Internet Explorer browser usage dives below 70%, Firefox hits 20%

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It’s no secret that internet browser Firefox has been one of the shining lights of the open source movement, taking market share from Microsoft in a way that Linux hasn’t ever quite been able to. Well, in November last year, usage of Internet Explorer dipped below 70% for the first time in a decade, and Firefox’s market share rose above 20%.

At its peak in 2003, Internet Explorer was running on nearly 94.5% of the world’s internet-using computers. Since then, however, usage has steadily declined, due to endless bugs and security vulnerabilities leading to poor public perception of the software.

Other browsers like Firefox and Opera have pioneered innovations, including 3rd-party extensions, a more streamlined interface and better security measures. These have been a hit with customers, and the high-profile launch of Firefox 3 helped the browser build market share after hitting the headlines for breaking download volume records.

The latest contender, Google’s Chrome browser, recently exited beta. It sacrifices some of those features for blistering speed, but is my current browser of choice by far. In fact, Google has recently begun advertising Chrome’s speed in its popular GMail webmail app, promising ‘faster GMail – click here’.

Meanwhile, IE8 is on the horizon, which should bring considerable improvements. It’s safer, more user-friendly, more feature-packed and just generally snazzier. I suspect Microsoft might need to launch a bit of a PR offensive to get people to try the damn thing, though. 2009 will certainly be an interesting year for browsers.

NetApplications (via Dallas News)

Related posts: Trend Micro has it in for Internet Explorer – advises switching to another browser IMMEDIATELY | Mobile Internet Explorer 6 not available as an upgrade

Duncan Geere

5 comments

  • Opera browser is the only browser I have not had any problems with since I installed it six months ago. It’s free, easier to keep updated IMO, has less problems with security issues, and is by far the fastest browser I’ve found. I’ve read about Safari coming to Windows, but am not impressed with what I’ve read about their security issues. FireFox has been crashing regularly ever since version 3 was released. I haven’t tried Google’s Chrome browser yet, but am guessing that since all of their apps use up so much computer memory, their browser won’t be much better than IE.

    • I’d encourage you to give Chrome a try. There’s a few small bugs, but it’s by far the fastest browser I’ve used. Memory usage depends how many tabs you’ve got running – because it runs each as a separate process.

  • “At its peak in 2003, Internet Explorer was running on nearly 94.5% of the world’s internet-using computers. Since then, however, usage has steadily declined, due to endless bugs and security vulnerabilities leading to poor public perception of the software.”

    Poor public perception ? you only have to use IE a few times to have a poor perception of it, slow rendering constant annoying popups and active x allowing easy installs of ransom-ware pretending to be security software.
    IE is trash and FFs endless plugins make it my choice

    • That was true of me too, until I discovered Chrome. Its blazing speed was worth sacrificing a couple of add-ons for.

  • i hope this just shows people how amazing open source is. if only more people knew about it then they wouldn’t be forking out crazy money for average programs when you can get it on open source completely free. im talking about amazing programs like open office etc.

    i believe part of the problem is that people are confused between open source and freeware. they think if they download these things they will be bombarded with emails and pop-ups telling them to get the full version.

    open source really is a win-win.

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