back to article Internet Explorer drops below 60% market share

Less than two thirds of surfers are now using Microsoft's browser on the web as Google's Chrome continues its northward assault. Internet Explorer slipped below 60 per cent of the market in April - 59.95 per cent, to be precise - according to the latest figures from Net Applications. That was down from 60.65 per cent in March …

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Thank you Firefox

Without Firefox, (and Apache) we might have an Internet which only works on Windows.. or at least better with MS.

I work for one corporate client recently & found that they had standardized on Firefox a few years ago as there web based replacement for the corporate terminal happened to run faster/better on Firefox than IE6/IE7. Now, even with new boxes arriving running Win7 (they skipped Vista & still mostly run XP), the IT dept (and individual users) still out of habit drop Firefox on new machines even though IE8 is probably good enough browser to use (though still a little slower).

Even in slow moving corporates I have noticed that IT departments are happy to quickly switch browser such as to Chrome; its free and little training or impact required compared with say switching from Office 2K3 to Office 2K7. Personally I am finding myself using Chrome as it does seem more robust & light-weight when running Flash apps; anybody else notice that Firefox does not cope with webcam streaming via Flash for extended periods of time?

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I deleted it a few weeks ago

I deleted IE a few weeks ago. Some of my applications that were tied into IE fail to work properly now.

I don't think the virus is fully gone but I know it's seemed to of broken applications that never said they required IE to be functional.

As much as I agree with browser choice, what companies are doing today with search engines are just as bad.

It's complete sh*t that my smartphone has bing as it's search engine and that firefox has google.

There is absolutely no need what-so-ever for search engines to have anything to do with browsers. If I want to go to a search engine i'll type the freaking URL in.

Time for some browser anti-trust lawsuits.

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FAIL

You can't actually delete IE

You can remove a few shortcuts etc, but IE is tied into the Windows OS far too deeply to be removed.

As for search engines - you can actually change those; you know that? And if you want to type the URI in, you can do that too.

Also with browsers, there is actually a choice. Something MS does not give you (because, as I stated initially, it is not possible to completely remove IE).

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Linux

My copy of FireFox...

...defaults to Google, true (then again, Google does provide an income source for FF)

However,

the search engine area is to the right of the very large space for entering a URL (helpfully for you)

there is also a drop down box offering a variety of search engines and you can both change their order and add more

I'm not sure how it works with MSIE as I never user it. I do know that if one mistypes a URL in FF I get "webpage not found" whereas I understand that in corporate editions of MSIE (at least) it fires up Bing.

So, bring on the anti-trust (again, BTW, in case you've forgotten or didn't know) but who would you point it at?

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Gates Horns

RE: You can't actually delete IE

"You can remove a few shortcuts etc, but IE is tied into the Windows OS far too deeply to be removed."

So, it's a house of shit, built on a pile of shit, using shit for bricks and you can't even knock it down and replace it because it's become inextricably attached to the shit-soaked land it was built it on...

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Happy

TinyXP?

TinyXP runs happily without IE, OutlookExp and WMP installed! Perfect for rigging up a quick VM to test something. It's not perfect, yes some apps demand the IE bits, but it is an improvement.

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So in summing up....

... do you jack off to Linux mags?

I'm a Windows user. I'm a Linux user. I use firefox for everything except the corporate network (cos it don't play nice with anything other than IE6 (and this is a multinational IT firm???). Beyond that, IE doesn't involve itself with my day to day life.

I've played with IE 7 and IE 8 and to be honest, they really are not that bad to use, however firefox gives me consistancy when using the web in the same way HTC Sense covers android and WinMob and therefore wins.

IE does not define Windows to be rubbish. MS provides a very useable OS for hundreds of thousands of different configurations and may suffer from "Jack of all trades master of none" syndrome. But it works, where Linux fails in userability (though Ubuntu 10.04 makes one hell of an impact on this front) and Apple control both the platform and the software so they have more control on stability/userablity etc (Safari for Windows is shit BTW).

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FAIL

Epic Face Spite Fail....

> I deleted IE a few weeks ago.

> Some of my applications that were tied into IE fail to work properly now.

Dur! That's called cutting off your nose to spite your face!

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Anonymous Coward

Never thought it would happen...

Shame really, just as its finally turning into a browser that's almost painless to develop for the masses start to drop it.

Irritatingly, the same stats still have IE6 @ 17.5% - which works out 5% more than Safari, Chrome and Opera combined.

So not quite the bad news for Firefox's 25% you paint compared to the opposition - and if you look at the raw data rather than %, numbers are increasing well - its held its own against 100Ks of new Safari Browsers running on iDevices for a start.

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Re: Shame really ...

"Shame really, just as its finally turning into a browser that's almost painless to develop for the masses start to drop it."

