IE8 on top but IE10 gains speed; Windows 8 surpasses Vista share

IE8 on top but IE10 gains speed; Windows 8 surpasses Vista share

Summary: June usage share statistics show that while IE10 is gaining traction thanks to support in Windows 7, IE8 remains on top. Meanwhile, Windows 8's usage share has finally surpassed Vista's share.

TOPICS: Windows 8, Browser

There are two bits of good news for Microsoft based on the latest usage share figures from NetMarketShare for June.

Internet Explorer 10 continues to maintain good growth in browser share by gaining 4.26 percentage points between May and June, while Windows 8 has surpassed Vista's declining share, pegging in at 5.1 percent of the usage share market.

While IE10's rising share is showing promise, IE8 remains the powerhouse of the browser market — though the company is seeing month-on-month declines. Meanwhile, Windows 8 maintains overall sluggish growth, gaining just 0.8 percentage points between May and June, partially offsetting Windows 7's natural decline.

And here's where it gets interesting: Vista's usage share actually grew marginally from 4.51 percent in May to 4.62 percent in June. According to my colleague Ed Bott, that's simply a "rounding error."

Desktop operating system trends. (Image: NetMarketShare)

For all intents and purposes, Windows 7's usage share remains, on the whole, flat compared to Windows XP's ever-declining share of roughly 0.5 percent each month. But Windows 7 remains the most popular operating system on the market, taking 44.3 percent, with Windows XP just behind at 37.1 percent.

Apple retains about 6.6 percent of the overall desktop usage share market — higher than Windows 8's current share, and higher than Vista's declining share — but shows that the Mac hardware maker is seeing a higher rate of fragmentation on its desktops than in its mobile smartphone and tablet space.

Desktop operating system share. (Image: NetMarketShare)

Looking at the competitive browser market, there has been a surge in alternative "other" browsers between May and June. Little data is available on this. However, in the named browser game, Internet Explorer 8 remains in the top spot. In a month or two, it's expected that thanks to being introduced on Windows 7, Internet Explorer 10 will break through as the most popular-named browser in the usage share space.

Internet Explorer 9 remains in freefall, dropping about 4 percentage points between May and June, while Chrome 26 and Firefox 20 saw almost zero share in June due to the automatic browser updating. In effect, it's not a crash of alternative browsers; rather, most users are now on Chrome 27 and Firefox 21 and 22, respectively.

Desktop browser trends. (Image: NetMarketShare)

With that, browser usage share shows that Chrome 27 has around 13.7 percent of all users, while Firefox 21 has about 12.5 percent. There is a newer version of Firefox that will likely see the numbers change, but they have yet to be updated on the NetMarketShare pages. Safari takes about 3.3 percent of the usage share, with other browsers taking 16.5 percent collectively.

Desktop browser share. (Image: NetMarketShare)

The browser market remains more fragmented and evenly distributed than the operating system market.

That said, Microsoft still owns more than half of the browser space, with 53.9 percent usage share across its three major versions of Internet Explorer. This is compared to alternative, non-IE browsers that collectively take 45.8 percent of the usage share.

Topics: Windows 8, Browser

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  • V 8.1

    Version 8.1 will give Windows more appeal and more users will shift to Win 8. Those numbers will change rapidly. IE 11 will also make many users. Its very fast.
    • XP support terminates next year

      and that will push upgrades, not the innate charms of W8. We'll see how many business and retail PC owners move to W8 versus W7. That may force MS to enable IE11 for W7, rather than repeat its dumb market-share losing mistake confining nearly half its customers to IE8.
      • Force? They already announced IE 11 was coming

        to Windows7 last week when they first announced IE11.
        Johnny Vegas
    • 8.1? Pfui!

      A lame "Start" button and booting to flat tile desktop is barely enough.
      The "growth" of WIN8 is due to the fact that retail customers CAN NOT buy machines preloaded with WIN7.
      End of story.
      • They couldn't buy XP machines either.

        Despite this, Vista grew slowly and was considered a failure.

        When 7 was released, nobody could buy Vista machines anymore.

        Despite that, it ended up as a major success.

        When 8 was released, nobody could buy 7 machines anymore.

