IE9 beta launch fails to slow Microsoft's browser slide

Google's Chrome reaches 8% mark as IE dips to lowest-ever number

The quick start of Internet Explorer 9's beta last month wasn't enough to prevent Microsoft's browser from again losing share to rivals from Google and Apple, a Web measurement firm said today.

Although IE9 beta, which launched Sept. 15, managed to grab 0.25 per cent of the global usage share during the second half of last month, IE's overall share slid by three-quarters of a percentage point, the largest decline since March 2010, according to data published Friday by Net Applications.

Microsoft's browser accounted for 59.7 per cent of all browsers used worldwide during September, Net Applications said. The mark is the lowest ever for IE, and erased gains the browser made over a two-month period this past summer.

Google's Chrome was again the big winner in the browser battle, posting a share of eight per cent for September, an increase of half a percentage point. Meanwhile, Apple's Safari boosted its share by one-tenth of a point to 5.3 per cent.

Mozilla's Firefox and Opera Software's Opera remained flat, showing only minor gains of 0.03 and 0.02 of a percentage point, respectively. Firefox ended September with a 23 per cent share, still off its all-time high of 24.7 per cent in November 2009. Opera has neared the 2.5 per cent milestone over the last several months, but again failed to break that barrier.

The decline of IE notwithstanding, Microsoft touted the out-the-gate strength of IE9's beta, and claimed that users had downloaded more than six million copies of the preview in the last two weeks.

Microsoft also spun the Net Applications numbers for IE8, pointing out that the company's newest production-quality browser again gained share last month. IE8's slice of the browser usage pie was up 1.2 percentage points to 29.1 per cent, making it the most popular single browser by a wide margin.

The No. 2 browser, Mozilla's Firefox 3.6, had a September share of 17.1 per cent.

But IE8's growth and IE9's debut couldn't make up for the even larger losses by Microsoft's older browsers, 2001's IE6 and 2006's IE7. The former, which Microsoft has been trying to kill for over a year now, lost six-tenths of a percentage point to close September with 15.6 per cent, while the newer IE7 lost half a point to end the month with 10.4 per cent.

If the trend over the last year continues, IE6 won't fade away until sometime in the first half of 2012.

It's also unclear whether Net Applications' data supports Microsoft 's contention that last month's IE9's beta outpaced the 2008 debut of IE8's beta.

Past numbers for IE8 during its beta period ranged from a miniscule 0.03 of a percentage point in March 2008 -- the month when Microsoft launched IE 8's first beta -- and 0.4 of a point by the end of September 2008, a full month after IE8 Beta 2's release.

In comparison, IE9's beta average share for all of September 2010 was just one-tenth of a point (the average over the last two weeks was, of course, higher at a quarter of a point).

Net Applications calculates usage share from data acquired from the 160 million unique visitors who browse the 40,000 Web sites it monitors for clients. The firm's September browser usage share data is available on its site.

IE9 is at a major disadvantage when matched against early trends of IE8 because the newer browser will not run on Windows XP, Microsoft's most popular operating system. According to other Net Applications statistics, Windows Vista and Windows 7 , the two editions that do run IE9, accounted for only about a third of all in-use versions of Windows last month.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags applicationsopera softwareWindowsbrowserssoftwareoperating systemsinternetmozillaAppleMac OSGoogleMicrosoft

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?