No reason why an HTML5-compliant version of IE couldn't take its place amongst the population of "acceptable" browsers. If it is painless to develop for it, I doubt anyone here really cares what its market share is.

The real gripe was always against IE6, which was not painless but happily appears to be almost dead. The 17.5% figure is probably almost entirely "business" machines and justified by some crufty *intranet* site. The figure for domestic machines is probably tiny and so *internet* web-sites could almost certainly drop IE6 support even today without losing customers. (I believe El Reg has, in the past, posted browser-stats over the course of the working week that supports this hypothesis.)

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Next question

How much of the percentage decline is due to an increase in mobile browsers on such platforms as iphone, android et al., you know where IE isn't available?

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Yeah, sure, right ...

"once business users start rolling out Windows 7 in large numbers"

THAT's gonna happen ... not.

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Go

Wow..it's the 90's...Not!

Actually, I can safely say companies are already starting to roll out W7. I know a VERY large entity that has just upgrade the servers to a 2008 domain in prep for a huge W7 roll out, we're talking thousands and thousands of pc's, not a few dozen.

Most skipped Vista and now the machines are getting old an creaky and XP cannot do everything some businesses need now.

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Re: THAT's gonna happen ... not

It assuredly will, since MS will stop selling XP and businesses typically make far greater use of wierd and wonderful (and sometimes home-grown but we've lost the developer) applications that require Windows. Next time that business buys a PC, they have no legal choice *but* to "upgrade" the seat to Win7, because the XP licence on the machine being replaced is almost certainly one of the non-transferable OEM ones.

At that point, IE8 will probably have a new user to boast of, since IE is easier to lock down with group policy than its rivals, and that sort of thing matters to businesses.

Unless, of course, that "group policy extension for Firefox" (that various posters here have mentioned) starts to pick up *its* market share.

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Ah

Windows 7 rollout is starting for BT plus a few other large corps....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ah

"Windows 7 rollout is starting for BT...."

Says it all really. On this years budget for BT:

100 miles of crap quality aluminium phone cable

1 new datacentre designed to burst into flames and flood on the first warm day of the year

1 million Windows 7 licences

Now all they need is a horse and the bucket for it to crap into and they'll have everything they need.

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@AC 09:45

"Most skipped Vista and now the machines are getting old an creaky and XP cannot do everything some businesses need now."

That word "need", I don't think it means what you think it means.

Stop listening to Marketing, learn to think for yourself.

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Linux

MY GOD.

If the clowns over at Redmond are wondering why IE is losing market share, JUST USE CHROME FOR 5 MINUTES then compare with IE 7/8. See the difference???

Ugh, IE is the absolute worse browser you can use. Each time I see a friend using IE, watching the pointer stall and stall, I ask them if they have ever tried Google's Chrome browser. Usually, they have never heard of it. They usually let me install it on their machines and a few days later, they will get back to me as to how much snappier their browsing experience is.

I'm sure MS has some smart cookies working for them. Why can't they put out some slick software like Google?

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Anonymous Coward

@ Wrenchy

"Why can't they put out some slick software like Google?"

If Microsoft made their software slick an army of semi-concious Windows support people all over the world would lose their jobs, costing the economy billions a year.

The kind of people who are trained to sit in the server room doing not-very-much except reboot the servers every 5 minutes when a patch comes in. Those assholes.

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Grenade

@ MY GOD

"Each time I see a friend using IE, watching the pointer stall and stall, I ask them if they have ever tried Google's Chrome browser."

Oh, I see. You're /that guy/ aren't you.

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Gates Horns

RE: MY GOD

"I'm sure MS has some smart cookies working for them. Why can't they put out some slick software like Google?"

Because IE is inexorably tied to the OS... and the OS is a pile of steaming poo.

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I'm sure MS has some smart cookies working for them...

They may well have - but if they are building on a software base which is too large to fit in a single code repository then no-one will will be able to do any good work. The bloat is simply too large to manage and has been for years.

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Anonymous Coward

How low?

I'd guess to the point where most IE users are businesses (all the 'big' companies i've worked for are currently using IE6 and will probably upgrade to 8 or 9 when they go to windows 7/8) plus a few - 10%? - of consumers etc. There's probably enough (justified or not) FUD around to dissuade most 'home' users from IE and toward Chrome, Firefox or Safari (or Opera if they somehow manage to hear about it!)

This can only be a good thing for though; look what happened when they had 90-odd% share - NOTHING. Well, OK, Mozilla did pretty well out of it!

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My last laptop had Vista, XP and W7

It shipped with Vista, came with XP downgrade disks and an option to upgrade to W7 for free. That requires a license for each so MS no doubt claims a Vista and W7 sale even though I switched it to XP + Ubuntu dual boot.

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Windows sales 100m

Lets not forget the PCs running unlicensed copies of Windows, that's the norm in places like China and other Asian countries. Apart from that continue your conversation about the browsers, I agree with an earlier post that it doesn't matter too much what browser you use. Opera seems the best for me, but don't mind IE or Firefox.

