IE market share drops again; Chrome, Safari gain

While it retains market dominance, Microsoft's browser loses largest percentage of users in September since December 2010, with Google's Chrome and Apple's Safari browsers main beneficiaries, new study shows.

Microsoft continues to lose ground for its Internet Explorer (IE) browser after experiencing its largest drop in users globally last month since December 2010, with Google and Apple the main beneficiaries. The software giant retains its dominant market share, though.

According to a report by Web measurement firm Net Applications last Saturday, IE lost nine-tenths of a percentage point to 54.4 percent, representing its seventh straight month of decline and the most since December 2010 when it fell by 1.1 percentage points.

Comparatively, Google's Chrome continued to grow its presence in the browser arena with seven-tenths of a point spike to hit 16.2 percent while Apple's Safari also ended the month at 5 percent, the report stated.

Redmond, though, responded by highlighting the successes of IE9 on its Windows 7 operating system. Roger Capriotti, the head of IE's marketing, pointed out in a blog post last Saturday that 21 percent of users running Windows 7 are using its latest iteration of IE. It is second only to IE8's leading 31.6 percent, according to Microsoft.

IE9 was also the safest browser against socially-engineered malware in a test conducted earlier this year, according to NSS Labs. The study showed that Microsoft's browser blocked off 99.2 percent of live threats thrown at it globally, which was more than Chrome 12's 13.2 percent and Mozilla's Firefox 4 at 7.6 percent, the report noted.