Chrome, IE market share creeps upward, Firefox losing ground

By on May 1, 2012, 12:30 PM

According to data from analytics firm Net Applications, Internet Explorer may be making a slow come back after years of being on the decline. Although IE's market share only ticked upward from 53.83 to 54.09 percent, this is compounded by previous gains in recent months. In February, IE accounted for 52.84 percent of browsers used online.

Although the most widely-used version of Internet Explorer continues to be IE8, usage of IE9 continues to grow. Microsoft's latest browser weighs in at 15.91 versus IE8's 26.22 percent of market share. Perhaps those quirky ad compaigns actually are helping? And despite the company's best efforts to rid the world of IE6, its lingering ghost continues to haunt 7.11 percent of web-goers.

Chrome has been on the rise for quite some time, inching up from 18.85 to 18.87 percent of the browser market. Thanks to its aggressive updater, the most popular version of Chrome is the latest version: 18.

Most interestingly, while Chrome and IE enjoy small gains in market share, Firefox seems to be slipping. Although the drop is marginal -- 0.35 percent -- Firefox's decline from 20.55 to 20.20 percent may be in indication that Mozilla is losing the hearts and minds of Internet citizens. The most popular version of Firefox being used is 11.

When it comes to perusing the Internet on mobile devices, an overwhelming majority of those people (63.8 percent) are on iOS. Android comes in a distant second at 18.9 percent while Opera Mini rounds out the top three with 12.1 percent.

Net Applications' data suggests that people may prefer using their iPad over the iPhone for purposes of surfing the web. Despite iPhone sales being considerably higher than that of the iPad, the latter is used more frequently to access websites despite the former being a more ubiquitous device.

"The iPad and iPhone have been close in browsing share for the last several months," Net Applications said. "However, upon the release of the latest version of the iPad, its share has accelerated and now tops iPhone share 33.7 percent to 27.4 percent." Source: pcmag.com

Although both devices have been neck and neck in recent times, the release of the latest iPad coincided with an abrupt spike in iPad market share. This spike has allowed the Apple tablet to surpass iPhone surfers by more than 6 percent.




User Comments: 37

Got something to say? Post a comment
Chazz said:

So, since February IE is the only major browser to gain share while all of the others have declined. That's interesting.

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

IE must be doing something right...

Guest said:

is it safe to stop avoiding IE now? *feels war torn*

Littleczr Littleczr said:

IE must be doing something right...

Yeah, it comes with windows 7. Casual user will just grab what ever windows has. I prefer firefox, but i have ie,chrome and firefox on my quicklaunch.

Guest said:

I'm a Firefox user. Chrome doesn't offer side tabs anymore, so I am forced to use Firefox. Not that I would switch to Chrome, I love Firefox and am happy with a couple other Firefox exclusive add-ons.

Guest said:

ie user all the way. Tried all the rest extensively and came to the conclusion they don't offer me anything ie doesn't for my particular needs. Also never really had issues with ie like many seem to. Go figure.

Scshadow said:

Uh... its not like its still IE6 people. IE runs fine. And since FF isn't floating people's boats anymore, inevitably some are going back to IE and finding it sufficient. The others are trying chrome. But yeah, IE last time I used it wasn't bad. Just so used to FF.

Lurker101 said:

And this clearly has nothing to do with FireFox knocking out a major release every other week? We're at FireFox 12 right now. Two months ago, we were only at FireFox 7. Give it six months and we'll be running FireFox 73.

ikesmasher said:

Firefox is just super buggy for me now.

I am NOT using internet explorer. It sucks for me as a user, and it pisses me off as a developer for IE to block half of the webpage.

Guest said:

if any ppl behind firefox read this, then do it without thinking!

do as the others, intergrate your browser into to everything. then the throne will be yours again. google did it, and now they are strong, but only becouse of their trojan horse trick!

some few years ago, you could just click next all the way through an install. but today you have to be careful. becouse of all the intergrated stuff that google and the others put on.

Guest said:

Firefox is the only one with a decent bookmarks sidebar, and thus it is the browser I will use.

Carleton Wu Carleton Wu said:

When Chrome (if?) gets a Bookmarks sidebar, Firefox is sooooooo gone. Until then, I will use both.

Guest said:

Opera has a fabulous bookmarks sidebar.

It actually has a sidebar for anything.

Guest said:

It is amazing that Maxthon is still flying under the radar; it is a great browser!

Panda218 Panda218 said:

Does a side bookmark bar really matter that much? I see so many people complaining about not having a sidebar, but I dont get it.

Chrome is the number one used browser on my system, but I also have IE and Firefox on my quick launch bar.

EXCellR8 EXCellR8, The Conservative, said:

Only time I use IE is on a fresh installation of Windows, and it's because I'm going to Mozilla's site...

igotdembombs said:

More so, it is the default browser on Windows 8 and you cannot select another.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Generally I tend to run software 'minimalistic' approach, i.e. install only what 'I can't live without'. So that kinda rule out most of the instabilities. Having said that, I regularly use IE9 + FF12 + FFx64 nightlies, without having a single crash for many years. I distinctly remember last time FF crashed on me was with FF4 Beta 4/5, never again. I suspect MS's implementation of SPDY (once implemented properly) should bring IE on par with Chrome.

avoidz avoidz said:

Opera is my main browser, but I also have Firefox and IE open at the same time for different purposes (mainly other web email accounts). I tried Chrome but didn't like it, and I don't trust Google with my browsing data.

