Browser Wars: Internet Explorer loses and Firefox wins in Europe

Browser Wars: Internet Explorer loses and Firefox wins in Europe

Summary: Internet Explorer falls, Chrome gains, and Firefox maintains.

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It wasn't that long ago that your choice of Web browsers were Internet Explorer (IE) and, ah, uh, a sadly out of date Netscape Navigator or the then obscure Opera. IE was the Web browser, but then along came Firefox in 2004, and everything changed. Today, IE may finally be on its way to losing its market-share leadership position to Firefox.

According to a pair of research firms, StatCounter and Net Application, IE is sinking fast, while Google's Chrome is gaining rapidly at IE's expense.

By Net Application's Web browser reckoning, IE's market-share has dropped to 57.1%, an all-time low. Chrome's market-share, in the meantime, has climbed above 10% for the first time. Apple's Safari is also showing strong gains by reaching the 5.9% mark.

"Safari!?" you ask? Based on my analysis of the numbers, Safari is gaining not because it's suddenly appearing on more PCs, but because of the incredible growth of the iOS-powered devices, the iPod Touch, the iPhone, and the iPad. The Web, you see, really is going mobile, and it's not just in the U.S. with all the rich kids trying out their new iPads. China, India, the most popular Web platform in the twenty-teens may well turn out to be mobile devices, not PCs.

Firefox and Opera also gained some as well on IE, but overall Net Application's numbers showed Firefox losing 1.8 % during 2010, with Opera also losing a tiny amount. IE, however, was the big loser.

Roger Capriotti, IE's director of marketing, tried to put the best face he could on IE's decline in a New Year Day's blog, "At end of 2009, IE 6 and IE7 accounted for 38.51% of Internet users, while IE8 had 24.15% of users worldwide. Fast forward twelve months later, IE6 and IE7 have shed over 40% of users and now only account for 22.98% of users worldwide - with IE6 hitting an all-time low of 13.81%. IE8 usage on the other hand has increased by almost 40% during the same time. Combined with the near half-percent of users of newly introduced IE9 Beta, the modern Internet Explorer browsers now account for 34.07% of users worldwide."

Capriotti also added that IE9 beta, which doesn't run on Windows XP, has been "downloaded 20 million times since launch in September, and IE9 now accounts for 0.46% of Internet users worldwide at year end."

Be that as it may, Microsoft is still losing its once iron-bound grip on the Web browser market. Indeed, StatCounter numbers shows not only that IE is sinking on the marketplace; in Europe, Firefox is now more popular than IE.

No one will be popping open champagne bottles at Mozilla headquarters, though. As StatCounter's CEO, Aodhan Cullen, explained in a statement, "This is the first time that IE has been dethroned from the number one spot in a major territory. This appears to be happening because Google's Chrome is stealing share from Internet Explorer while Firefox is mainly maintaining its existing share."

By StatCounter's estimation, "Firefox took 38.11% of European market share, compared to IE's 37.52%." … Google Chrome in third place is gaining market share in Europe and has grown to 14.58% compared to 5.06% in December last year." … "In North America IE still retains a clear lead in the browser market with 48.92% followed by Firefox (26.7%), Chrome (12.82%) and Safari (10.16%)."

What this means, as I see it, is that Firefox, after Firefox 4 arrives in early 2011, will regain some of its market-share mojo. Firefox will certainly consolidate its lead in Europe and it may even challenge IE in North America. By the end of 2011, though, I see the Web browser wars becoming a three horse race between Chrome, Firefox, and IE. I can see any of them becoming the leading browser in December 2011.

The one thing that is certain is that IE will never again be the number one, unchallenged Web browser. No one else will either. Those days are done.

Topics: Browser, Google, Microsoft

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67 comments
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  • RE: Browser Wars: Internet Explorer loses and Firefox wins in Europe

    Nice, Firefox!
    daikon
  • RE: Browser Wars: Internet Explorer loses and Firefox wins in Europe

    Good to see IE and Firefox leading the way. I wouldn't get the hopes up of chrome gaining any more traction, opera is dead, safari is just on a few systems with Apple. Once IE9 is released though you'll see a sharp increase in IE usage.
    Loverock Davidson
    • RE: Browser Wars: Internet Explorer loses and Firefox wins in Europe

      @Loverock Davidson

      Please get your head out of your A$$. IE is dying, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome will increase.

      MS is going the way of the dodo bird. And not soon enough.
      itguy08
      • wow dude if anybody has a there head up ther ass its you

        and people dare call me a troll?!? your picture is next the the word in the dictionary!!!
        Ron Bergundy
      • RE: Browser Wars: Internet Explorer loses and Firefox wins in Europe

        @itguy08 You mean like your logic your "expertise" thoughts. Get a grip, you really live and alternate reality, must be good drugs and dodo land.
        ItsTheBottomLine
      • RE: Browser Wars: Internet Explorer loses and Firefox wins in Europe

        @itguy08

        Microsoft is not going the 'way of the dodo'. The fact is that Windows 7 is installed on quite a few PC's, laptops, and netbooks.