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What about the browser ballot screen?

Surely with this in force across the EU, you can't easily link IE browser share with Windows 7 sales...

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Gates Horns

Correct me if I'm wrong

but I don't see how wider uptake of Win7 (and therefore IE8) is going to help IE's numbers, since the 60% statistic is for all versions of IE combined. Users migrating from IE6 to IE8 aren't going to change the overall market share. For IE8 to help, users would have to switch back to IE from Firefox or Chrome. Now *that* is unlikely.

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Happy

Gimme an 'O' Gimme a 'P'...

Gimme an 'E' Gimme an 'R' Gimme an 'A'

Whatya got? -well besides some dodgy propositions with Os Ps and Es -before I get any sarky comments:-)--

OPERA

OK OK I'm an Opera-tard but the attempt in the article to link Winows (7) sales with IE popularity is exactly what they[Opera] just fought over -and won- with the browser ballot system.

The ballot has ensured no accidental re-defections back by alternative browser users and picked up a few others making a sane choice at last. This story highlights the ballot's success and doesn't have that much to do with Windows 7's claimed sales.

Stuart

-I only had to mention Opera so much because it had zero article references! Go Opera Go!

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IE down to more like 50%

Three sites I host/maintain with non technical users have IE combined at around 50%. IE6 is down to 5% on two of them and 12% on one.

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FAIL

Dubious postulation?

"This would suggest that either Windows isn't puling in the surfers or that the OS sales numbers are not quite what they seem"

Or how about the people buying Windows 7 are just installing Firefox or Chrome?

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Forgetting Browser Choice?

"This would suggest that either Windows isn't puling in the surfers or that the OS sales numbers are not quite what they seem."

Firstly, why does it suggest Windows isnt pulling in surfers? Surely a large proportion of the Firefox & Chrome users are running Windows still, just not using IE as their main browser?

Secondly, It's all well and good equating sales of Win7 to using IE8 but having visited many domestic customers since the EU enforced the "Browser Choice" on European and UK users, most of the IT illiterate seem to see the word "Google" on the screen and automatically think that is the one they need because its the only one they've heard of, not realising they are actually installing Chrome as their default browser.

I wouldn't be suprised if a large number of these Chrome installs are as a result of this, whether thats a good or bad thing...

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Utterly irrelevant

The public could stop using IE tomorrow, but it still wouldn't matter. IE6 is *THE* standard browser because it is what is used in the corporate enterprise. It's a pain in the ass, I agree, but that's the way it is. We may see uptake of IE8, but that still won't really help. It'll be running in "quirks" mode to support all those sites coded for IE6 that people are too scared to change (or can't because they don't have the code, it's all proprietary and the vendor has gone bust - this is why you need to buy open source!).

FF, Opera et al are pissing into the wind if they thing they will get anywhere in the corporate world given there current support for roll-out etc. And why would any corporate install another browser when Windows comes with IE "for free" and IE can never be uninstalled? The likes of FF don't even make it easy for corporate roll-outs or to respect group policies etc. They just don't care about the corporate world - the first browser to actually address this *may* have a chance; but I am not holding my breath for someone to create such a thing.

I displike IE for its lack of standards compliance and I utterly despise IE6. But I know the reality of things, it will be here for a long time yet.

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Anonymous Coward

Er, no...

Since when have enterprise users defined what the standard browser is? For intranet systems and business to business sites yeah, fair enough, but for the other 70%+ of the internet why would any developer bother targeting a browser whose users generally aren't even supposed to view their sites. The IE6 market share alone should be enough to tell you it's not the standard browser.

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Er, yes

There's stats, stats and then there stats. Every website I have done must support IE6. Every customer I have worked with, uses IE6. Every solution I have seen must support IE6. Every...well, you get the idea. I don't like it, but that's the way it is.

As for Window 7....if it can't run IE6, corporates will not upgrade. Too risky. I really wish I was joking.

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Anonymous Coward

Hmm...

So you're saying your personal development experience trumps the results from every major stats provider then?

If you work primarily on systems intended for enterprise clients then yes, you'll have to support IE6, but my point was that the relatively small number of sites aimed at people using enterprise networks to access the web doesn't define the standard browser. How can a piece of software with less share than 3-4 (depending on who's counting) of the other products on the market be defined as the standard? It's simply the lowest common denominator, and when a site as ubiquitous as youtube says it's going to stop supporting it then you can safely assume plenty of other consumer facing systems will definetly be worrying less about it as well.

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Anonymous Coward

I've never had a bother with IE

it works. I can browse the web, etc....

What more do you want?

I recently tried using firefox after getting sick of having to remove the atdmt cookies when using IE. I found the number of tracking cookies increased significantly using firefox, even after adding-on additons supposed to stop them and increase security.

