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back to article Internet Explorer makes modest gains against Google Chrome

The browser world war, which appeared to have already been handily won by Google Chrome, is heating up again – well, "warming up" might be more accurate – with Microsoft's Internet Explorer having reversed some of its long, relatively steady decline. A mere two years ago, Internet Explorer was the undisputed king of the browser …

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To be fair, Google's done a Microsoft. Chrome is the default browser on Android, so the vast majority of Android users (which means a significant majority of phone users) are using Chrome. So these stats don't reflect user choice; as far as IE and Chrome are concerned they largely only represent the default.

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Coat

Some more statistics for the statistics grinder...

"Chrome is the default browser on Android"

Not entirely accurate.

Chrome is the default browser on Android 4.x. Chrome isn't even supported on pre 4.0 Android. 4.x Android accounts - as of Feb 2013 - for about 14% of Android devices.

That's hardly the same as "doing a Microsoft". Not least because even new Android devices continue to be introduced without having been forced to pre-install Android 4.0 or Chrome, quite unlike the situation with Microsoft.

Not defending Google or attacking Microsoft. Just setting the record a little straighter. :)

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> Android ... So these stats don't reflect user choice;

Users chose Android (maybe with Chrome or several others) and did not choose Windows Phone (with IE), that's a user choice.

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wrong

Chrome is not a default browser of Android, at least on older than 4.0 versions. It might be based on WebKit though.

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Where can I get IE for Android?

Not that I am interested in either, but for Google to offer IE as a choice, Microsoft would have to port it and license it.

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Re: Where can I get IE for Android?

Default on Android or not, StatCounter's statistics separately show iOS (iPod + iPhone) and Android both to be about equal, around the 30% mark — Android is slightly ahead (this is worldwide, after all, not just US) but if Chrome's showing in the overall chart were significantly attributable to Android then you'd expect Safari to be doing very well too.

Since Safari isn't doing anywhere near as well in the StatCounter chart, I don't think the mobile angle is influential.

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Anonymous Coward

Internet Explorer does at least have far fewer security vulnerabilities than Chrome. I expect that is one reason why market share is growing again.

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Joke

@AC 07.59

It's a pity you are an AC, if you had used your real name you could have put a "joke alert" icon next to your post so here is one for you.

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@BigNose

To be fair, Google's done a Microsoft. Chrome is the default browser on Android, so the vast majority of Android users (which means a significant majority of phone users) are using Chrome. So these stats don't reflect user choice

No - StatCounter doesn't make it clear if 'Browser' means all browsers, or just desktop browsers, but it seems that it's just desktop browsers. In any event, you can generate the mobile browser stats at StatCounter, and 'Chrome' is not shown as a mobile browser; it shows 'Android'. And, second, 'Android' is buried in 'Others' on the Browser chart (the one in the article), at 0.47%.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC 07.59

No joke Elron. You might not have been aware of it, but IE has far fewer security vulnerabilities than Chrome, Firefox or Safari. Corporates that have to patch respective browsers certainly are....

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Re: @AC 07.59

Why? He's right. In a recent security review of the top 50 most used program's Chrome was found to have the most vulnerabilities even going as far as to have almost six times as many vulnerabilities than the Windows 7 OS and over seven times as many vulnerabilities as IE and more vulnerabilities than all the MS products combined from the top 50 most used products.

http://secunia.com/vulnerability-review/vulnerability_update_top50.html

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Stop

Re: @AC 07.59

Remember Chrome (as in in Chromium) is opensource so it's going to get pulled apart far more than IE but also it gets patched a lot faster. Those vulnerabilities were patched years ago and don't forget flash comes with chrome so any flash vulnerabilities get flagged against chrome, you still have the same vulnerabilities in IE flash. Read between the lines and not just the headlines.

http://secunia.com/community/advisories/search/?search=chrome&page=0

compare with IE

http://secunia.com/community/advisories/search/?search=internet+explorer

Personally I use FF, adblock and noscript, as my Gran used to say "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC 07.59

PS IE is still tied to many of Windows core libraries and IMHO gives the greater security risk.

Ever noticed in skype which version of flash player it uses for flash ads ? Yep ax.

