Over the past few months if you are following news about how Internet Explorer’s market share has been falling consistently to such an extent that some experts believe that the market share which is almost two-thirds will fall below half in the next 2 years. I want to share some trends and why I think Internet Explorer’s fate seems to be tied to Windows 7.
Image and stats taken from marketshare.hitslink.com
Market Share in October 2009
- Internet Explorer has a market share of 64.64% which is still massive, but it has been falling over a percent every month for almost two years.
- The market share loss is massive considering the the fact that almost two years ago IE had a market share over 78%.
- This loss of market share is almost exclusively picked up by Firefox and more recently even Chrome has picked up the numbers.
Why Internet Explorer is losing the plot?
- Looking at browser version’s market share, IE 6 is 23.30 % which is now smaller than Firefox’s 24.07%.
- This is a ominous sign and shows how popularity of Internet Explorer is tied up with the Windows OS. IE 6 was a default browser with Windows XP. Windows Vista which did not go down well with consumers saw its pre-installed IE 7 version still having a share much less than IE 6.
- If IE6 is more popular than the IE7 and IE8 at the moment, it looks like that people after using IE6 end up migrating to Firefox or Chrome. Obviously if a older version is more popular than the new one, we can safely say that Internet Explorer has got its newer versions completely wrong.
Why is Windows 7 sole hope for Internet Explorer?
- One thing that holds out hope for Internet Explorer browser is how well received IE8 has been. Internet Explorer 8 when released back in April 09, has managed to catch up and consolidate. It seems to have done so at the expense of of IE7 but that still means people like using IE8.
- Microsoft’s Windows 7 comes pre-installed with IE8 as its browser. If you notice the lackluster performance of Vista has hurt IE7, that means IE8’s numbers will be hugely reliant on how well received Windows 7 will be.
- Windows 7 has had pretty good reviews and it might save Internet Explorer for the moment. But the heady days of having 80% of the market share with their browsers are probably a thing of the past for Internet Explorer.
- When Google releases it thread-bare Chrome OS, it might push up the numbers for Chrome Browser. Because of the reliance of IE on Windows, Chrome OS will probably hurt Internet Explorer much more than Firefox.