IE market share continues to dwindle

By Phantasm66 ยท 22 replies
Sep 16, 2004
  1. IE's market share continues to swindle... I mean dwindle. Its share of the browser market dropped by 1.8 percentage points over the past three months to 93.7 percent of the market. The drop is caused by its much-smaller competitors chiseling at its dominant position. Those competitors include the open-source browsers from the Mozilla Foundation and a commercial competitor from Opera Software ASA. Netscape/Mozilla browsers gained the most, rising 1.7 percentage points to 5.2 percent, while the category that includes Opera's browser rose 0.1 percentage points to 1.1 percent.

    "We certainly encourage customers to examine all browser options, but we have not seen a significant shift in usage away from IE." - Microsoft

    Mozilla are planning to promote their Firefox browser through use of their "Spread Firefox" campaign, and have set a goal of 1 million downloads of the Firefox preview within the first 10 days, along with the much larger goal of 10 million downloads within 100 days once the final Firefox 1.0 is released. The 1.0 release should happen later this year.
  2. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Maybe Microsoft would see a shift in usage away from IE if it would make Windows Update to work with other browsers...
  3. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,668   +988

    I've seen some of my friends switching browsers in the last couple of months and that should relate to more mainstream/average users becoming aware of other browser solutions other than IE. Still MS has the advantage that IE is bundled with Windows, so it will be really hard, if not impossible to beat that.
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I have seen some switches myself. But those weren't people switching because they saw ALL sides of each. They were because I told them why I use Opera, and why I like it better than IE.

    Now before everyone that uses firefox gets their panties in a bunch, think about your friends and how they either convinced you or you convinced them to use firefox, I bet it was done in a very similar matter.
  5. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,668   +988

    I think it was that they saw me using it, I didn't talk to them into it but apparently they gave it a try themselves and a month later I found out some of them liked it and kept it for regular use.
  6. videobruce

    videobruce TS Enthusiast Posts: 93

    I still don't believe those numbers. Opera & Mozilla make up a larger portion then want they want anyone to believe!

    I don't/can't understand why so many are still brainwashed into using ***** Exploiter!
  7. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    They're not brainwashed. Typical users just use whatever comes with the computer when they buy it. I just have never heard of a Windows PC which would have Firefox or Opera as the default browser preinstalled, without an IE icon on the desktop, even though MS was ruled to allow this some years ago.
  8. El Duce

    El Duce TS Rookie

    Mictlantecuhtli called it.
    The average knucklehead doesn't know an index.dat from their index finger. They just use whatever browser is on the machine when they buy it. I doubt many users are even aware that there are alternatives.
    If more people understood what spyware is and what it can do, I believe the "dwindle" would look more like an exodus.
  9. tdvtech

    tdvtech TS Rookie

    I have been using firefox as my main browser and I encourage anyone I train at work to use the browser as well. Once average computer users start using Firefox they start to fall in love with it becaues of tabbed browsing and pop-up blocking. Nothing against IE, but it seems to be a bit behind when it comes to offering their users these convenience features.
  10. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,668   +988

    Definitely word of mouth is the most powerful weapon for both Firefox and Opera. The fact that IE comes preinstalled with every Windows system will likely give them the lead in years to come no matter what the competitors do... we will know there are alternatives though.
  11. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 5,734   +8

    Firefox is my main browser now, but there are some things to consider, I think:

    -One problem I do notice with using Firefox or Opera - and I say notice "using", because its not a fault with the software, its a fault with html programmers - is that developers write pages just with IE in mind, and often the firefox or Opera rendering looks a little strange. Its not the fault of the browsers - they are excellent through and through, and Firefox is my main browser now - its that developers are lazy.

    -When going to a lot of sites to buy things, or use online banking, you always get annoying messages using anything other than IE that your browser may be substandard. This is nonsense but you get these warnings anyway, which is annoying.

    -Even if all it had was 90% market share, IE is KILLING every other browser and will continue to probably for a very long time to come. In the old days, where computers belonged to geeks, we could maybe change this. But now, ordinary people use computers and they won't change from the default that Windows comes with and they are basically expected - like little sheep - to use. And expected by everyone. Their ISPs. Their banks.

