It’s been a couple of months since I looked at the browser market. IE’s drop below 50% was the big news in October. This month’s news is less dramatic but web developers will let out a whoop of joy: Chrome 7 has overtaken IE7 to become the world’s third most-popular browser with a 12.09% market share.
Chrome 7 is still some way behind Firefox 3.6 (25.32%) and IE8 (29.49%), but IE7’s demise is cause for celebration! (Personally, I find IE7 more problematical than IE6.)
Let’s take a look at the StatCounter statistics in more detail…
|IE 9.0 beta||0.09%||0.32%||+0.23%||+255.60%|
|Firefox 4.0 beta||0.26%||0.41%||+0.15%||+57.70%|
The ‘change’ column shows the absolute increase or decrease in market share. The ‘relative’ column indicates relative movements, i.e., IE7 lost 8.3% of its users during the past two months.
Microsoft will be pleased to see IE8 usage has barely changed and there’s been a 2.5x increase in IE9 users! The IE9 statistics are a little unreliable — October’s figure was very low because the beta browser was released on 15 September 2010. However, IE9 beta is catching Firefox 4 beta, which has been available longer.
Firefox’s overall share remained mostly static. A few users have upgraded, but there are no significant losses or gains.
It’s a similar story for Opera and Safari. Safari’s modest increase owes much to the success of the iPad which accounts for 0.26% of the market.
The combined IE6 and IE7 share has dropped by 2% with Chrome taking the majority of those users. The growth of Google’s browser remains impressive, and I suspect it’s been helped by the delayed release of Firefox 4 and the continued date uncertainty for IE9.
However, could everything change in 2011? Will IE9’s speed boost win back users who switched to Chrome? Will Firefox 4 re-ignite people’s passion? Will RockMelt become the sixth mainstream browser? It’ll be an interesting year…
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.