.

    FTA's other article, that the quote is from:

    According to Ballmer, 10 million IE9 Betas have been downloaded in the six weeks after launch, making it the most successful beta browser in Microsoft's history.

    See a difference there? If there were 10 million downloads of IE9 after it's launched wouldn't be surprising (it's usually not pushed out on Windows Update then), but that is actually a LOT of betas, even if people were just downloading it to see if the hardware accelerated rendering actually worked.

    Who knew that one word (Betas) made that big a difference.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Arancaytar ( 966377 )

      Who knew that one word (Betas) made that big a difference

      Looks like MS learned from Google on that point.

      • Who knew that one word (Betas) made that big a difference

        Looks like MS learned from Google on that point.

        Except that products Microsoft label as betas really are betas*, unlike Google who labels everything as Beta until it starts affecting their business interests (See: Gmail).

        *Insert obligatory "Microsoft releases are betas, too, or should be since they're only beta quality."

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @11:53AM (#34090176) Homepage

    I only ever use IE for work machines, because far too many web sites I use at work are Microsoft stuff that doesn't always play well with other browsers. For most stuff at work I use Firefox.

    I just don't trust IE -- for years it was one of the worst vectors for exploits, malware, and all sorts of annoying shit. If there's an equivalent to noscript for IE, I might consider using it.

    Until then, IE is a "when all else fails, and you have to trust the site", otherwise, it's something I stay away from as much as possible.

  • I wonder if the figures include iPads? Apple have shipped almsot ten million all of which are pretty much required to use Safari as their browser. I'd have to imagine ten million additional clients would show up in the stats.

    • by jomegat ( 706411 )
      iPads are just a teardrop on the ocean. What about phone browsers? My guess is that browsing from a phone is becoming a bigger part of the pie, and IE just isn't in that game. Note that the browsers that are growing are the ones available for phones.
  • While the IE is losing ground a bit, they have enough share to make it a pain to develop web apps... I am still plagued with clients that have older IE versions and don't upgrade and I end up having to work around all the HTML and CSS standards that IE does not support or just plain ignore... So, I am glad to hear they are losing ground. I wonder if it is because web developers have stopped making exceptions in their source code for shitty IE browser support of STANDARDS and people are switching browsers
  • Frankly... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jd ( 1658 ) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {kapimi}> on Monday November 01, 2010 @12:04PM (#34090388) Homepage Journal

    ...I'm not impressed with any browser right now. Chrome still has privacy issues (and also has standards conformance issues), Firefox is getting very slow and will occasionally leave zombie processes, IE is as naff as always, Opera and Safari don't support the plugins that I actually do need.

    And NONE of them support scripting using LaTeX or Metapost (HTML is becoming an inferior typesetting language rather than the presentation language it used to be, with virtually nobody implementing the complex standards anyway). Seems to me that if people want CSS and HTML to let you typeset, you'd be better off with a browser supporting LaTeX 2e and the A tag natively, then emulating HTML. The results can't be any worse and would add all the features people wanted in HTML5 and will doubtless pester for in HTML6.

    • by Chrisq ( 894406 )

      ...I'm not impressed with any browser right now. Chrome still has privacy issues (and also has standards conformance issues), Firefox is getting very slow and will occasionally leave zombie processes

      If its any consolation Firefox 4 beta is a lot faster. It is less stable than the stable version (Doh!), but I have not had to kill any zombie processes. If they get the reliability right before release FF4 could be great.

  • I'll probably get marked redundant, but, come on, really? IE9 hasn't been released yet! The fact that it had 10 million downloads in six weeks while IT WAS STILL IN BETA should say that IE is not dying. Its marketshare may be slipping, but not by enough to worry about.

    I think the only reason this story even got posted is because this is Slashdot, and any chance to take a stab at Microsoft, whether founded on actual facts, fluff, or paranioa, always seems to be welcome.

