Programming - - By Craig Buckler

Current Browser Market Shares and Trends, August 2010

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?