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Internet Explorer drops below 60% web share

updated 12:15 pm EDT, Mon May 3, 2010

IE toppled by gains from Chrome, Safari in April

Internet Explorer has dropped below a 60 percent share of web traffic for the first time, Net Applications found in its latest study. Microsoft's browser dropped to 59.95 percent of web use in April after Google Chrome leapt half a point ahead to 6.73 percent in the same timeframe. Firefox and Safari also ate into Internet Explorer's share with small gains that put them at 24.59 percent and 4.72 percent each.

The Safari figure is a record for Apple since Net Applications changed its methods to more accurately reflect real-world share. Opera was the only other major browser to lose share by dropping to 2.3 percent.

Microsoft's continued rapid fall wasn't immediately explained, but Chrome has been helped by its popularity on both Macs and Windows PCs. Firefox and Safari are also multi-platform but have been criticized for not necessarily behaving the same way on each OS.

OS share itself was much more static last month, although Microsoft again reached its lowest point with Windows getting a still-dominant 91.46 percent. Mac OS X was off just under a hundredth of a point at 5.32 percent, while Linux gained very slightly to reach 1.05 percent.

The researchers also provided early insight into the iPad's usage habits. It still accounted for just a very small fraction of web traffic at 0.03 percent; in the US, the only country where it officially sells, it represented 0.12 percent. Hawaii and California are the most popular usage areas at 0.19 and 0.18 percent respectively, and the San Francisco Bay Area unsurprisingly has the highest concentration of users on a regional level. Wyoming has the least amount of use at just 0.03 percent.

Browser traffic share, April 2010

OS traffic share, April 2010

by MacNN Staff



  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    it's progress

    but it ought to be 6% not 60%

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    true story

    idiot client didn't know what firefox was, called it 'foxfire'

    i explained that you design in a standards-compliant browser like firefox, then you fix whatever IE breaks.

    she didn't want to hear that. told me to develop for IE because she just *knew* none of her clients used 'foxfire'.

    i offered to show her the weblogs to prove otherwise, she wouldn't let me finish that thought.

    i tried to explain that if i did as she asked, it would take 3 times longer and she would end up coming back to me all mad because her clients did, indeed, use firefox.

    i ended up firing her (over this and multiple other instances of micromanaging shiite she knew nothing about), worst client EVER

  1. lkrupp

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Good news...

    I don't have anything specific to rag on IE about but this is good news for Mac users. No longer are we the redheaded step children of the internet, an afterthought to web developers. It's been literally years since I have run into a major web site that doesn't work on Macs. My bank, my credit card companies, my insurance companies, everything I use and need works with Safari. I also now have Firefox and Chrome as backups if necessary. This is a far cry from the 1990's when Mac users were turned away from many web sites that worked only with Windows IE. We simply didn't matter.

    I hope the same happens with Adobe Flash and that web standards prevail for video too.

  1. The Vicar

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not so fast!

    These sorts of measurements are horribly inaccurate. IE may be below 60% in the real world, or it may not, but this is, at best, an indication that their numbers may be gradually sinking. I'm sure they try as hard as they can to make the numbers accurate, but this sort of thing is loaded with biases of all types -- I remember reading that some pro-Linux board had triumphantly declared that IE had lost first place to Firefox! (And if you went and checked the numbers, they were only using websites devoted to Open Source for the measurements. Gee, I'm sure those don't have any statistical skew towards Firefox at all!) The large reported share for Opera is fairly suspicious to me.

    And even taking these numbers at face value, they aren't terribly cheering: go to the "versions" view, and you'll see that IE 6 -- the version of IE which is the worst by a large margin -- has more market share than any version of Firefox, and only about 2% less than the two most recent versions of Firefox put together. And outdated versions of IE (that is, versions lower than 8) have a combined share larger than all versions put together of any other browser.

    What will be good news is when older versions of IE become irrelevant to designers who want to be inclusive -- and that day is apparently still very far off.

  1. IxOsX

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "i ended up firing her (over this and multiple other instances of micromanaging shiite she knew nothing about), worst client EVER"

    Let me just say, I admire your attitude!

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It will be less than 50% soon

    The big milestone will come when IE drops below 50%, and the trends show that happening. Equally important is if Google gets into that first tier of browsers (with IE and Firefox).

    I don't know exactly what number that should be, but lets say 15% share or so...certainly by 20% share.

    It's not only in terms of developing to open standards vs. a single browser (all though that certainly is part of it)...but also in terms of developing to browsers at all vs. non-browser development.

    A company like Google, more-so than Microsoft will try to make the web, the development platform, whereas Microsoft has always, for obvious reasons, really preferred that you develop for Windows OS, and has largely acted as a mischief maker than really leading the charge to the web.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Google did the office apps

    Google went out and did the web based office apps.

    You look at Adobe, and they demonstrate you can do 3d gaming on the web - but they never really moved their creative Suite to web-based.

    But you say, that would suck if it was web-based.

    Ah-ha! Exactly my point, because it was never really advanced, we commonly think that it would suck if we did it that way - but with the proper advancement in UI and back-end technology, it would have been far more advanced...but the leader here, Microsoft, hasn't led.

    That's been the problem.....finally this 'upstart' Google has started changing the thinking, but we are years off from where we need to be.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    HTML5 is not enough

    Even HTML5, Javascript, CSS, and Web 2.0 thinking is not enough....its still not enough, we need a Web 3.0....with how effectively MS stalled HTML development...what are we looking at for Web 3.0, another decade? I hope it accelerates, at least a little bit.

  1. Blu Owen

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Is Facebook causing this shift to Chrome and Firefox?
    Many people on Facebook who play the games are posting that their friends should change to one of these browsers to effectively play them. Is Facebook intentionally writing their games to be optimized for these browsers? Makes one wonder.

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