  • The spin put on this story is strange - when you look at Net Applications itself:

    Windows 7 has by far the highest share of Internet Explorer 9.0 beta users. Our browser usage numbers show that Internet Explorer 9 Beta has grown about 2.5 times from 0.61% in September to 1.46% in October on the Windows 7 platform. Worldwide, Internet Explorer 9 Beta represents 0.32% of browser usage share across all operating systems. Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 9 []

    The IE9 Beta replaces 32 and 64 bit IE 7/8.

    That is someth

  • For those too lazy to search you can check out the w3c browser statistics here [] and you'll notice that the stats are:
    IE: 31.1%
    Firefox: 45.1%
    Chrome: 17.3%
    Safari: 3.7%
    Opera: 2.2%

    Those are the estimates for September and I'm assuming that's from all of the doctype fetching. Though, I predict that Firefox will lose numbers to Chrome soon because FF isn't what it used to be, rather Chrome is what FF used to be to IE back in the day IMO.
  • Interesting how so much is being read into a program that is free from most vendors. This is not exactly adding to the bottom line in any direct fashion for any of these companies.
  • IE9 don't run on Linux, neither does IE8. Just tried to install it for fun, and see if how IE looks now. Didn't used IE since IE6 with Windows 2000, or something.
  • This seems weird, but makes sense in a way. While IE7 initially took a huge market share away from IE6, this is a self-selecting sample of people who both care enough about security (but not enough to ditch IE completely, evidently) and are flexible enough (no intranet lock-in) to upgrade to new versions of IE. These people were more likely to upgrade to IE8. The remaining users of IE6 weren't going to switch then, and aren't going to switch now.

    That's why IE8's growth comes out of IE7, not IE6. It will be

  • I use both Firefox Namoroka and Chrome ..
  • IE 4.0 was a dramatic leap in quality over 3.0. Shockingly good compared to IE 3 and Netscape 4. Microsoft has already warned their competition that they fully intend to make IE9 really, really exploit the native capabilities of Windows. They don't intend it to be cross-platform in the least. Rather, it'll be built almost as a show piece for what modern Windows installations can do in its use of DirectX and other features.

    If I were Google or Mozilla, I would regard this as a warning that "the empire is rear

  • i think im speaking for all developers/webamsters and their hairs which they wont be pulling out now, since it seems in future they wont have to fix innumerable discrepancies in regard to html code interpretation each ie version introduces.
  • by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <> on Monday November 01, 2010 @12:59PM (#34091194) Homepage Journal

    The browser has nice things going for it, and I still won't use it.

    Microsoft has done this to themselves. They two have two groups. One are the enterprise environments who drank the Flavor-Aid way back in the day and wrote all their internal web apps to rely on IE6 specific features. Since Microsoft spurned compliant HTML/CSS rendering, their newer browsers have trouble handling IE6-specific sites. These shops refuse to upgrade to IE7/IE8/IE9, and thusly refuse to upgrade to Vista or 7. The only reason Microsoft hasn't really hurt themselves with this has been selling Vista and 7 licenses to these customers, but allowing them to downgrade to XP.

    The second group of users care about web standards. They care about speed and security. They realize that IE is dead last in standards compliance, speed and security. So even when Microsoft rolls out some neat hardware acceleration features, they aren't worth all the other massive trade-offs involved.

    Honestly, how many people are there that will want to use IE9 as their primary browser?

  • Hey now... (Score:5, Funny)

    by yoshi_mon ( 172895 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @01:07PM (#34091322)

    We need IE dammit.

    How else I'm I supposed to download Firefox on a fresh install?

  • The news is that Chrome is eating market share at 0.5-1% per month, check out the graph [] here. I'm more interested to see what this means for Firefox, pretty soon they might not be that interesting to back. I'd say it's more Firefox that should be worried what will happen if IE stems the tide to alternative browsers and Chrome starts putting Firefox into a decline. The streams could cross already in 2011 if this trend keeps going...

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