Microsoft IE gains browser market share (this is not a typo)

Catching up to Firefox and Google Chrome

Internet Explorer has been in a freefall compared to its hotter rivals Firefox and Google's Chrome lately, but Microsoft's  browser has finally reversed a small portion of its worldwide market share losses.

Just a year ago, IE share stood at 66.97%, but has since dropped every single month, hitting a low of 59.75% in May 2010. Firefox shot up from 22.98% to 24.32%, and Chrome from 2.84% to 7.04% during the same time period.

Firefox vs Chrome vs Internet Explorer

But Microsoft has crept back over the 60% mark, with 60.32% share in June, gained at the expense of Firefox, which fell to 23.81%, according to new data from the analytics firm Net Applications. Chrome and Safari both posted small gains.

Internet Explorer had already started to gain usage in the United States in May, but now the market share gains are being seen worldwide. IE's gains in June were larger in Europe and Asia than they were in the United States.

While older versions of Internet Explorer such as IE6 continue to lose share, in part because of concerns about security, Microsoft credited its June gains to a new marketing campaign called "Confidence" that is designed to show off the security features of Internet Explorer 8.

The IE boost comes from IE8, which gained .66% share globally.

"Internet Explorer 8 share continues to be the fastest growing browser with a 0.66% increase in share, more than 3 times the growth of Google Chrome, while Firefox share declined," Microsoft marketing official Ryan Gavin boasted in a blog.

It remains to be seen whether the short-term market share reversal becomes a more permanent trend. Gavin notes that "we certainly don't judge our business on just two months of data but the direction here is encouraging."

While IE8 is Microsoft's latest browser in wide use, the company is already showing previews of Internet Explorer 9, which will supposedly feature "speedy performance and … much-improved support for web standards."

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Jon Brodkin

Network World
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