Browser Trends November 2013: Ongoing IE Increases

By Craig Buckler

Internet Explorer usage increased by 4% during the past couple of months and September saw the largest jump for any browser since StatCounter began. Is the trend continuing in the latest figures…?

Worldwide Browser Statistics September 2013 to October 2013

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

Browser September October change relative
IE (all) 28.54% 28.94% +0.40% +1.40%
IE11 0.00% 0.13% +0.13% n/a
IE10 12.19% 12.44% +0.25% +2.10%
IE9 5.93% 5.99% +0.06% +1.00%
IE8 9.54% 9.56% +0.02% +0.20%
IE7 0.65% 0.59% -0.06% -9.20%
IE6 0.23% 0.23% +0.00% +0.00%
Chrome 40.88% 40.45% -0.43% -1.10%
Firefox 18.37% 18.09% -0.28% -1.50%
Safari 8.51% 8.53% +0.02% +0.20%
Opera 1.14% 1.12% -0.02% -1.80%
Others 2.56% 2.87% +0.31% +12.10%

Worldwide Browser Statistics October 2012 to October 2013

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

Browser October 2012 October 2013 change relative
IE (all) 32.08% 28.94% -3.14% -9.80%
IE11 0.00% 0.13% +0.13% n/a
IE10 0.00% 12.44% +12.44% n/a
IE9 17.95% 5.99% -11.96% -66.60%
IE8 12.66% 9.56% -3.10% -24.50%
IE7 0.98% 0.59% -0.39% -39.80%
IE6 0.49% 0.23% -0.26% -53.10%
Chrome 34.83% 40.45% +5.62% +16.10%
Firefox 22.32% 18.09% -4.23% -19.00%
Safari 7.81% 8.53% +0.72% +9.20%
Opera 1.63% 1.12% -0.51% -31.30%
Others 1.33% 2.87% +1.54% +115.80%

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. 9.2% of IE7 users switched browsers last month. There are several caveats so I recommend you read How Browser Market Share is Calculated.

While October was less dramatic, IE was the only browser to make gains other than a tiny increase for Safari. IE is still down by 3% over the past year but it seems Microsoft is enticing users back from Google and Mozilla.

IE11 was released with the Windows 8.1 upgrade in mid-October and currently holds a tiny 0.13% market share. That’s certain to increase rapidly when it’s released for Windows 7. There’s no official statement from Microsoft but, since we’re in the eleventh month, what date would be ideal for an IE11 Windows 7 release?…

Overall, the chart was remarkably stable. Chrome 30 and Firefox 25 were released during October but neither could stop 1% of those users migrating elsewhere. Safari and Opera fluctuated but neither have been able to impact the big three.

One final point: Amazon’s Silk browser on the Kindle accounts for 0.16% of all users. I thought it would have been more dominant by now.

Mobile Browser Usage

Mobile web usage increased to 19.71% of all web activity during October — the highest since StatCounter’s records began.

The top mobile browsing applications:

Mobile Browser September October change relative
Android 28.18% 25.62% -2.56% -9.10%
iPhone 21.04% 19.18% -1.86% -8.80%
Opera Mini/Mobile 16.62% 24.03% +7.41% +44.60%
UC Browser 11.80% 10.45% -1.35% -11.40%
Nokia Browser 6.58% 5.84% -0.74% -11.20%
Chrome 4.63% 4.77% +0.14% +3.00%
Blackberry 3.10% 2.87% -0.23% -7.40%
Others 8.05% 7.24% -0.81% -10.10%

This looks very odd. I doubt Opera increased more than 7% in one month, but that’s what StatCounter is showing? Either it’s a quirky blip or the data collection/analysis methods have changed.

Remember that all web statistics are based on an unstable tower of assumptions. Always approach figures with a healthy dose of skepticism!

  • Kevin

    Do you know if anyone is tracking usage of pre-Blink and Blink versions of Opera? I’m curious if I’m the only one clinging on to “old” Opera.

    • Adrian

      I’m still using v12.16 (pre Blink) version of Opera in my office, whilst at home I am using post Blink (17.0.xxx) and am missing some of the “old” functionality. Hopefully they will include some of the things I love about the “old” Opera soon! I guess I could always download the pre Blink version at home, but by the same token am keen to explore new functionality

  • Anonymous

    You can get Opera version figures at StatCounter but you need to download a CSV to see them in detail. For the moment, Opera has a 1.12% market share. That consists of 0.79% on Opera 12- and 0.33% of Opera 15+.

    So we can estimate that a little under 30% of Opera users upgraded to the newer Blink-based version. It seems you are part of the majority.

    • Kevin

      Interesting. Thank you for the info.

  • Patrick Samphire

    Ah, I wish IE8 would just hurry up and die. Everything else is so easy to do modern designs on, and then you have to deal with IE8…

    • Anonymous

      Do you mean modern flat designs with square corners and no shadows? IE8 excels at that!

      • Patrick Samphire

        I’m not really talking about passing design fashions. More about complex layouts with CSS3 selectors, media queries, rem units and so on. IE8 was a perfectly decent browser. It’s just out of date now, with IE11 released and other browsers moving on too, and I do think it’s now holding back design.

        • Anonymous

          While IE8 doesn’t support everything, it’s reasonably simple to provide fallbacks. For example, you can guarantee IE8 users are on a PC, so a RWD layout isn’t strictly necessary. You can use em fallbacks for rem and it’s unlikely your main content will require sophisticated CSS3 selectors.

          I don’t really think IE8 holds us back. Of course, life would be easier without it — but it’d also be easier without mobile devices, screen readers or the hundreds of other old browsers people are using.

  • Mike

    Ha! I don’t mind IE8 at all, IE7 is the real headache!

  • Anonymous

    For IE8 I use selectivizer and respond (or just fixed width containers in an IE8 stylesheet) and box-sizing htc and it’s easy from there.

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