It doesn't really matter what browser most of use.

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Big Brother

OT - No place like 127.0.0.0

The atdmt cookie seems to be particularly virulent in that if is the only cookie that makes through my defences, and it usually 'infects' sqllite.cookies. It is very annoying when AVG keeps popping up windows to tell you that the cookie has been found.

I don't really understand how this cookie keeps getting added to my system as I have set my browser not to accept third party cookies etc. But then it is a MickySoft advertising cookie, so I suspect a devious delivery method.

In the best traditions of an evil empire the atdmt cookie is an opt-out cookie. Now where have I heard that phucking BS before…..

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Stop

RE: I've never had a bother with IE

"it works. I can browse the web, etc....

What more do you want?"

I never had a problem with feet, they got me exactly where I wanted to go.

Until I wanted to go somewhere quickly...

Unfortunately, the analogy ends there - my feet have never crashed or allowed criminals to access my bank details.

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So how long

till we get proper big-name websites which aren't designed solely for IE ?

Had problems with the Nationwide Building Society website a few months ago, in Firefox under Linux. Their IT departments response :

"It's only guaranteed to work under IE on widows."

I was not impressed.

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Unhappy

Sounds about right!

That's the price we all pay for these banks cutting a few quid by hiring Mickey Mouse developers to knock up pages using dynamic ASP code in under 5 mins, then putting the savings into the CEO's pocket at bonus time!

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Was that the dispearing number in drop down boxes bug?

Or was that under Chrome? Anyway, fixed now. May have been a fault in webkit I think.

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Flame

No it was a layout issue

somehow the CSS was being borked, and a panel wasn't showing which had an input field in or something ... I know it prevented me logging in.

Anyway the point was I went into my local branch (because the website had no proper "contact us" feature, or rather the "proper version" - where they can reply to you - was only available when you were logged in [keyboard error, press F2 to continue]) to complain, and a week later got a *letter* back telling me that I should be using IE under windows, and anything else was my bad luck, or words to that effect.

If car manufacturers tried to insist their customers only use BP petrol, or TV manufacturers only guaranteed their sets to work with BBC, there'd be an outcry.

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Gates Horns

What?

Oh yeah, Internet Explorer!

I used to use that one...

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Gates Horns

RE: What?

"Oh yeah, Internet Explorer!

I used to use that one..."

So did I - because my boss made me.

Fortunately, I was a web developer at the time and was allowed to install every browser under the sun.

Experience has taught me not to touch IE dev with a shitty stick and to avoid using IE as a browser whenever possible. I've managed without it for the last 6 years...

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FAIL

Corporates

Large corporates demand you use it - PCs are locked down. One excuse is that Sharepoint works better with it. The other is they don't want to "support" two browsers.

So, until those corporate types who have the attitude "no one ever got fired for imposing Microsoft" are in control, share will not drop below 50%.

OTOH - who else has a Windows 64 bit browser !

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Anonymous Coward

It's more a matter

Of not wanting to pay to fix something that isn't broken. Even if you don't change a single line of code, you still have to pay to test all of your web apps to make sure they still work properly.

Certainly where i work, even if there was a change, and IE6 stopped being used, we certainly wouldn't switch to a browser other than a newer IE, as all the web apps have interfaces to other systems, those interfaces are generally in the form of activex controls. Browser based applications weren't chosen to be portable, they were chosen because, at the time, they looked better than native windows applications.

Without a significant rebuild of the overall software estate, there's no way anyone would take the risk of re-writing huge swathes of code without a damn good reason.

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Boffin

There is a possible third conclusion

You mentioned (paraphrased):

1. People with Win7 aren't surfing

2. Win7 sales figures are lies, lies, lies...

I'm adding another:

3. The browser choice screen is actually *working* <gasp>!

I'm guessing it's probably a combination of 2 and 3.

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Lest not forget the EU.

I think the browser choice helped the demise of IE 8, letting none techies realise the different browsers in the wild. If nothing else opera and safari will see someone take them up. (Chrome have billboards advertising their stuff)

Now if FF could just get their new mobile browser on my phone to run flash, I would be a happy boy. Instead of their "hardware reasons" for not having it.

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Paris Hilton

IE8 is still clunky

My workplace has finally dragged itself out of the 12th century and installed IE8 instead of the tortuous IE6 we suffered under for so long. I was initially delighted, it runs about twice as fast (though still about a quarter the speed of Chrome which I use at home).

But the user interface is still really clunky. The Close button on each tab is so small you have to really think about where you're moving the mouse, unlike Firefox or Chrome where you just think "close" and your hand does it by itself. Also the various menus and toolbars encroach on the viewing area, meaning I have to spend a lot more time scrolling.

Glad to hear the masses are starting to come to their senses.

Paris because she wrote IE.

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