By Craig Buckler

Current Browser Market Shares and Trends, August 2010

By Craig Buckler

It’s a few months since I examined browser market shares so it’s time to analyse the figures again to see whether there have been any significant changes in the first half of 2010.

The following data has been obtained from StatCounter. No website statistics are perfect, but StatCounter is better than most and we can estimate general trends.

Worldwide Browser Statistics February to July 2010
Browser February July change relative
IE 8.0 23.74% 29.05% +5.31% +22.40%
IE 7.0 19.00% 14.79% -4.21% -22.20%
IE 6.0 11.74% 8.77% -2.97% -25.30%
Firefox 3.5+ 26.20% 27.44% +1.24% +4.70%
Firefox 3.0+ 4.74% 2.80% -1.94% -40.90%
Opera 1.94% 1.91% -0.03% -1.50%
Chrome 6.72% 9.90% +3.18% +47.30%
Safari 4.09% 4.06% -0.03% -0.70%
Others 1.83% 1.28% -0.55% -30.10%

The change column shows the absolute increase or decrease in market share. The relative column shows that change in relation to its February 2010 share, e.g. 22.2% of IE7 users abandoned the browser during the past six months.

IE8 and Firefox 3.5+ are still gaining ground but primarily because previous versions have dropped. IE8’s growth has been particularly impressive and it’s now retaken Firefox’s lead to become the most-used browser.

A few slightly misleading articles have appeared about IE’s growth during the past few days. IE8 has overtaken Firefox 3.5+ but the total market share for all versions of IE has dropped by 1.9%. Mozilla can’t be complacent: Firefox’s total share has also reduced by 0.7%.

The best news is that IE6 usage has fallen below 10%! It also holds less than 4.5% of the market in North America and Europe. However, be wary if you’re trading in Africa or Asia where almost 1 in 5 web users still use Microsoft’s ancient browser.

Opera has barely changed although it’s improved since April. Safari’s previous small gain has been wiped out. I expected it to do a little better following the launch of Apple’s iPad and iPhone 4.

Chrome remains the biggest winner and should reach double figures within a couple of months. 50% growth within 6 months is impressive — take note Microsoft and Mozilla. Could we see a 3-way tie between IE, Firefox and Chrome within the next few years?

  • manuhanda

    Seems like when people will be more aware of using Chrome and its simplicity then IE will be ranking far behind. Google blogs respects all complaints with their products during BETA release while Microsoft just send the errors to the server directly from the machine with out any users comments.
    Computer repair toronto

  • Sniffer

    What worries me is that browser stats differ between different reports. , for instance says that IE6 still has a 16.97% market share up to the end of July.
    I’d love to believe that IE6 has dipped under 10%, but I’m not sure it has or not!

    • You should use your own website statistics first — every site is different and many are influenced by their content, e.g. the Firefox add-ons site has relatively few IE users!

      I can’t vouch for either set of statistics and it’s difficult to compare. Per month, NetMarketShare record 160 million visitors whereas StatCounter record 15 billion hits. They’re different metrics and both organisations would state theirs is best.

      Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. You should endeavour to make sites work in as many browsers as possible!

  • Davenport

    Unless Firefox can make some dramatic speed improvements in version 4, that are not yet present in the beta releases, I think it’s going to get stuck in the 20-25% range and the real competition over the next few years will be between IE and Chrome.

  • On a personal level without regard to the stats, I’ve been alternating between Chrome and Opera and MSIE these days. It’s been awhile since I opened up Firefox. My only complaint regarding using Opera is how facebook chat does not work right. So I end up switching to Chrome or MSIE when I go to Facebook. MSIE just seems to use up a lot of resources or is a slow dog compared to Chrome or Opera. I’m not certain which one is going to win out for me yet. Some sites don’t work right in Chrome. Issues with Javascript image libraries on a few sites I go to. However they work great with Opera or MSIE. Safari like Firefox I don’t bother with much. I sincerely don’t like the funky scroll bars and default form elements. It just feels so not normal when compared to viewing things in the other browsers. It’s a sense of some type of alienation on the asthestic level. (sounds strange I know).

    Firefox, I’ve walked away from because of issues over sync Ajax request issues. They decided to no longer support the W3 specs on this. So I’m not using Firefox much anymore just because…I’m not a happy camper anymore with them and Chrome has more of my attention now.

  • Napolux

    Maybe you should correct your table “april” column ;)

  • What happens if someone is using Chrome Frame?

    I’m sure there can’t be that many, but it’s always fun to throw a virtual spanner in the works ;-)

    • It’ll be reported as Chrome … although the web page must indicate that CF should be used and not many sites do that.

  • Browser stat is also differs from country to country. For example in ex-USSR countries Opera is #1 to #2 browser

  • Simon

    It’s good to see the market share for IE6 drop to 11%. Unfortunately these tend to be die-hard users like Government departments who simply won’t upgrade (and make up most of my user base).

    The most common excuse I’ve heard for not upgrading is that they run a single old broswer-based software product that is specifically written for IE6 and won’t run on anything else. Therefore they feel the need to retain the old browser to support a single product.

    In my opinion, the simple answer to this is to install the latest Firefox or Chrome as the new standard browser for the organisation, and retain IE6 for those users who need it. It’s not rocket science, but it seems to elude our bretheren in the desktop support department.

  • mech7

    mmm firefox 4 is looking good but to be honest only way i use it is firebug :p the rest all chrome

  • Anonymous

    I’ve gone back to Firefox after trying Chrome for about a month, I found chrome nice at first (particularly teh better jquery performance), but then certain things just irritated me, the biggest issue was the lack of a sidebar, on a widescreen monitor I have space to spare and a sidebar is just more productive.

    Other things I found to be inferior include adblock (doesn’t to proper blocking, just hides stuff), no way to turn off javascript, generally inferior addons (i.e web developer is missing a bunch of stuff you get on Firefox), certain addons have no replacement – scrapbook for instance and so on…

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