Browser wars: Rise of Google Chrome and decline of Internet Explorer
For more than a decade, Internet Explorer has remained at the top spot in Web Browser statistics. The first version of Windows Internet Explorer was launched on 16 August 1995. Its usage share rose to 95% in 2003. First version of Mozilla Firefox was launched in 2005 and since then the decline of Internet Explorer started. In 2008, the first version of Google Chrome was launched which added fuel to the decline of Internet Explorer.
The usage share of web browsers for the month of August 2011 is out. First on the list is Internet Explorer, followed by Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari.
Web Browser Usage Share – August 2011
Internet Explorer still occupies the top spot, mainly because it comes bundled with Windows. A non-techie will prefer to use the default browser installed, rather than installing a custom one. A techie will probably prefer a custom browser. This is clear from the fact that a technical website will receive only about 10-15% of visits from Internet Explorer. This is significantly a lower number compared to the global average of 42%.
Over the past 1 year, the usage share of Google Chrome has increased from 10.76% to 23.16%. In the same period Internet Explorer users declined from 51.34% to 41.89%. Mozilla Firefox’s usage share also declined from 31.09% to 27.49%.
The chart below shows the usage share of various web browsers, month on month since July 2008.
Web Browser usage share: July 2008 – August 2011
Internet Explorer is the biggest loser. It had almost 70% usage share in July 2008. But now, its share is just over 40%. The chart below is self explanatory.
Internet Explorer usage share: July 2008 – August 2011
When we consider the period July 2008 to Aug 2011, the usage of Mozilla Firefox has increased from 26.14% to 27.49%, a marginal increase. But, if we analyze the stats closely, we can find that Firefox’s share rose from 26.14% to 32.21% for the period July 2008 to November 2009. Since November 2009, there has been a gradual decrease in the usage share.
Mozilla Fifefox usage share: July 2008 – August 2011
Since the launch of Google Chrome on 02 September 2008, there has been an exponential rise in Chrome’s usage share. The only month in which Chrome had a decline was November 2008 mainly because it was in beta stage for the first three months of its launch – September, October and November 2008. The stable version of Google Chrome was released on 11 December, 2008. It is very much impressive to not that Chrome has grabbed 23% usage share in just 3 years. The chart below shows an exponential growth for Google Chrome.
Google Chrome usage share: July 2008 – August 2011
Safari’s usage has increased from 3.3% to 5.19% over the period. A significant percentage of Safari users are Mac users as Safari is the preinstalled web browser in Mac. Number of users for Safari is very low compared to the Internet explorer, Firefox and Chrome.
Safari usage share: July 2008 – August 2011
Over the past three years, the number of mobile web users has increased tremendously. Mobile web users which were negligible in 2008, has rose to 7.12% in August 2011. High speed internet on phone has become affordable and so gained popularity in recent years.
Mobile Web Users
The most popular mobile browser is Opera Mini closely followed by Android browser. As of August 2011 stats, 21.6% of mobile web users use Opera Mini and 19.71% use Android browser. They are followed by Nokia browser, iPhone browser and Black Beery browser with 16.98%, 14.9% and 11.63% respectively.
Mobile Browser user share – August 2011
Since the launch of Android operating system, it has gained so much popularity and many are switching to android phones. It has led to decline in iPhones and so iPhone web browser. Since December 2008, iPhone web user share declined from 21.68% to 14.90% and Opera Mini user share from 26.51% to 21.60%. In this period Android web user share rose to 19.71% from null. In one or two months, we can expect android browser to overtake Opera Mini.