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JDX
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Re: @AC 07.59

Didn't Chrome get hacked as readily as IE at the last hack-fest thingie? I know ChromeOS came out pretty unscathed but the Chrome browser didn't.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC 07.59

@JDX yes that's correct:

Nils and Jon from MWRLabs were successful in exploiting Google Chrome using WebKit and Windows kernel flaws to bypass Chrome sandbox and win $100,000.

Note - Windows kernel flaws.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC 07.59

Following this up for further reading see here:

http://threatpost.com/en_us/blogs/using-kernel-exploits-bypass-sandboxes-fun-and-profit-031813

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Pint

Re: @AC 07.59

The graphs to be compared are found here for Chrome and here for IE, respectively. To my mind, Chrome is the obvious winner, but like Elron's grandmother, I use FF (Nightly 23.0a1) with Adblock Plus and NoScript as my default browser....

Henri

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Re: Statistical fluctuation, IE is on a Dead Cat Death Spiral

To be fair, Windows 8 really hasn't been in the market all that long to have truly "fallen off a cliff".

Perhaps stillborn might've been a better description. That said, IE is not dead yet.

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Re: Statistical fluctuation, IE is on a Dead Cat Death Spiral

It is hard for Win8 to fail as much as it deserves when you can't really buy a new PC without it being thrust upon an already suffering world.

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Re: Statistical fluctuation, IE is on a Dead Cat Death Spiral

I don't see any error bars.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Statistical fluctuation, IE is on a Dead Cat Death Spiral

"MS Windows on the desktop is following a similar trend - a slow steady decline over the next decade. (This is not a wild prediction - Windows (CE/Windows Phone 7/8) on the smart phone fell off a cliff, from 30+% to 2% in 5 years)."

Erm, but CE/Windows Phone != Windows on the Desktop, which has no declined.

Not to mention that Windows Phone market share is growing rapidly, and is approaching 5% globally.

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Re: Statistical fluctuation, IE is on a Dead Cat Death Spiral

w3schools is a web-design focussed site, where the audience care more for web standards than the general public.

Thus it will see disproportionately more Gecko and Webkit based browsers which have traditionally been better at web services. It is true though that IE is nowhere near as strong as it used to be.

Comparisons with mobile are not reasonable as I'm pretty sure IE is not available for iOS, Android, Symbian or BlackBerry's OS. Microsoft could port IE to Android but in all likelihood, won't. iOS would be out of the question though.

As to my earlier remark, it was more to do with Windows Phone 8, which in the scheme of things has not been around long. Microsoft didn't do anyone any favours by bringing out Phone 7 then practically killing it barely 6 months later by announcing its (hardware-incompatible) successor.

Windows Phone 8 in fact wasn't supposed to exist, I seem to recall it was going to be Windows 8 on the phone (as in full-blooded, just compiled for ARM) and that the APIs would be compatible with Windows RT, just recompile and away you go.

Whatever happened to that broken promise? I digress though.

IE certainly has improved … it had no other choice though. It was improve or die. Unfortunately the thing that hampers IE10 is the very same thing that keeps IE6 alive — (broken) "web" applications that won't work in anything else. That will continue to bolster the popularity of other browsers in institutions that require a workable browser for the web, but still need these older browsers for intranet applications, since it is impossible to run two versions of IE (e.g. 7 and 10) on the same host.

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Happy

We switched from Firefox back to IE in February.

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And we're all very happy for you.

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Facepalm

And found the cries of "Ayyyyyyy Eeeeeeeeh!" just as comforting as the first time round it screwed up some standard CSS, or insisted on dozens of ActiveX "helpers" to be installed before rendering the simplest of pages and going into "compatibility mode".

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Paris Hilton

Meanwhile, in the antipodes...

Down here in Chrome infested NZ, IE is continuing to sink. TradeMe is the Kiwi equivalent of ebay and thus the stats are probably typical of the average web user.

http://labs.trademe.co.nz/trade-me-browser-stats-march-2013

makes for interesting reading

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Meanwhile, in the antipodes...

Love that chart showing that Win8 overtook Linux as a desktop OS in the first month it was launched. Classic.

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FAIL

Re: Meanwhile, in the antipodes...

Kiwi's *WISH* that TradeMe was the local equivalent of ebay. It is the dominant auction listings site, if that's what you mean. But other than that TradeMe is a piece of sh*t. They stitched up the market very quickly and have since simply sat back and coined it, without improving or building on their success.