        If anything.... LINUX is dying a slow death, even though they have seriously improved it recently.
        Lerianis10
    • RE: Browser Wars: Internet Explorer loses and Firefox wins in Europe

      @Loverock Davidson

      Opera isn't dead. The fact is that they made it very light lately, it has just as many/the same features as Firefox, etc.

      Chrome is gaining traction as well. Personally, I think that Chrome, IE9, Firefox and Opera are all people should need. Safari? Don't remind me of that half-baked browser.... it seriously messed up my system (just like Quicktime) the one time I tried it.
      Lerianis10
      • Defending Safari on Mac

        Although I understand you comment on Safari I use it on a Mac and really do believe its a very good browser. Many test have proved it. Considering it shares the same underpinnings (WebKit) as Chrome does I think both do well. I much prefer Chrome on a PC vs Safari. But on a Mac its Safari.
        jscott418-22447200638980614791982928182376
  • RE: Browser Wars: Internet Explorer loses and Firefox wins in Europe

    "or the then obscure Opera."

    Still pretty obscure IMO. Most people these days go with Firefox or Chrome if they don't want IE.

    It's great to see major competition again! Let's hope browsers stay competitive - I really don't want a repeat of the IE6 monopoly days again.

    "This appears to be happening because Google?s Chrome is stealing share from Internet Explorer while Firefox is mainly maintaining its existing share."

    Yeah, Firefox isn't doing so hot it seems. Unfortunately, the problem generally stems from thier architecture: Firefox was mean and lean back in the early days, but it was designed for single-CPU systems and didn't bother to try to tame out-of-contol extensions.

    Some years later, now multiple cores are commonplace and extentions are basically out of control, eating up memory and causing lockups.

    . . . and it's not just extentions, either. Web pages are also causing issues via JavaScript.

    Chrome dealt with it by tossing them into separate processes so it can work better in multiple cores and keep them under tighter control. And it works very nicely - Chrome does a decent job at maintaining control even when an extention is out of control.

    Firefox really needs to overhaul their systems again to bring their code back up to modern browsing standards.

    For once, it does appear that Microsoft is also moving in the direction of Chrome. Ignoring any beta bugs, IE9 beta really is a great browser, and I dare say that Firefox beta still has a long ways to go before they can compete with Chrome and IE9.

    Yeah, despite being a big fan of Firefox, it does appear that they are less agile than they used to be, and that could really hurt them.
    CobraA1
    • RE: Browser Wars: Internet Explorer loses and Firefox wins in Europe

      @CobraA1

      One of the most well-balanced posts I've read here.
      LTV10
  • I wonder how the numbers would change if...

    Apple were forced to put up a browser selection screen when you first turned on a Mac, iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad? The [b]only[/b] reason Safari has more than 0.5% marketshare is because it is [b]forced[/b] upon users.
    NonZealot
    • Agreed.

      That's why I won't buy an apple product and become one of the "sheeple" who willingly hand over their own ability to think to Steve Jobs and let him do it for them.
      The Apple monopoly needs to be broken up. Once to court, the judge only need deem the Apple processor it's own market and all others irrelevant.
      Just like was done 12 years ago or so, when Apple was deemed irrelevant to the market and the x86 platform declared it's own market capable of being monopolized.
      xuniL_z
      • RE: Browser Wars: Internet Explorer loses and Firefox wins in Europe

        @xuniL_z

        ...?

        the "apple processor" doesn't exist anymore, and i can load windows or linux on any current mac...
        erik.soderquist
      • Ok Eric, let's make that anything that runs on the Apple A4 processor

        There.
        Machines running the A4 processor are a market unto themselves and unless the devices, such as the ipad, begin to offer alternative browsers and content delivery, at the least, the monopoly needs to be broken and Apple split between a hardware and a software company.
        Their software is a joke of course and quite irrelevant but even still this needs to be done because the majority of their OS software is open source which they've taken from one place or another, or Jobs schemed to have a group, take openDarwin, work on advancements for his OS, then leave them out in the cold and not return any of their calls.
        OpenDarwin disbanded in disgust of being used by Steve Jobs. The entire open source world should stand united against Apple.
        There needs to be a consortium of developers as well that anyone can easily join, that can sue Apple when they steal software, change it slightly and then copyright or patent it.
        xuniL_z
      • Ridiculous

        [i]Machines running the A4 processor are a market unto themselves and unless the devices, such as the ipad, begin to offer alternative browsers and content delivery, at the least, the monopoly needs to be broken and Apple split between a hardware and a software company.[/i]

        What monopoly. With only 9% of the desktop market, I'd hardly call that a ubiquitous 'monopoly'.

        Apple products are quite optional, ya know.

        [i]Their software is a joke of course and quite irrelevant[/i]

        Of course it's a joke. You've never used it so we'll take all that into consideration.