Guest said:

And since FF isn't floating people's boats anymore

Trying to pass off your opinion as popular opinion? It's unwise to believe everything you read in tech press articles... Firefox is still popular and popularity isn't everything anyway.

And this clearly has nothing to do with FireFox knocking out a major release every other week? We're at FireFox 12 right now. Two months ago, we were only at FireFox 7. Give it six months and we'll be running FireFox 73.

It's alienated some, but Chrome are doing much the same thing - I disagree with the new Firefox release schedule, but that alone wouldn't force me to abandon Firefox. The good thing is that there is an ESR release which has longer term support. Some people like to conveniently ignore that...

Firefox is just super buggy for me now.

I'm glad you said "for me".

Opera is a great browser - quite arguably better than Chrome and IE in every way, better than Firefox in many ways - but tiny "market share"... work it out.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Which browser is the best for porn....? Cuz that's the one I'll go with.....!

Gars Gars said:

Which browser is the best for porn....? Cuz that's the one I'll go with.....!

FapFap.... FireFox i mean

with NoScript ofc

HafizNafes89 HafizNafes89 said:

It is amazing that Maxthon is still flying under the radar; it is a great browser!

I totally agree been using maxthon for 2yrs and love the reliability and the dual view feature. It is my most used browser for my desktop computer, however I use chrome for the laptop and netbook.

Guest said:

And this clearly has nothing to do with FireFox knocking out a major release every other week? We're at FireFox 12 right now. Two months ago, we were only at FireFox 7. Give it six months and we'll be running FireFox 73.

What you said is precisely why Firefox is destined to a slow death. It's going t6o vanish just like its predecessor did (Netscape Navigator).

They keep adding bugs and "features" noone really wants, they keep breaking add-on compatibility and remove existing functionality and bump up major number version every single time so instead of 4.0.12 it's called 12 now ... even though the former would be far more suitable to describe where they are really at currently.

Once they screw it up badly enough I'll revert to IE as well. If they are smart they're going to sack ****** who made such huge strategic blunders and focus in fixing bugs rather than just adding more.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

What you said is precisely why Firefox is destined to a slow death. It's going t6o vanish just like its predecessor did (Netscape Navigator).

They keep adding bugs and "features" noone really wants, they keep breaking add-on compatibility and remove existing functionality and bump up major number version every single time so instead of 4.0.12 it's called 12 now ... even though the former would be far more suitable to describe where they are really at currently.

Once they screw it up badly enough I'll revert to IE as well. If they are smart they're going to sack *****s who made such huge strategic blunders and focus in fixing bugs rather than just adding more.

You're absolutely right, they should sack all the people at Google who created the browser numbering wars.

Google is using what they would call "sound business practices", to destroy the smaller NPO Mozilla.

Google can devote more manpower into their browser, while competition forces Firefox to be rushed out, because of fewer human resources.

I would call it unfair business practices. But face it, an organization as large as Google doesn't really need to adhere to any superfluous moral standard of behaviour.

You should save some of this venom for Google, and the battalions of Chrome users that are impressed with Google's numbering "paradigm / hype / outright BS".......

But you bet, Chrome is shiny and fast. It'll track your web habits faster than any of those other crappy open source contenders.

Guest said:

cap'n - every word mate, every word...

Guest said:

I've tried them all, but keep going back to Opera. It's funny to hear of a new feature in Chrome, IE, Firefox, etc., only to find that Opera had it first. Seems they're all still trying to catch up to Opera. Opera has so many features that I use, that I'd find it very difficult to switch. It is so much faster to use than any of the others. I do use FF for online banking, but that's only because I don't like using my regular browser for that purpose. I also hate when FF comes out with a new version, then none of their extensions work, until they've been updated.

Guest said:

Been using FF since 1.5, mostly Linux platform but also XP. FF is slowly turning into bloatware. Being free/FOSS or closed/proprietary makes no difference, bloated is bloated.

I loved it when Mozilla 'research' showed that the browser is faster now that the cache structure is diversified over multiple directories... my research in the developer mailing list led to one developer says some 'remote team showed performance improvements'. Seriously, Mozilla - "People want a faster browser and we responded!"? Based on what - John Doe said it is faster?

Plugins make the browser work for a user, Mozilla taught us that much, but I cannot see liking FF much longer.

Guest said:

What you said is precisely why Firefox is destined to a slow death. It's going t6o vanish just like its predecessor did (Netscape Navigator).

They keep adding bugs and "features" noone really wants, they keep breaking add-on compatibility and remove existing functionality and bump up major number version every single time so instead of 4.0.12 it's called 12 now ... even though the former would be far more suitable to describe where they are really at currently.

