Browser Trends May 2013: IE8 Drops Below 10%

By Craig Buckler
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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!

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  • Stevie D

    I still don’t see why Opera switching from Presto to Blink should make any big difference to its userbase. The reason I use Opera is not because it has an independent rendering engine, but because it’s a damn good piece of software with a gazillion more native functions than any other (mainstream) browser. I don’t care all that much about what happens under the bonnet, all I’m interested in is whatever gives me the most useful features. As long as Opera continues to do that, I’ll remain a loyal customer.

    • I would guess many of Opera’s users are developers. Is there any point testing Opera when it’ll switch to Blink shortly and work identically to Chrome? Remember this is about browser usage — I’m certainly using it less because Presto doesn’t have a future.

      I’m sure Opera will remain a great browser when they migrate to Blink. Given the power Google wields over the market, I hope Opera can slice a chunk out of Chrome’s market share.

      • Stevie D

        Fair point, but I’d be a bit upset if a significant chunk of the handful of Opera-users were just webbists who were testing their sites in Opera – that would push the number of actual Opera-users down even lower. Although somehow I don’t think that’s likely – I doubt that the number of “test hits” using Presto (as opposed to webbists who use Opera because, well, because it’s a darned good browser and that’s what they do most of their primary site development with) is out of proportion with the number of Opera users.

      • I understand what you’re saying but Opera has always been a power-user browser. Many of those people will be developers who probably don’t use it as much now. I think the figures speak for themselves.

  • Al

    well, I guess I am one of dinosaurs, I still use IE8 and as long as I have this laptop with XP on it to use, that won’t change. can’t install anything higher in the IE line. use Chrome most of the time anyway but do need IE8 for some things and for the most part, it does still work quite well. just because it is old and tired, I don’t get rid of other working things in my life so why should a browser be any different? I don’t buy a new car every year just because they come out with a new model, I don’t think a browser needs to be any different.


    • Well, Al, you admit you’re mostly using Chrome so retaining IE8 doesn’t really affect the browser statistics. Chrome updates itself so you are “buying a new car” — except it’s one that’s released every six weeks!

    • The biggest headache we have now is corporate use of XP and thus IE8.

  • Alexandre


    I’m curious what “Android — 30.96% (up 0.18%)” stands for ?

    Is it only the default Android browser, or does it include Chorme on Android ?

    • “Android” is the default browser.

      Chrome on Android is fairly low down the chart with around 2% if I recall correctly.

  • I thought IE10 might have replaced more of the IE9 base now that Microsoft are pushing it out with updates to Windows 7 users. Perhaps we won’t see that effect fully until next month.

    • Many businesses restrict automated updates until they’ve had a chance to test them against mission-critical software. It’ll be some time before IE9 disappears completely.

  • Robert

    Are there any stats on total user numbers? I understand that overall percentages of the general population are the main driver here, but if the total number of people with computers has increased enough, then is not possible, for example, that total IE8 users is no different from the month prior?

    • How would you generate those figures? It’s not really possible unless you could survey every web user to determine what they used. Even then, what if I use two or more browsers?

  • Michael

    Chrome is the easier to use the IE or Firefox for people who want to keep their browser use simple.

  • dale

    this is news to me, I thought everyone left IE and moved on to Firefox and as far as Chrome i didn’t think they were even in the top 10 or even 20.

    • Welcome to 2013. Where have you been for the past five years?!

      • jack the rapper

        Where were you that you can’t tell it is a comment from an url dropping troll :)

        I switched back to FF recently having gone through IE > NN (ahhh the good old days) > Opera >FF > Chrome…and now back to FF due to extensions but FF still suffers performance issues with video media that I might defect back to Chrome if they can port (fully) a few extensions.
        Browsers are like cars…when new they are shiny, exciting, fun, have something unique but then you realize you get there with the same utilitarian pains.

      • Really? Dale — are you real? If not, you’re not a very effective spammer — you didn’t leave a link!

        I’ve not experienced poor video with Firefox? No more than any other browser, anyway. Is it any particular format?

  • These figures are only relevant to websites with Statcounter-statistics… I’m nog sure you can extrapolate them to the whole web…

    • If that’s the case, you can’t extrapolate any poll or survey! StatCounter collate statistics from three million websites — certainly one of the highest samples. While no web statistics can ever be 100% accurate, it’s a reasonable estimate of overall usage.

      That said, you should always check your own site statistics first.

  • So Chrome is the most popular browser! Who would have predicted that a few years ago?!

  • We are seeing similar results on our site with Chrome in the lead but still showing IE7 at around 1%. Yea, seriously. Wish 7 and 8 were 0%. Interesting post Craig, thanks.

  • I started with IE because it was pre-shipped with my Windows OS moved to Firefox did not really spend time with it before moving to Chrome. Some I think this statistics my behaviour on the net.