Over a decade ago, Microsoft Internet Explorer—then in its almighty version 4 incarnation—managed to eclipse Netscape Navigator to become the most-used browser on the Web. And Internet Explorer is still the most common browser on the Web today. But where IE used to command an estimated 80 percent of the browser market as recently as two years ago, Net Applications has delivered a bit of a stunner: IE’s share of the worldwide browser market has dipped under 60 percent. And the losses are coming at the hands of Firefox and Google Chrome.
According to NetApplications, Internet Explorer’s market share fell to 59.95 percent during April of 2010, while Mozilla Firefox has seen its collective share rise to 24.59 percent. After those two, the percentages drop drastically, with newcomer Google Chrome accounting for 6.73 percent of the global Web browser market, Apple’s Safari coming in fourth with 4.72 percent, and Opera managing a 2.30 percent share. No other browsers managed a share over 1 percent.
Browser share estimates are jsut that—estimates—but NetApplications’ data aren’t terribly different from those of competitor StatCounter, which finds Internet Explorer dropped to a 56.5 percent share in April. However, StatCounter gives Firefox even more heft, with a 31.3 percent share; Chrome, Safari, and Opera managed 5.36 percent, 3.63 percent, and 2.25 percent, respectively.
Of course, even with these declines, Microsoft still commands the majority of the Web browser market—any other browser would be absolutely thrilled to have a 60 percent market share. But, for the last ten years, the game has been Microsoft’s to lose…and the dynamics of the Web browsing world do seem to be shifting.