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Internet Explorer shows signs of recovering web share

updated 01:20 pm EDT, Mon April 2, 2012

NetApplications shows second big increase for IE

New NetApplications data has shown that Internet Explorer might be on a sustained, if slight, recovery in web share. Microsoft's browser gained almost exactly one point to hit 53.83 percent of browser use online. The gain roughly mirrored one from January and saw IE at its highest position since October.

The gains came from losses roughly spread across all competitors, with Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari all declining slightly.

No explanation was given for the sudden revival, although Google's self-imposed, temporary penalty for disobeying its own rules on ads may have played a part. With fewer ads for Chrome, adoption may have been lower than it would have otherwise.

The increase was partly paralleled in operating systems, where Windows was back up to 92.48 percent and both the Mac and Linux were down slightly. It may have hinted that more people than usual were back at work during March given that StatCounter sees Chrome surging on weekends, indicating that IE was frequently being used by employees that weren't allowed to use something else until they returned home.

Mobile platforms didn't show the same clear trend. Apple was down slightly to 59.87 percent, but Android was also down; both lost to an unusual bounce back for Java ME feature phones, which recovered just a point to 15.1 percent. BlackBerry, Symbian, and others were mostly static.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Makosuke

    Joined: Dec 1969


    There's what you get

    See, MS, that's what you get for releasing a version of IE that isn't an embarrassment and/or actively hostile to web developers. Only took, what, ten years or so?

    I do wonder how much of that is people switching from one browser to another and how much is just people replacing XP machines for Christmas and not yet having had their kids reinstall "Shiny" or "InternetFox" or whatever they're calling their web browser.

    And actually, in my personal experience over a fair range of websites those figures for IE in the US and other English speaking countries is VASTLY overrepresented--I rarely see half that on most sites. If it's global, it's probably being skewed massively by China's disproportionately huge IE base (which is HUGELY disproportionately IE6, at that--presumably a lot of ancient computers and/or bootleg Windows installs with no updates).

  1. RoboBobo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    eh, answered my own question, per Net Applications again, Desktop browsing represents about 92.5% of all browsing.

    So IE's 53.83% of the 92.51% represents somewhere around 49.8% of the total browsing 'market'.

    Add in their negligible share of the mobile/tablet market...and they are probably still just a hair below 50%.

    But still, it's not that big a diff., so I'll say as long as Desktop share is so great, I can see why desktop share is broken out, from the 'all devices' category.

    Still, as mobile continues to gain, I think the 'all devices' category becomes the more interesting one, and this is bad news for MS, because they do so poorly in mobile.

    It's almost a given that their share will continue to decline as mobile takes on more importance.

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