By Craig Buckler

Current Browser Market Shares and Trends

By Craig Buckler

It’s been one month since I last looked at browser market shares and two months since Microsoft launched their “Browser Choice” update. It’s time to examine the statistics again to determine whether there have been any significant shifts or trends.

The following data has been obtained from StatCounter. Although website statistics are not perfect, it gives us a reasonable impression of usage changes.

Browser Statistics February to April 2010
Browser version Europe Worldwide
February April change relative February April change relative
IE 8.0 24.58% 25.95% +1.37% +5.60% 23.74% 26.10% +2.36% +9.90%
IE 7.0 14.95% 13.08% -1.87% -12.50% 19.00% 17.02% -1.98% -10.40%
IE 6.0 5.94% 5.06% -0.88% -14.80% 11.74% 10.14% -1.60% -13.60%
Firefox 3.5+ 33.17% 34.58% +1.41% +4.30% 26.20% 27.60% +1.40% +5.30%
Firefox 3.0+ 4.93% 3.48% -1.45% -29.40% 4.74% 3.48% -1.26% -26.60%
Firefox 1.0+ 0.91% 0.65% -0.26% -28.60% 0.87% 0.66% -0.21% -24.10%
Opera 4.29% 4.15% -0.14% -3.30% 1.94% 1.80% -0.14% -7.20%
Chrome 6.52% 8.27% +1.75% +26.80% 6.72% 8.05% +1.33% +19.80%
Safari 3.66% 3.80% +0.14% +3.80% 4.09% 4.22% +0.13% +3.20%
Others 1.05% 0.98% -0.07% -6.70% 0.96% 0.93% -0.03% -3.10%

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. 13.6% of IE6 users abandoned the browser in the past two months.

It’s not surprising to find IE8 and Firefox 3.5+ gaining at the expense of their previous incarnations. I suspect IE6 and IE7 usage will reach parity by the end of the year, but the browsers are still likely to account for 1 in 10 users.

In total, IE has dropped by 1.38% in Europe and 1.22% worldwide but the ballot screen has not caused a dramatic change in overall usage. Total Firefox usage has also dropped slightly: 0.30% in Europe and 0.07% worldwide.

The only other browser to lose ground is Opera. It’s not decreased by much, but it’s a little surprising given that version 10.5 received plaudits from the industry.

Safari has gained a small market share. However, I suspect that’s mostly owing to the increased popularity of Apple’s PCs and handheld devices rather than users making an informed decision to switch browsers.

The biggest winner is Chrome which now has exceeded 8% worldwide share. Usage is growing at almost 1% per month and shows no sign of reaching its apogee. Google’s automated background update also meant version 4 totally replaced version 3 within a matter of weeks.

The situation for browser testing has not changed significantly but, if you’re not testing in Chrome and/or Safari now, perhaps it’s wise to start.

  • fattyjules

    Bye bye, Opera on the desktop. Just goes to show that the quality of the product has little to do with how many people use it.

    • I don’t think Opera’s going anywhere – it still has millions of users and remember that a decrease in market share does not account for new internet users. But I still suspect they’re losing people and need to turn that around.

  • didgy58

    really interested to see how chrome does in six months time, i seem to be using it more and more to both develop and browse with. really nice browser and enjoy using it.

    • Based on current growth, I suspect it’d have around 13-14% share in 6 months.

  • davo0105

    I have completely migrated from Firefox to Chrome both at home and at work. Firefox certainly has it’s advantages in many areas, but Chrome’s speed has won me over.

  • IE6H8TR

    Please, just die, IE6!

  • Stevie D

    (Hmmm … I commented at lunch time and it still hasn’t appeared. Let’s try again)

    “The only other browser to lose ground is Opera. It’s not decreased by much, but it’s a little surprising given that version 10.5 received plaudits from the industry.”

    Opera 10.50 may have been lauded by the industry, but it has had an unprecedented slating from its loyal and evangelical user base. Given that most Opera users are pretty devoted to their browser and won’t hear a word said against it, the number of comments panning the new version on the Opera forums is staggering … unless you have upgraded to Opera 10.50 from the previous version, and then it’s all too easy to see. The new version gave the impression of being rushed out in a hurry, just to get it out in time for the browser ballot. We’re now up to 10.53, and a load of the minor and major bugs and complaints raised during beta-testing of 10.50 are still not fixed.

  • I have all of the browsers on my computer, just like every other web designer/developer. Opera’s stats are no surprise. Chrome seems over rated. Firefox has extensions that are too awesome. IE… is just IE. Never liked safari. I think its great to have choices!

  • Anonymous

    Good statistics.
    Me and my partners were just asking ourselves whether we should support the IE6 for our new website
    (frankly speaking it looks good on all the browsers… except for IE6)
    The decision was NO.
    We want to represent the “change”, “new approach” and “innovation”… which is not correlates with people using the IE6 as browser of choice :-)

    BTW: some graphics, like pie-chart would make this statistics more digestible.

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