        [i]but even still this needs to be done because the majority of their OS software is open source which they've taken from one place or another, or Jobs schemed to have a group, take openDarwin, work on advancements for his OS, then leave them out in the cold and not return any of their calls.[/i]

        You should visit this website. They have many sizes to choose from.

        http://zapatopi.net/afdb/

        [i]OpenDarwin disbanded in disgust of being used by Steve Jobs. The entire open source world should stand united against Apple.[/i]

        Why do that when there are bigger fish to fry in Redmond.

        [i]There needs to be a consortium of developers as well that anyone can easily join, that can sue Apple when they steal software, change it slightly and then copyright or patent it.[/i]

        Tell you what. Why don't you lead the charge.

        Who knows, they might even make you head pointy-hat.

        lol...
        LTV10
      • Ridiculous?

        <i>What monopoly. With only 9% of the desktop market, I'd hardly call that a ubiquitous 'monopoly'. </i>

        hmmm, Apple only has 9% of the device market running the Apple A4 processor? When did the major OEMs start using this procesor for Windows XP and Windows 7?
        Talk about ridiculous. You missed the point, but your replies show clearly why that is the case.

        <i>Apple products are quite optional, ya know.</i>

        Yes, just like in 1999 Windows machines were totally optional as well. Unless you want to discount Apple, IBM and SUN to name a few.

        <i> Of course it's a joke. You've never used it so we'll take all that into consideration.</i>

        Of course you are a joke, my first machine was an Apple. Yes, I recall writing code in it's only provided translator...one which Apple licensed from Microsoft.
        LOL!

        <i> You should visit this website. They have many sizes to choose from.

        http://zapatopi.net/afdb/ </i>

        Never heard of it, but obviously you have it bookmarked! LOL!!!
        You really should read about the original openDarwin team and what Jobs did to them. Of course like other Apple apologists, I'm sure you won't, facts are not your cup of tea.
        <i>
        Why do that when there are bigger fish to fry in Redmond. </i>

        When did Apple move to Redmond? Are you seriously this stupid?
        http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/05/apple-passes-microsoft/

        <i>
        Tell you what. Why don't you lead the charge.

        Who knows, they might even make you head pointy-hat.

        lol... </i>

        Nah, I don't want to take your post from you.
        LOL!!

        Now you go to your master, it's time for you to empty fthe drool bucket.
        xuniL_z
      • Ridiculous

        [i]hmmm, Apple only has 9% of the device market running the Apple A4 processor? When did the major OEMs start using this procesor for Windows XP and Windows 7?[/i]

        If you don't use an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, then none of this would matter to you. And since you probably don't, no monopoly is involved. Otherwise you're just being a bitter arrogant jerk. Is that the case? Hmmm?

        [i]Talk about ridiculous. You missed the point, but your replies show clearly why that is the case.[/i]

        Yeah I am talking about ridiculous. Maybe you should do something about that big "R" tattooed on your forehead.

        [i]Yes, just like in 1999 Windows machines were totally optional as well. Unless you want to discount Apple, IBM and SUN to name a few.[/i]

        This isn't 1999, but I realize you haven't advanced any.

        [i]Of course you are a joke, my first machine was an Apple. Yes, I recall writing code in it's only provided translator...one which Apple licensed from Microsoft.[/i]

        Sure pal, sure. And I landed on the moon with Neil Armstrong back in 1969 so my joke is bigger than your joke. But since you are already a big joke, I'll take my laughing at you under consideration as well. I won't promise you anything, though. ;)

        [i]Never heard of it, but obviously you have it bookmarked![/i]

        Google is your best friend. No need for bookmarks. Just type in backwards mentally deficient "xuniL" in there and that's the first thing that comes up.

        Now what size do you wear? LOL

        [i]You really should read about the original openDarwin team and what Jobs did to them. Of course like other Apple apologists, I'm sure you won't, facts are not your cup of tea.[/i]

        I really could care less and I don't think you really do, either. You don't give two squats about open source developers, so come up with another lame excuse.

        [i]When did Apple move to Redmond? Are you seriously this stupid?[/i]

        No but I think you are. Unless you're going to pretend you don't know what major monopoly is home-based in Redmond. Or do I need bring up the M$ word just in case you're that dense. Hmmm?

        [i]Nah, I don't want to take your post from you.[/i]

        You already have, cone_head. LOL

        [i]Now you go to your master, it's time for you to empty fthe drool bucket.[/i]

        Not until you clean my toilet.

        PS: What kind of word is [i]fthe[/i]? Or is that your own drool?

        LOL
        LTV10
      • Hey there captain success.

        No rebuttal required, you did a great job of the only thing you are good at...making a fool of yourself.

        Keep on hating and being bitter toward MS. Your a real pro! LOL
        xuniL_z
      • @LTV10, don't bother with the dyslexic idiot

        I've dealt with this @xyz_eiL moron before. A true tin-foil wingnut if there ever was one. He even plays with his own [i]tacs_oop[/i].

        LOL... :D
        ahh so
      • Well, well......

        It's captain sarcasm.

        The man of a million nics. Being banned can't stop our hero, no, he comes back with a new nic no matter how many times he's canned for his insulting, often obscene posts.

        I wish I could be like you, but I've only had the same nic since I came here....I must be boring and not like you.
        xuniL_z