Programming - - By Craig Buckler

Chrome 7 Overtakes IE7 to Become the World’s Third Most-Used Browser

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…

Browser September November change relative
IE 9.0 beta 0.09% 0.32% +0.23% +255.60%
IE 8.0 29.38% 29.49% +0.11% +0.40%
IE 7.0 12.98% 11.90% -1.08% -8.30%
IE 6.0 7.42% 6.45% -0.97% -13.10%
Firefox 4.0 beta 0.26% 0.41% +0.15% +57.70%
Firefox 3.5+ 28.33% 28.50% +0.17% +0.60%
Firefox 3.1- 2.48% 2.26% -0.22% -8.90%
Chrome 11.52% 13.32% +1.80% +15.60%
Safari 4.22% 4.70% +0.48% +11.40%
Opera 2.03% 2.02% -0.01% -0.50%
Others 1.38% 0.95% -0.43% -31.20%
IE (all) 49.87% 48.16% -1.71% -3.40%
Firefox (all) 31.07% 31.17% +0.10% +0.30%

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…

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