Browser Trends May 2013: IE8 Drops Below 10%

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We’re one third of the way through 2013 and an interesting battle has commenced between the two leading vendors. These are the latest figures according to StatCounter

Worldwide Browser Statistics March 2013 to April 2013

The following table shows browser usage movements during the past month.

Browser March April change relative
IE (all) 29.29% 29.69% +0.40% +1.40%
IE10 2.26% 6.19% +3.93% +173.90%
IE 9 15.81% 13.35% -2.46% -15.60%
IE8 10.29% 9.30% -0.99% -9.60%
IE7 0.64% 0.59% -0.05% -7.80%
IE6 0.29% 0.26% -0.03% -10.30%
Chrome 38.13% 39.21% +1.08% +2.80%
Firefox 20.85% 20.05% -0.80% -3.80%
Safari 8.48% 7.99% -0.49% -5.80%
Opera 1.16% 1.00% -0.16% -13.80%
Others 2.09% 2.06% -0.03% -1.40%

Worldwide Browser Statistics April 2012 to April 2013

The following table shows browser usage movements during the past twelve months:

Browser April 2012 April 2013 change relative
IE (all) 34.07% 29.69% -4.38% -12.90%
IE10 0.00% 6.19% +6.19% n/a
IE 9 15.67% 13.35% -2.32% -14.80%
IE8 14.69% 9.30% -5.39% -36.70%
IE7 2.54% 0.59% -1.95% -76.80%
IE6 1.17% 0.26% -0.91% -77.80%
Chrome 31.29% 39.21% +7.92% +25.30%
Firefox 24.86% 20.05% -4.81% -19.30%
Safari 7.14% 7.99% +0.85% +11.90%
Opera 1.70% 1.00% -0.70% -41.20%
Others 0.94% 2.06% +1.12% +119.10%

The tables show market share estimates for desktop browsers. The ‘change’ column is the absolute increase or decrease in market share. The ‘relative’ column indicates the proportional change, i.e. another 10.3% of IE6 users abandoned the browser last month. There are several caveats so I recommend you read How Browser Market Share is Calculated.

Chrome jumped another 1% during April. That growth can’t continue, but there’s no sign of it stopping yet. Only one application managed to put up a fight: IE10. Microsoft’s browser grew an impressive 4% in one month following the automated update for Windows 7. While the other versions all dropped, IE10 more than made up the difference.

Talking of which, IE8 had a 1% drop and has fallen below 10%! While the browser did much to rectify the issues in IE6 and IE7, development will be far easier when we can depend on widespread HTML5 support without shims. It still has a healthy percentage but many businesses will be forced to consider alternatives when Microsoft drops Windows XP support next year.

IE6 and IE7 have become mostly irrelevant. I’m tempted to remove them from the chart, but…

  1. some developers use the figures as justification for dropping the decrepit browsers, and
  2. it gives me a smug sense of satisfaction to watch the numbers tumble.

However, I’m relieved Microsoft can take on Google because the others are struggling.

Firefox holds just over 20% of users but is likely to fall below that threshold next month.

Safari didn’t have a great month and fell 0.5%. It’s a reasonable browser but would it be so popular if Apple didn’t enforce usage on iOS? Users could fall further if Webkit development falls significantly behind Blink.

Finally, 14% of Opera users switched last month and it’s dropped to 1%. Perhaps that’s understandable; Presto has been abandoned for Blink so is there any point sticking with a browser which will soon be superseded?

Mobile Browser Usage

Mobile usage decreased slightly to 13.9% of all web activity in April 2013.

The primary mobile browsing applications:

  1. Android — 30.96% (up 0.18%)
  2. iPhone — 23.94% (down 0.50%)
  3. Opera Mini/Mobile – 15.35% (down 0.19%)
  4. UC Browser — 8.74% (up 0.47%)
  5. Nokia browser — 7.03% (up 0.07%)

In comparison to the desktop market, there’s very little to report. I guess it’s a quiet time of year with no significant releases or disruptive technologies. Nothing to see here. Please move along and return next month!

Craig BucklerCraig Buckler
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Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's created enterprise specifications, websites and online applications for companies and organisations including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Microsoft, and more. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler.

Browser Trendsfirefoxgoogle chromeHTML5 Dev Centerieoperasafari
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