Browser Trends May 2015: Can Microsoft Regain the Edge?

By Craig Buckler
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The browser market has been mostly static for a few months. Let’s check the latest figures from StatCounter?…

Worldwide Desktop & Tablet Browser Statistics, March to April 2015

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

Browser March April change relative
IE (all) 17.88% 18.25% +0.37% +2.10%
IE11 10.63% 10.76% +0.13% +1.20%
IE10 1.74% 1.81% +0.07% +4.00%
IE9 2.18% 2.26% +0.08% +3.70%
IE6/7/8 3.33% 3.42% +0.09% +2.70%
Chrome 49.07% 49.97% +0.90% +1.80%
Firefox 16.81% 16.77% -0.04% -0.20%
Safari 5.51% 4.77% -0.74% -13.40%
iPad Safari 5.42% 5.09% -0.33% -6.10%
Opera 1.62% 1.61% -0.01% -0.60%
Others 3.69% 3.54% -0.15% -4.10%

Worldwide Desktop & Tablet Browser Statistics, April 2014 to April 2015

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

Browser April 2014 April 2015 change relative
IE (all) 21.41% 18.25% -3.16% -14.80%
IE11 8.33% 10.76% +2.43% +29.20%
IE10 3.60% 1.81% -1.79% -49.70%
IE9 3.31% 2.26% -1.05% -31.70%
IE6/7/8 6.17% 3.42% -2.75% -44.60%
Chrome 45.33% 49.97% +4.64% +10.20%
Firefox 18.60% 16.77% -1.83% -9.80%
Safari 9.77% 9.86% +0.09% +0.90%
Opera 1.37% 1.61% +0.24% +17.50%
Others 3.52% 3.54% +0.02% +0.60%

(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. 8.8% of IE9 users switched browsers last month. There are several caveats so I recommend you read How Browser Market Share is Calculated and StatCounter vs NetMarketShare.)

It’s the usual story. Chrome had the biggest jump and now stands a fraction under 50% of the market. Firefox and Opera dropped a little, but the biggest loser was Safari. Both the Mac OS and iPad versions decreased but Apple is unlikely to be concerned given their recent $13.6 billion quarterly profits!

The only other browser to make a gain was IE. Talking of which…

Goodbye Internet Explorer, Hello Edge

We’ve known about Microsoft’s new browser for some time. It has now received an official name: Microsoft Edge.

Meh. I liked “Spartan”.

Does the new logo look familiar?…

999-browser-trends

It’s a sensible choice. Existing IE users who don’t know or care about Edge won’t notice any difference — they’ll still click that blue ‘e’ icon.

The name and logo are a little underwhelming. Perhaps Microsoft could have been more radical? That said, users rarely like major changes (Windows 8 anyone?) Here’s a look at a recent build of the browser to whet your appetite.

Worldwide Mobile Browser Statistics, March to April 2015

Mobile usage grew marginally to reach 33.47% of all web activity.

The top mobile browsing applications:

Mobile Browser March April change relative
Chrome 31.50% 32.30% +0.80% +2.50%
iPhone 20.65% 19.49% -1.16% -5.60%
Android 18.48% 17.96% -0.52% -2.80%
UC Browser 12.71% 13.69% +0.98% +7.70%
Opera Mini/Mobile 8.41% 9.09% +0.68% +8.10%
IEMobile 2.13% 2.20% +0.07% +3.30%
Nokia Browser 2.40% 2.12% -0.28% -11.70%
Others 3.72% 3.15% -0.57% -15.30%

The mobile market remains lively and most users stick with the default browser on the device. For iPhone users, that’s Safari — Apple don’t permit other rendering engines. It dropped below 20% for the first time since December 2013. However, the iPhone remains exceptionally popular so it’s unlikely to be a long-term trend.

At the lower end of the chart, IEMobile has overtaken the ancient Nokia browser to become the sixth most-popular application. But 2.2% of the market is barely cause for a celebration. Perhaps Microsoft Edge will fare better?

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