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In 2010 Internet Explorer suffered some strong attacks to its hegemony in the Web browser market. The strongest competition came from Google’s Chrome browser, which the search powerhouse offers for download on billions of search pages and is now pre-installed on many new PCs.
According to year-end numbers from Net Applications on worldwide browser usage, IE’s share fell from 67 percent in 2009 to 57 percent in 2010. Chrome, now at version 8 after two years and change, has grown from a measly 2.64 percent to just under 10 percent of the Web browser market.
Firefox, long the open-source darling, also notched a slight gain from a 23.29 percent share in all of 2009 to 23.62 percent in 2010, but numbers throughout the year tell a different story. Mozilla’s desktop browser share dropped from 24.51 percent in January 2010 to 22.81 percent in the last month of the year. The arrival of Chrome seems to have squelched Firefox’s hopes of hitting the 25 percent milestone.
Among the smaller players: Safari rose significantly from 3.95 percent in all of 2009 to just over 5 percent in 2010. It also rose from 4.5 percent in the first month of 2010 to 5.89 percent in December. Perennial long-shot Opera made a little headway from 2.15 percent in 2009 to 2.34 percent in 2010, but also dropped from the beginning of 2010 to the end, with 2.39 percent in January and 2.23 in December. The effect of the European Windows Browser ballot may have subsided for the innovative Scandinavian software.
Here’s a table summarizing browser the trends of 2010:
|Browser||All 2009||All 2010||Jan. 2010||Dec. 2010|
If you drill down into specific browser versions, the trend in 2010 was clearly towards moving away from Internet Explorer 6 in favor of IE8 and 9. Though the latter is still a beta release, it has already been downloaded over 20 million times, according to a Microsoft blog post.
“At end of 2009, IE6 and IE7 accounted for 38.51 percent of Internet users, while IE8 had 24.15 percent of users worldwide,” wrote Roger Capriotti, IE’s director of product marketing.
By the end of 2010, IE6 and IE7 only accounted for 22.98 percent of users worldwide, with IE6 at a record low of 13.81 percent. During the same period IE8 grew to a 33 percent share. But Microsoft’s real browser hopes lay in IE9, which ended the year with a half percent of overall worldwide browser market share.
Google, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Web Browsers