        It's not as big as its older brother, but it's doing a lot better than Vista was, seeing how its sales in 3 years have been surpassed in less than one.
      • That's a lie

        You can still get Windows 7 machines, they still exist.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • Win 8.1 preview

        I installed it on the laptop on which I had Win 8. Not much change (taking into account I was using Start8 on Windows 8 so I could already boot straight to desktop and got rid of the pesky hot corners). I spent a few hours using Win 8.1 as is before becoming totally exasperated with the way MS wants you to do things and downloaded Start8 beta for Win 8.1. Now it works the way I WANT IT TO WORK. The only thing I might be able to like is the ability of Win 8.1 to resize the tiles on the Start Screen and the ability to replace the tiles with the Apps list. With Start 8 I doubt I'll rarely go over to the Start screen anyway. Just can't get into the METRO/MODERN UI.
        • Win 8.1 preview

          Agreed. Why try to force customers to do something? They could have suggested it and leave "classic mode" there but 8.1 still isn't quite there yet. It is an improvement but for me I am RDP'd into the machine and hot corners just don't work for me. I like the fact that I can get back to what I used to be able to do with "right clicking". I think a good description about what happened with Win8 is touch/gestures seemed to replace the right clicking of old. I can complain about that with OSX too. Daily I am on my old OSX Mac Pro which I have switched to instead of Windows 7/8. I still RDP to my Win7 machine for many of my undoable tasks I run into with OSX but natively, linux/unix/OSX is the best.

          And don't get me started with Server 2012, which will be the real problem here. Especially since most server installs are virtual these days and hot corners are the productivity killer here.
          • Re: zsudas

            What's with this "force" thing? No one is threatening the lives of yourself or your family if you don't upgrade from a fully functional OS that will be supported for 5 - 7 more years.

            If a computer breaks down and the favorite OS is not available anywhere, then a person may have a legitimate claim to being forced to get a different OS (not any specific one, though).
      • WIN7

        Windows 7 machines ARE available at multiple retail outlets, offline and on so that isn't the reason for Windows 8's fast growth. Offline stores- Staples and best Buy and Walmart all carry Windows 7 computers, at least in my area. Windows 8 is actually faster than the already very fast Windows 7, offers the same desktop environment plus the new Start screen with a fast growing store of apps. Even my 75 year old mother just purchased a Windows 8 laptop and once I showed her the different ways to do things with it compared to her Windows XP desktop, she's thrilled with Windows 8 and how much easier it is for her to do the things she did with XP.
        To quote you: "End of Story!"
      • They can get a PC with Windows 7, Windows 8

        and even Linux.

        True End of story
        William Farrel
      • Re: radu.m

        Why blame MS (or any OS) because manufacturers only offer computers with the latest OS? If more customers demanded computers with no OS (such as Linux and UNIX users), then the companies would be more prone to offer them. Same is true of Win 7. If enough people told the manufacturers they would only buy their computers if it came with Win 7, they would find some way to provide it.
  • Windows 8 - the little OS that could...

    Windows 8 just keeps chuggin' along... in spite of all of the criticisms. "I think I can. I think I can." lol

    I'm previewing 8.1 and love the changes so far. :)
    • Windows 8's inertia

      is due to it being the only OS available preinstalled on new microcomputers other than Macs and some Lenovo models.
      • Only OS?

        Is that why there are Windows 7 machines at the Best Buy store? Because Windows 8 is the only one?
        Michael Alan Goff
        • Best Buy applies common sense. Must be their bean counters at it again.

          Best Buy must have gotten sense, like Lenovo did. Windows 8 won't sell. A Windows 7 "downgrade" will. For once, kudos to Best Buy.
        • not at the BestBuy nearest me

          At that store every display laptop and desktop is running Windows 8. And I learned long ago not to waste my time asking their sales associates any questions.
      • Hasn't that been the same complaint with every new Windows release?

        So, what's different about MS wanting their newest version of Windows to be included of new machines? It's the past revisited, but the complainers will always find excuses for why MS is still tops in the PC market. Apple computers have never come equipped with an OS other than what Apple provides, so, why not beatch about them doing the same?
        • MSFT will top the PC OS market

          But it's an interesting question whether Windows 7 would outsell Windows 8 if buyers could choose either.
  • Too late...

    The flood of inexpensive computers running a free operating system will go from a trickle to a flood just in time for Christmas. Every dollar store will have $70 Linux computers on sale as attention-getters. When people open up their presents and find out that you don't need Microsoft, then it's done. Stick a fork in it!
    Tony Burzio