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Boffin

Re: Meanwhile, in the antipodes...

Most probably true, I was merely paraphrasing for those in the northern hemisphere.

My point was their stats are based on server logs, and not on samples collected by websites where the webmaster has added code to feed back to StatCounter. As such it's probably quite a fair reflection of the browsers that people at least in NZ are actually using as opposed to those that they are reported to be using.

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@AC

You' d love even more if Linux overtook even Win7, provided it would be preinstalled on most sold PCs, where you're presented with EULA that you can't even decline.

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Re: Meanwhile, in the antipodes...

@Pomgolian - interesting stats. Statistics for particular sites are almost always more helpful because the obvious bias needs little accounting for. Particularly transactional sites have everything to gain by scrutinising the numbers in detail.

We saw a slight uptick in IE use in early March which has since fallen off.

For other aggregated stats, Akamai now provides worldwide figures at the somewhat pompously named "Internet Observatory". There is a considerable bias in the set (very American, corporate and entertainment sites) but the sheer volume of data and the dependency solely on UA adds credence to those of us who use script blockers and, thus, never appear in StatCounter's figures.

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Anonymous Coward

DEAD CAT UPWARD DEATH SPIRAL ALERT!!

It is like a dying cat has been sucked in to a mini tornado and propelled upwards!!!

Or, it may be that people like me and all my friends are starting to dislike the abuses of privacy that come with use of Google Chrome and are moving to IE10.

Eadon, you would be funny if you were not so tragic.

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Re: DEAD CAT UPWARD DEATH SPIRAL ALERT!!

If you liked Chrome, but dislike all the creepy Googly stuff, then why not give Iron a try? Its Chrome but with all the creepy stuff stripped out.

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Re: DEAD CAT UPWARD DEATH SPIRAL ALERT!!

@Shades - don't feed the troll.

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Mushroom

Meanwhile in the DPRK...

Kim Jong-Un uses Firefox.

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Re: Meanwhile in the DPRK...

"Kim Jong-Un uses Firefox."

Kim Jong-Un uses drugs...

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Big Brother

Re: Meanwhile in the DPRK...

Kim Jong-Un uses drugs...

Distilled from the tears of the NK people...

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Opera's share seems have gone negative...

And what happened to poor old Firefox ? My best guess is that everyone got sick of a new version breaking all their plugins every 3 weeks.

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Re: Opera's share seems have gone negative...

I don't think I've had a single addon break since Mozilla moved Firefox over to the new version/update system.

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about firefox

Using Firefox 20.0 on a several LMDE's here. Firefox is as stable as rock with a few indefensible add-ons and us arguably the most functional web browser. On Android it might be a different story though...

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Re: about firefox

s/indefensible/indispensable/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Opera's share seems have gone negative...

Or ran off when V4 changed the UI?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Opera's share seems have gone negative...

" My best guess is that everyone got sick of a new version breaking all their plugins every 3 weeks."

A couple of years ago my old hobby website was reworked to support a wider variety of browsers. What was surprising was that IE was the browser that was most compatible with the Javascript's intentions. This week IE10 broke the Javascript - and it now only works with the browser in "IE8" mode. Safari has also gained a display quirk. The latest versions of Firefox, Opera, and Chrome still work as expected.

The old metaphor of spinning plates comes to mind.

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Headmaster

Lies, damned lies and ...

... misattributed quotations?

I don't believe the quote really comes from Disraeli - I certainly can't remember ever reading it. Willing to be corrected, though, if you have a reliable source.

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Re: Lies, damned lies and ...

I don't know about reliable as such but a well annotated article on wikipedia says that Twain attributed it to Disraeli though it doesn't appear in anything Disraeli wrote and was not a phrase known during Disraeli's lifetime

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Re: Lies, damned lies and ...

http://www.xkcd.com/978/

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Bias?

I run Adblock Plus and NoScript, and I have Statcounter in the block list. Does that mean they don't see my web traffic and browser choice?

It might have changed, but last time I looked, useful add-ons weren't available for IE, so one assumes that all its users were recorded, but for Chrome and Firefox, a proportion of users are supposedly invisible to the stat collectors.

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