The new browser wars on on. More than a decade after Microsoft killed off Netscape with Internet Explorer, competition in the browser market has never been stronger. Just last week, Mozilla released Firefox 3.5, which has now been downloaded nearly 14 million times. Earlier in June, Apple released Safari 4. In March, Microsoft introduced Internet Explorer 8, and Google came out with a speedier beta of its Chrome browser.
Some early data is coming in showing relative market share and how fast people are upgrading. If you look at the chart above from Statcounter, it indicates that since March Internet Explorer has lost 11.4 percent market share to other browsers. That is the combined market share of IE8, IE7, and IE6. Certainly IE8 (the light blue line) has been growing strong since its release last March, capturing 16.7 percent of the market as of July 4.
Those strong gains make up for most of the drop in IE7’s market share from 49.1 percent in March to 30.1 percent yesterday, indicating that Microsoft is doing a good job of getting existing IE7 users to upgrade at a steady pace. And in mid-June, IE8 finally surpassed IE6, which still stubbornly holds a 7.6 percent share. Add those three up, (IE6+IE7+IE8), however, and IE all together holds only a 54.4 percent market share versus the 65.8 percent combined share in March, 2009.
In just over three months, Internet Explorer has seen its overall market share erode by 11.4 percent. Where did that go? It went to Firefox, Safari, and Chrome. Nearly 5 percent of that, or about half, went to Firefox 3.0, which currently has 27.6 percent market share. That doesn’t count last week’s upgrade. See the dotted line just below the light blue IE8 line? That is a combined set of “other” browsers and appears to include Firefox 3.5, Safari 4, and Chrome 2.0.