Browser Wars: Chrome winning, IE losing

Browser Wars: Chrome winning, IE losing

Summary: Chrome keeps growing despite competition from Internet Explorer 9 and Firefox 4.

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Slowly but surely IE loses and Chrome gains.

Slowly but surely IE loses and Chrome gains.

The latest NetMarketShare Web browser numbers are out for May 2011, and they show Chrome growing faster than any of the other browsers with Internet Explorer (IE) continuing its slow decline.

I've always thought that Microsoft restricting Internet Explorer (IE) 9 to Vista and Windows 7 was a mistake. What I hadn't realized that even on Windows 7, IE 9 was going to face such an uphill battle for mind share. On Windows 7, where Microsoft unexpectedly started pushing IE9 to users via Windows Update in April instead of June, IE 9 still has only 12.04% of the market.

Indeed, while IE 8 is Windows 7's number one Web browser with a healthy, but declining 42.51%, Chrome 11, with 14.82%, and Firefox 4 with 14.05% are both ahead of IE 9. If you lump in Firefox 3.6's numbers, 8.52%, with Firefox 4's share, Firefox has almost twice as much market share on Windows 7 as does IE 9.

Now, Internet Explorer isn't going to die off. In fact, as Microsoft gets ready to copycat Google Chrome OS and Apple's iOS, instead of Mac OS X, for Windows 8, IE 10 will be more important than ever. While Windows 8 won't be a cloud-based operating system that relies on its browser for everything, it's certainly moving that way.

Unfortunately, when it comes to Web browsers, users are no longer following IE. Yes, IE is still the most popular Web browser, but when you look at the larger world of browsers all operating systems and platforms, IE is losing.

I think it's very telling that Microsoft will soon start supporting Microsoft Office Web apps with its Office 2010 SP1 release. Microsofties doubtlessly hate Chrome, but they know they have to support it now.

I also consider it noteworthy that despite the pushing IE 9 out to users, May actually saw IE's overall usage drop by 0.84% compared to its twelve month average drop of 0.54%. In the meantime, Chrome is now used by one in eight users. It's market deltas-the rate of change-like that which makes me quite sure that Chrome OS and Chromebooks will prove the first significant threat to Windows on the work desktop in decades.

Depressingly enough I have to report that IE 6 still has 10.36% of the market. Please, please let IE 6 just go away!

While IE 6, like cockroaches, won't die, the other standalone browsers' future, Firefox and Opera, doesn't look so bright. While Firefox is still an important browser, and its users were far happier to switch to Firefox 4 than IE users were to move to IE 9, and Opera continues to hold its modest stakes, neither is tied into an operating system the way that Chrome is with Chrome OS, IE is with Windows, and Apple's Safari is with iOS. Just counting iPads alone, Safari has 0.92% of the Web browser market.

At this rate I foresee in 2013, a world where Chrome, IE, and Safari, in that order, are the dominant browsers on modern hardware. I wouldn't be shocked though to see Safari, yes Safari, ahead of IE. Mobile platforms are where the action's at, and I seriously doubt that Microsoft can get the multi-platform Windows 8 out before 2013 at the earliest.

Related Stories:

Chrome browser makes steady gains

Chrome 11: The Best Browser?

Microsoft Office Web Apps to officially support Chrome with Office 2010 Service Pack 1

Four Reasons Firefox 4 can make a go of it--And one reason why it can't.

Five Reasons not to "Upgrade" to Windows' Internet Explorer 9

Topics: Windows, Browser, Google, Microsoft

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170 comments
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  • Chrome -> IE9

    Having terrible performance on my mid range PC. Not sure why but over time Chrome has started to underperform so my next transition is pretty much set in stone.
    Alansonit
    • RE: Browser Wars: Chrome winning, IE losing

      @Alansonit IE9 seems to lock up for 30 seconds at a time and crash more often than IE8 for me. It's horrible. Not to mention that IE64 doesn't run most plugins including many Microsoft ones like Mesh remote desktop. What a joke.
      LarsDennert
      • RE: Browser Wars: Chrome winning, IE losing

        The lack of 64-bit plugins isn't IE's fault.

        I also don't get the lockups you do. Maybe something is wrong with your computer?
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Browser Wars: Chrome winning, IE losing

        @LarsDennert
        The IE team has said the 64bit version exists solely because they were told to make one. And the 32bit version has the fast javascript engine. By default 32bit should be running, but if you changed that it might be a good idea to move that back to 32bit.

        The plugins are already written for 32bit and need work by their developers to work on 64bit. So, if you run 32bit IE9 you should be fine.
        Darkninja962
      • RE: Browser Wars: Chrome winning, IE losing

        @LarsDennert You're using it wrong then, because IE9 hasn't crashed once on me. Firefox on the other hand crashes at least 3 times a day. <br><br>As for this article, yes Steven, we know you hate Microsoft. That's the only reason your insipid article exist.
        JoeHTH
      • RE: Browser Wars: Chrome winning, IE losing

        @JoeHTH

        <i>You're using it wrong then, because IE9 hasn't crashed once on me. Firefox on the other hand crashes at least 3 times a day. </i>

        You're using it wrong then because FF4 hasn't crashed once on me.
        SlithyTove
      • RE: Browser Wars: Chrome winning, IE losing

        @LarsDennert Don't run IE64. There is zero reason to. Even on 64 bit, use 32 bit IE.
        CobraA1
      • Actually, there is a reason to prefer 64 bit IE over 32 bit IE.

