Current Browser Market Shares and Trends

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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 8.024.58%25.95%+1.37%+5.60%23.74%26.10%+2.36%+9.90%
IE 7.014.95%13.08%-1.87%-12.50%19.00%17.02%-1.98%-10.40%
IE 6.05.94%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%
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.

What factors influence the market share of a web browser?

Several factors influence the market share of a web browser. These include the browser’s speed, security features, user interface, compatibility with different devices, and the range of extensions and add-ons available. Additionally, the reputation of the company behind the browser and the marketing strategies they employ can also significantly impact the browser’s market share.

How does the market share of web browsers affect web developers?

The market share of web browsers directly impacts web developers. Developers often need to ensure that their websites or web applications function correctly across the most popular browsers. This can involve additional testing and potentially modifying code to accommodate different browsers’ quirks and capabilities.

Why do some browsers have a larger market share than others?

Some browsers have a larger market share due to factors such as better performance, more advanced features, superior user experience, and strong brand recognition. For instance, Google Chrome has a large market share because it is fast, has a clean and user-friendly interface, and offers a wide range of extensions.

How often do browser market shares change?

Browser market shares can change frequently. This is due to factors such as new browser releases, changes in existing browsers, shifts in user preferences, and the introduction of new devices. It’s important to keep an eye on these trends to understand the current state of the browser market.

What is the significance of tracking browser market shares?

Tracking browser market shares is crucial for several reasons. For businesses and web developers, it helps determine which browsers they should prioritize for compatibility testing. For browser developers, it provides insight into their product’s performance in the market and can guide future development efforts.

How does mobile browsing affect browser market shares?

Mobile browsing has a significant impact on browser market shares. As more people use their smartphones to access the internet, browsers that offer a superior mobile experience often see an increase in their market share. This is why browsers like Safari, which is the default on iPhones, have a significant market share.

How does the browser market share impact SEO?

The browser market share can impact SEO in several ways. For instance, different browsers may interpret and display web content differently, which can affect how search engines index and rank a website. Additionally, some browsers have built-in SEO tools that can influence a website’s SEO performance.

What are the current trends in the browser market?

Current trends in the browser market include a growing preference for fast, secure, and privacy-focused browsers. There’s also an increasing demand for browsers that offer a seamless experience across multiple devices. Additionally, the use of mobile browsers continues to rise as more people use their smartphones for internet access.

How can I keep up with changes in browser market shares?

You can keep up with changes in browser market shares by regularly checking reliable sources of web analytics data, such as StatCounter and SimilarWeb. These platforms provide updated statistics on the market shares of different browsers.

How does the browser market share vary across different regions?

The browser market share can vary significantly across different regions. This is due to factors such as regional preferences, the availability of certain browsers, and the prevalence of specific devices. For instance, Safari has a larger market share in regions where iPhones are popular, while Chrome dominates in areas where Android devices are more common.

Craig BucklerCraig Buckler
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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.

browsersfirefoxgoogle chromeoperasafari
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