    Come on, face facts - 93.7 percent of the market! And we've tried to take them to court to stop them and nothing happened. They own the browser market now and that isn't likely to change any time soon. The US DoJ could not change that. Only God could maybe.
  12. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Maybe some of the tools developers are using only generate IE compatable code?

    There are many things that require certain browser features to be available if they are to work properly. RoboForm (a html form filler) does not work with Opera. Online banking requires IE to work properly. Many other things that require close links to the OS require IE in order to work properly.

    Many of the other browsers simply don't have the features to replace IE completely. For viewing html documents other browsers are preferable, but for many other things they are not up to the job.

    My favourite browser is Opera, even if this post sounds more like a plug for Microsoft :=). If Microsoft gave IE a multi-tabbed viewer and a few other features then I likely wouldn't use anything else.

    At one time it was the best browser out there, but Microsoft have failed to keep it updated.
  13. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    I guess I'm lucky then, my bank and online stores I visit are Firefox-compatible, no nagging about browser whatsoever :)
  14. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 5,734   +8

    Yes, they have let IE decline. Its out of date now. They should start again with IE 7.0 thats just in name only, and is a fresh piece of programming. They should write a brand new browser in .Net c# or something.

    When IE was at 4.0, it was cool and new, and when it was at 5.0 it was solid and well performing. That was its height. But nowadays, its becoming old news.
  15. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    I suspect IE won't change much until Longhorn arrives ...
  16. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 5,734   +8

    By the way its looking recently, it probably won't change until Blackcomb, the version after.
  17. As a fellow propellerhead, I agree that blindly using IE is quite a misstep. For me, Firefox has proven more responsive, more reliable and down-right more attractive than IE. Plus I get that welcome feeling of opposing "the machine." However, I think it is narrow minded to imply that the average user of IE is a lemming, or worse, a dolt. The truth is for him/her it doesn't really matter what browser is used. He/she views computing as a utilitarian resource. IE gets the job done - regardless of its inferiority or the principle of it being shoved down people's throat. Why should a user bother seeking out another browser when his/her current browser meets his/her utilitarian requirements? Most users don't derive enjoyment from using computers. They would rather spend the time that they might read about and install Firefox instead riding their bike. To each his/her own....
  18. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Good post Unregistered. I agree, my dad's computer usage is 98% at work and 2% at home. He sees a computer as work, and not something to get enjoyment out of using.
  19. Assuming you subscribe to this view, this gives more weight to the claim that Microsoft's bundling practices are mendacious. I would presume antitrust litigators are presenting the efficiency (or lack there of) with which users switch browsers. I think this would more effectively show the fallaciousness of Microsoft's claim that the existence of competing browsers proves lack of monopolistic behavior. Additionally, I wish more pressure was placed upon computer vendors to impel them to look for Microsoft alternatives to offer customers. Very little incentive exists for box makers to "insult" Microsoft in this manner without greater public pressure
  20. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    IE is not simply a browser. It does much more. As a user, if some company, such as Microsoft, is going to bundle lots of useful free goodies with the OS, then I am all for this. It means I don't have to go looking for such things and pay, say $30, for a small utility that Microsoft includes with the OS for free. If it wasn't for Microsoft then we'd all return to the bad old days when we were having to buy our browsers because they weren't bundled.

    Just take a look at what that monoplolistic, extortionist company called Apple are doing. They also bundle iLife with OS-X, although its not embedded into the OS, and they charge a fortune for their hardware, and don't allow others to make clones. Microsoft has done a lot of good for the industry and the consumer, and the only issue we consumers have against them is the huge profits they make.

    Imagine having to buy all those useful little utilities at $30 a pop. Buy a half dozen of those and you soon reach the price paid for the full OS.
  21. MYOB

    MYOB TS Rookie Posts: 492

    I've seen Fujitsu Siemens laptops shipped with Firefox 0.8 on them, no IE icon on the desktop or in the Start menu. The Firefox icon label read "Web Browser"
  22. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,668   +988

    That's the kind of thing that could make Firefox considerably more popular than it is today... once the software hits the 1.0 milestone (hence a more 'solid' offering in theory), it should gain even more OEM attention.
  23. everyone loves to slag microsoft products off . Ive used IE for years and have never had a problem/virus/trojan . So why should i change ?? just because its fashionable to slag off microsoft?? so i can pretend im better than evryone who uses IE??

    i'll stick to what ive used for 5 years with no problems at all .
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