        @CobraA1<br>It's a lot easier to randomize a 64 bit address space effectively than a 32 bit one, and so you get more protection with ASLR using 64 bit IE.<br><br>I was also under the impression that DEP was "AlwaysOn" under 64 bit Windows, although it now seems that MS chickened out and chose to make "OptOut" the default instead. (Presumably <i>not</i> for the sake of buggy legacy code, although that will soon <i>become</i> the case now...)
        Zogg
      • I actually had the problem with IE9 locking up

        @LarsDennert
        Hence I continued to use Chrome. However, I really missed some of the IE9 features (webslices) and at some point I set out to figure out what the problem was.

        It turned out that the problem was an nVidia driver problem. Updating to the latest driver has IE9 running smooth - much smoother than Chrome, actually.

        I'm now divided - using Chrome 50% and IE9 50% roughly.
        honeymonster
      • RE: Browser Wars: Chrome winning, IE losing

        @LarsDennert I use Chromium-based ChromePlus!, IE9, and Firefox 7.0a1 and Palemoon 4.0.7. None of them lock up on me, and I am on Vista 32-bit. You just don't know how to work Windows, lack of knowledge makes you biased.<br><br>You need to be up-to-date or you would have known about the IE issues, a month or earlier prior to using IE9, knowing that the 64-bit version isn't compatible with many aspects, so they default to the 32-bit.
        megamanx
    • RE: Browser Wars: Chrome winning, IE losing

      @JoeHTH

      If your FF is crashing 3 times a day then why to you keep using it? Does IE not meet your needs?
      km4hr@...
  • RE: Browser Wars: Chrome winning, IE losing

    Big deal, once people make the transition from IE6/7/8 to IE9 and from XP to Windows 7 the jump in IE9 usage will be very sharp. Only the techies are using Chrome so don't expect that number to get much higher than the 15% its at right now. Especially with all the negative press about Google lately, chrome really doesn't have much chance. Hope they enjoyed it while they could. Now its up to IE and FF to battle it out.
    LoverockDavidson
    • RE: Browser Wars: Chrome winning, IE losing

      @LoverockDavidson
      Are you frickin serious? I'm a "techie", and everyone I know uses Chrome, techie or not!

      Every "Techie" like myself will be madly installing Chrome on every family members PC. I even changed my mum's Chrome icon to IE's so she could find it!

      As Chrome hits critical mass, I expect it's use to accelerate, not stagnate. Here in New Zealand at least, it is quickly becoming the standard.

      MS made a MASSIVE mistake not releasing IE9 for XP - now when my Mum upgrades to Win7 (in 2020), she will be wanting good old familiar Chrome, not IE9 SP2 (which will probably be the current version in 2020 at the pace MS moves).

      You're a dreamer.
      ALISON SMOCK
      • Message has been deleted.

        i8thecat3
      • RE: Browser Wars: Chrome winning, IE losing

        @ALISON SMOCK

        ' I'm a "techie", and everyone I know uses Chrome, techie or not!'
        'Every "Techie" like myself will be madly installing Chrome on every family members PC. I even changed my mum's Chrome icon to IE's so she could find it!'

        Well of course they're all running it. You're telling them to.
        Darkninja962
      • RE: Browser Wars: Chrome winning, IE losing

        @ALISON SMOCK <br><br>Look 1st of all I just sign up to this dumb site just to let you know this because you are such an ignorant person I think it would be a crime if i just walked away.<br><br>Please read and experience the product 1st before you bash on it don't just sit here and act like your "techie" cuz no one gives a **** just because some of your friends said IE9 sucks and microsoft sucks you jump on that bandwagon its pathetic seriously.<br><br>IE9 is leaps away and IE10 is on the works already but your too busy just hearing what other people say don't believe me?<br><br><a href="http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/Info/ReleaseNotes/Default.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/Info/ReleaseNotes/Default.html</a><br><br>Straight from the source baby cakes now please shut up and stop talking like chrome is all that, even FF4 owns it
        ghosthawk
      • RE: Browser Wars: Chrome winning, IE losing

        @ALISON SMOCK

        You should really get out more. Of course I only do work with major government and commercial organisations who would never even consider Firefox let alone Chrome - How do you define malware if an advertising company offers you a browser?
        tonymcs@...
      • RE: Browser Wars: Chrome winning, IE losing

        @ALISON SMOCK

        funny... i like it
        sandip.das
      • RE: Browser Wars: Chrome winning, IE losing

        @ALISON SMOCK
        See now your the opposite of myself. I am a techy and electronics builkder and web designers and I hate Chrome. Its slow and its UI is horrible and its rendering on most platforms stalls and freezes. IE is well its just ie. All the techs I know prefer FireFox and Opera. I prefer Firefox 3.6 to 4 as $ doesnt seem as fast and the new UI isn't very good. When i speed test firefox always wins over all other browsers when using used on same machines and isp's.
        Fletchguy
      • Maybe the dummy techies are going Chrome ...

        @ALISON SMOCK ... we all were a while back, but you need to give IE9 some serious attention. It's faster (according to most tests) and MUCH more secure. I would not recommend Chrome to anyone. If you have XP, you need a new OS/machine.
        Schoolboy Bob