Internet Explorer gains among Windows 7 users, despite Microsoft's overall losses

But Microsoft's long and steady decline in browser market share continued in July

Microsoft's long and steady decline in browser market share continued in July, but there is one bright spot for Redmond: Among Windows 7 PC owners, Internet Explorer is gaining, albeit only slightly.

IE9 is driving the growth, perhaps validating Microsoft's strategy of allowing IE9 to run only on Windows 7 and Vista, despite the fact that Windows XP is still the world's most widely used operating system. Google's Chrome and Mozilla's Firefox have cut into Microsoft's total browser share in part by working across all platforms, including Windows XP, Apple's Mac OS X and Linux. Microsoft argues that browsers work better when they are tailored to a single operating system.

RETRO BROWSER SMACKDOWN: IE6 vs. Netscape in 2011

Worldwide, Internet Explorer's market share among Windows 7 users rose from 54.6% in June to 54.8% in July, and in the United States grew from 67.5% in June to 68.1% in July, according to new data from Net Applications.

"Microsoft skipped XP support for Internet Explorer 9 in order to compete more effectively on Windows 7," Net Applications writes. "In July on Windows 7, Internet Explorer 9 hit 18.5% share worldwide and 24.8% in the United States."

The bigger problem for Microsoft is that IE usage continued to decline among Windows XP users and across all types of computers. Worldwide, Internet Explorer held 59.62% of the market in September 2010, and now holds just 52.81%, according to Net Applications data. Firefox declined slightly in the same timeframe to 21.48% while Chrome rose from 7.99% to 13.45% and Apple's Safari moved from 5.27% to 8.05%.

While Net Applications measures the number of users a browser has, another group called StatCounter measures browsers based on total activity, meaning heavy users count more than light users. In this statistic, Internet Explorer fares worse, dropping from 52.68% of the global market a year ago to 42.45% today. Among operating systems, Windows has about 90% share.

Fans of Firefox and Chrome argue that once Windows users learn of other alternatives, they are likely to switch to gain speed and the flexibility to deploy extensions. They got some validation when a study released last week claimed that Internet Explorer users scored worse in an IQ test than users of all other browsers.

Putting a good face on the numbers, Microsoft has trumpeted IE9's success among Windows 7 users. This may not be enough to reverse Microsoft's overall browser decline, but with Windows 7 usage rising quickly it can't hurt.

"Microsoft has been pushing Internet Explorer 9 and Windows 7 as the best browsing experience on Windows 7 because of IE9's use of hardware acceleration and integration with the Windows 7 user interface," Net Applications says, adding, "There are indications that this strategy is working."

Follow Jon Brodkin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jbrodkin

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags AppleGoogleMicrosoftWindowssoftwareWindows 7operating systemsmozilla

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

Jon Brodkin

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

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.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?