Internet Explorer Slips below 40% Market Share in 2011

According to StatCounter, IE had a huge drop in usage and fell 1.98 points from 40.63 percent to 38.65 percent share. At first sight that is dramatic, but at a closer look, the drop fits nicely into the average, slightly slowing drop of IE share over the past year. In November, IE's share was somewhat inflated, likely due to a massive advertising campaign. That campaign ran out in December and IE continued to drop. Microsoft sees it differently and ignores IE share overall, but focuses on Windows 7, where IE9 is the most popular browser globally and in the U.S. Across all operating systems, however, we know that Chrome leads the charge.

Chrome, making a huge jump in December, was up 1.58 points or 6.15 percent to 27.27 percent, which gives it a 2 point lead over Firefox. December was the strongest month of growth for Chrome ever and concluded a year in which Google gained a staggering 42.5 percent of market share (11.59 points). Firefox halted its declined and gained 0.04 points to 25.27 percent. there were only two months in 2011 in which Firefox gained market share. Overall, Firefox dropped by 5.41 points and gave up 21.4 percent of its usage share.

The 6-month trend of browser market share indicates that IE losses are accelerating (IE lost 3.82 points in H2 versus 3.53 points in H2), while Mozilla's losses are somewhat stable (2.68 points in H2 versus 2.73 points in H1). The introduction of silent updates for IE in H1 of 2012 and the launch Windows 8 will be critical events for Microsoft and largely determine how low IE's share can sink. Google will more and more rely on advertising campaigns to support Chrome growth and could gain substantially more share if Chrome OS shows signs of success. Mozilla's future is unclear, but we know that it will receive about $1 billion from Google in royalties funding that it can use to invest in its browsers and fix problem areas such as its current rapid release cycle implementation as well as feature delays.

  • clonazepam
    I used to use IE. Then I switched to Firefox for the ad blocking. I still had a lot of problems with a large percentage of pages not rendering properly. Now Im using the latest version of Chrome with all the same add-ons like adblock plus and better popup blocker. I'm never going back.
  • Dyseman
    ^^^ Ditto
  • Intel_Hydralisk
    I use chrome for personal use at home.

    I have to use IE for work related stuff, but I always have chrome open as well at work for browsing the web.

    IE9 really isn't that bad though.
  • kcorp2003
    It was tomshardware that convince me to use chrome before that i used opera. (still my personal favorite)
  • BlackHawk91
  • zenmaster
    While some Windows Users are switching from IE, I suspect the largest reason for Chrome's large increase are Android Devices, which I believe will report themselves as Chrome. I would find the article far more informative if it included OS Market Share for Web Browsing as well as Browser share for different Operating Systems. Such data would most likely indicate that browsing on Mobile/Tablet devices has Skyrocketed vs Windows Laptop/Desktop usage to a far greater degree than users migrating from IE to other browsers. This would indicate that the issue for IE and Microsoft is far less a "Browser War" than it is a need for Microsoft to succeed on the upcoming Web Platforms of Mobile Devices and Tablet Devices.
  • asiaprime
    I'm a little curious as to the breakdown of versions of ie. especially since xp is stuck with ie8.
  • igot1forya
    "They have the internet on computers now?" - Homer Simpson
  • ta152h
    It looks like Safari will be the only one standing besides Chrome the way things are going. Stable market share loss isn't a good thing, even if Microsoft's situation is worse. With Apple continuing to eat into Microsoft's OS market share, Safari should keep gaining market share, but Firefox and IE might be joining Opera soon if they don't find a way to reverse things.
  • aznjoka
    despite the 2% range my Opera does me good every day.