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Internet Explorer Drops Below 50% Market Share

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 53 comments

The web has come a long way since the days when the browser wars consisted of just Netscape and Internet Explorer.

Over the years we've watched Microsoft's Internet Explorer grow, overtaking Netscape to become the world's most popular browser. Then, more recently, we've seen even our less tech savvy friends ditch the Microsoft browser in favor of one of its competitor. Though IE has remained popular in the latter half of this decade, its market share is nowhere near what it was six or seven years ago. September was a particularly grim month for Internet Explorer as data company StatCounter reports that the former king has actually fallen to below 50 percent in the worldwide market.

StatCounter's research arm, StatCounter Global Stats, yesterday released its browser market share rankings for the month of September and, though IE still has more than half of the market share in the U.S., it's fallen below 50 percent in the worldwide market. SC reports that IE now accounts for 49.87 percent of the global browser market in September, while Firefox accounts for 31.5 percent. Meanwhile Chrome's market share has tripled since the same period last year; the Google browser rose from 3.69 percent in September 2009 to 11.54 percent last month.

"This is certainly a milestone in the Internet browser wars," said Aodhan Cullen, CEO of StatCounter. "Just two years ago IE dominated the worldwide market with 67 percent."

Cullen speculates that the reason for the drop in worldwide market share could be because of EU orders that say Microsoft must offer Windows users a choice when it comes to web browsers. Previously Microsoft was allowed to ship all Microsoft computers with Internet Explorer. Indeed IE has fallen a more than six full percentage points in Europe since September 2009. IE's European share currently sits at 40.26 percent, down from 46.44 percent last year.

At home, things are looking slightly better for Internet Explorer. The browser still accounts for 52.3 percent. Firefox comes in second with 27.21 percent while Chrome brings up the rear with 9.87 percent.

Source: StatCounter via Conceivably Tech

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  • 21 Hide
    Marco925 , October 6, 2010 11:11 PM
    Now it's time for the EU to be telling Apple to ask which browser to choose.
  • 16 Hide
    zorky9 , October 6, 2010 10:39 PM
    Did all Mac users just download Chrome?
  • 15 Hide
    sliem , October 6, 2010 10:42 PM
    Not surprising, due to the quality of IE.
Other Comments
  • 7 Hide
    Darkerson , October 6, 2010 10:36 PM
    OH NOES!!! Sound the alarm! :p 
  • 16 Hide
    zorky9 , October 6, 2010 10:39 PM
    Did all Mac users just download Chrome?
  • 15 Hide
    sliem , October 6, 2010 10:42 PM
    Not surprising, due to the quality of IE.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , October 6, 2010 10:44 PM
    The worldwide market share numbers aren't that different from the US market share numbers. IE may soon drop below 50% even in America, regardless of the browser being bundled with Windows, depending on how many find IE9 good enough to switch to.
  • 21 Hide
    Marco925 , October 6, 2010 11:11 PM
    Now it's time for the EU to be telling Apple to ask which browser to choose.
  • 4 Hide
    bison88 , October 6, 2010 11:12 PM
    It was long coming. Microsoft should have known after Windows XP that it could no longer expect to ship a final updated browser ever 2-3 years with an operating system. Back then it wasn't completely necessary as the Internet was still just a baby for the masses but in 10 years the general populace has changed and technology more than ever has advanced while Microsoft sat back on the couch.

    Leo and Tom Merritt said it right, somewhere along the lines Microsoft stopped being an innovator and settled down into a catch up business model. IBM did the same and is only now starting to go back to their roots of innovating and reinnovating something I hope Microsoft returns to quickly.
  • 7 Hide
    axe1592 , October 6, 2010 11:34 PM
    Whats sad is that if you take out all the PC's that are in offices and banks and such and have no choice but to use IE, Id bet you that figure would be more in the 30% range. Even my wife uses Chrome and she cant work our Tivo!!
  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , October 6, 2010 11:35 PM
    Just another show how the user wants something that works fast, is simple, safe, and does the job!

    All these advanced browsers with extra feats and gadgets, that are slow as hell, people don't want!

    People start using their brains, just like cars, people rather want a normal car that works well, than buying a ferrari with clutch, gearbox, or engine problems.
  • -7 Hide
    ta152h , October 6, 2010 11:44 PM
    This report disagrees with others out there, like netmarketshare.com . Market share for browsers changes pretty gradually, so this is probably nonsense.
  • 2 Hide
    Darkv1 , October 7, 2010 12:05 AM
    Other than having to use IE every once and awhile for a few in-house developed work applications I don't remember the last time I or anyone else I know touched IE...
  • 0 Hide
    Graham_71 , October 7, 2010 12:41 AM
    "EU orders that say Microsoft must offer Windows users a choice when it comes to web browsers"

    They should have gone a step thurther, the users choice of browser should also work with Microsoft's online update service.

    Try this link in Firefox and you will see what I mean !!!
    http://www.update.microsoft.com/microsoftupdate/v6/default.aspx?ln=en-us
  • 7 Hide
    K2N hater , October 7, 2010 1:03 AM
    nforce4maxWho still uses this horrible browser? Only noobs and schools along with a few who have no choice I suppose.

    Most workers can't install software on office's PCs.
  • -4 Hide
    tkgclimb , October 7, 2010 1:10 AM
    The only time I use IE, is when you open up a website and it says "your browser is not supported" instead of looking for the right plugin or update, I just open by in chrome IE tab, works fine.
  • 6 Hide
    styrkes , October 7, 2010 1:16 AM
    Can Tomshardware do a little web stats on which browsers are most popular in viewing this site?
  • 4 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , October 7, 2010 1:18 AM
    zorky9Did all Mac users just download Chrome?

    Me = Mac (and linux and windows) user

    And yes I did just download Chrome.

    Safari is great... just... Chrome is better.
  • 3 Hide
    TheWhiteRose000 , October 7, 2010 1:35 AM
    Lol, Finally.
    Go away IE no body loves you.
    (Huggles his Firefox.)

    That's what you get for no GPU support for XP!
  • 1 Hide
    landerx74 , October 7, 2010 2:46 AM
    I am not surprised at all. Microsoft does not and I think cannot update IE as fast as the other browser makers. IE 8 and still predominate IE 6 and IE 7 lack many of the cutting edge features found in Google Chrome and Firefox. Maybe with IE 9 things will change.
  • 2 Hide
    mouettus , October 7, 2010 2:57 AM
    TheWhiteRose000Lol, Finally.Go away IE no body loves you.(Huggles his Firefox.)That's what you get for no GPU support for XP!


    you really want the latest technology on a nearly 10 years old OS?!

    make up your mind!
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