Competitors Force Down Usage of Internet Explorer

Many of us remember when Netscape was the hottest browser on the market. It’s strange to think that the almighty IE might eventually slide into obscurity too …

Microsoft may be losing its grip on the Internet browser market. The software behemoth has lost a significant percentage of market share for its Internet Explorer browser according to browser usage reports from market watchers NetApplications and StatCounter. Their research shows Microsoft’s IE browser holding less than 60 percent of the market share.

“I don’t believe IE’s drop in usage share of 0.7 percent was necessarily significant, but much is being made of IE falling below 60 percent for the first time since it became the market leader,” said Vincent Vizzaccaro, executive vice president of marketing at Net Applications.

Their research indicates usage of the Microsoft IE browser fell from 77.63 percent in April 2008 to 67.77 percent in April 2009. Since June 2009, Internet Explorer has seen a decrease in market share each consecutive month. April was no different and Microsoft’s IE fell to 59.95 percent.

Competitors, on the other hand, including Google Chrome and Apple Safari saw an increase in market share during the same period.

Firefox has a hold on just under one quarter of the market with 24.59 percent market penetration, according to NetApplications. Google Chrome ranked third with 6.73 percent, a .6 percent increase from last month. Apple Safari came in fourth, with 4.72 percent, a .07 percent increase from the previous month.

Growing Competition

Back in the day, Internet Explorer was the aggressor — grabbing more than 90 percent of the market from Netscape, between 1996 and 2002. Since then, however, it has faced growing competition and suffered a slow decline in usage since 2003, according to Vizzaccaro.

That decline continued when Google launched Chrome in September 2008, grabbing 1 percent of the global browser market in just one day, according to StatCounter.

Microsoft did not address the decline in overall Internet Explorer usage, but did provide information on…

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