Once they screw it up badly enough I'll revert to IE as well. If they are smart they're going to sack *****s who made such huge strategic blunders and focus in fixing bugs rather than just adding more.

Well, I sympathise with this post, and offer that I will not install Microsoft anything just to surf - I use Linux. Maybe Iceweasel? Maybe Opera?

Guest said:

Trying to pass off your opinion as popular opinion? It's unwise to believe everything you read in tech press articles... Firefox is still popular and popularity isn't everything anyway.
I looked at a graph, read the headline and chuckled. Moz is getting what they deserve - loss of public faith.

It's alienated some, but Chrome are doing much the same thing - I disagree with the new Firefox release schedule, but that alone wouldn't force me to abandon Firefox. The good thing is that there is an ESR release which has longer term support. Some people like to conveniently ignore that...
ESR release? Linkage? NM, I will search.

Guest said:

@Guest on May 2, 2012 2:30 PM: You clearly haven't been keeping up with recent news. Mozilla's add-on site now automatically detects compatibility. So add-on developers don't need to up the compatibility version number, it's done automatically. Which is great since most add-ons don't lose compatibility with Firefox updates, they simply need the developer to actively edit that compatibility version line...

Firefox is still the best browser available. However, just because something is better, doesn't mean it will succeed. Advertising and marketing are superior. Google being the most popular search engine and advertising Chrome on their search engine plays a huge role. Not to mention that Chrome is bundled like a spyware app with countless applications. Uneducated and unknowing people install Chrome without realizing. Others join the flock as they do with everything, they follow the crowd; it's like fashion. Chrome and Internet Explorer both have the upper-hand. Firefox literally will need to come out with something unbelievably revolutionary to create enough attention to gain back their users. Otherwise, while being a secure browser with the most customization and best performing add-ons, they will still lose out.

Version numbers have little to do with it. In fact it's a poor attempt at competing with Google's marketing...

Guest said:

But face it, an organization as large as Google doesn't really need to adhere to any superfluous moral standard of behaviour.
That's where Joe consumer comes in - we enforce the standards by:

  • Open, freely typed text feedback (which is currently obfuscated by the current reporting structure being mostly disconnected from the developer mailing lists), and
  • we enforce standards by participating in uninstalling the offending software. For any corporation, seeing numbers stop increasing and begin declining is great feedback.
  • We enforce the standards by posting in forums and in social media and therein offering our NEGATIVE feedback (as opposed to not clicking the 'like' button).

See how that last one works? Being free to say negative or positive things, as opposed to selecting or not selecting a 'like'. Anyway, a general social trend is to avoid negativity, yet we are not having both positive and negative voices.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

That's where Joe consumer comes in - we enforce the standards by:

.

No, that's where "Joe Complainer" comes in. The segment of the public that actually has the knowledge to effect any changes is minuscule as compared to the preponderance of, "The Marching Morons"(*), who could care less ((*)which is the title of an old sci-fi short story from the now defunct "Omni" magazine. Don't shoot the messenger).

avoidz avoidz said:

I still prefer Opera, having used all the other browsers over many years. Firefox was my choice for a long time, but recently (with their increased "versioning" it has become very slow and cumbersome to use when it use to be very quick and a no-brainer. IE is still slow and crashes frequently. I don't trust Google Chrome at all. So that leaves me with Opera which is a great program with many useful features and is easily customizable, and has a great support community.

Guest said:

It's a shame about Omni....

Zen Zen, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Due to some very serious errors my system suffered from at the hands of Mozilla Firefox, I decided to drop the browser completely and I choose to run with the latest version of Goggle Chrome. Now I'm not going to pretend to be a newly converted Mozilla hater, I didn't drop Mozilla due to dislike, I just dropped it due to various errors that could not be fixed, so the software had to be purged from my system. I like Firefox, it has been my primary browser for well over 10 years. It was working very nicely before it went ahead and grabbed the latest version update and took the liberty in installing it for me. After that install, all hell broke out.

But I'm not apposed to change, even though I'm super anal about going back to programs that once either hurt or did in my computer, so the likely hood of me ever going back to Mozilla is super slim, but for the moment and for the foreseeable future, I think I'll be just happy and fine with Google Chrome.

But one thing has always had me a bit curious, suspicious and baffled with Mozilla.........why the mad dash rush to pump out so many versions in quick concession of each other? Even though this question played little with my recent choice to drop Mozilla and go with Chrome, but this question was big enough for me as to breath a little sigh of relief, due to the fact that I won't be dealing with version updates all the time.

Even though I haven't used Microsoft's Internet Explorer since the mid 1990's, I am glad to hear that they have made up some lost ground when it comes to battling the other browsers out there. I'm also glad to see Google Chrome making some small advances with gaining some ground, and with Firefox, hate to hear they are losing ground to the other browsers, but just for me and personally speaking....until Firefox stops mad slamming version updates upon the world and starts paying attention again to version compatibility and starts practicing good and fair quality control management, unless they go back to "old school", I probably will never use Firefox again!

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.