Years have passed since that time when Internet Explorer was the most popular browser among users. According to recent statistics by Net Applications, IE’s popularity has dropped a bit more since its user share was last measured in November 2015. The drop is estimated at 1.5 percentage, making the current user share 48.6 % (Edge’s usage included in the number).
Just to make a comparison – Net Application’s statistics for January 2005 revealed a total user share of 89.4 %. It’s safe to say that back then IE was the most preferred web browser, with a usage of almost 90%.
Image Source: Net Applications
In fact, Mozilla’s Firefox was the first browser on the market to challenge IE’s prevalence on the market. To soften the strike, Microsoft had to improve many features and respectively released the enhanced
– IE7 in 2006 with the launching of Windows Vista;
– IE8 in 2009 prior to the release of Windows 7.
Internet Explorer’s user share through the years
In the second half of 2011, IE was dancing around a user share of 50%. In November 2014, the browser’s popularity grew to 58.9%. However, since 2014, IE has only been losing users. A bad Microsoft decision that had a negative impact on IE’s user share was the choice to make their customers upgrade to IE11 in 2013. Microsoft literally demanded users to switch to the 11th version, thus making them willing to use a rival browser, the change being obligatory in any case.
As pointed out by Network World, Firefox was the first browser to ever challenge IE’s user share and popularity. However, Firefox’s usage share in December, according to Net Applications’ analysis, wasn’t that great as well – about 12.1%.
Google Chrome runs ahead
Who has gained from the drop in user share of both browsers? It may be too obvious but we will say it anyway. Google Chrome is surely getting closer to a winning position with a user share of 32.3 % as of December 2015.
The predictions for 2016 are also in favor of Chrome. One of the reasons IE was on the top in the browser market was because of its enterprise usage. In 2016 experts in analytics such as Net Applications expect Chrome to take IE’s place with two-thirds of enterprise users choosing Chrome over IE.
What about Microsoft’s latest – Edge Browser?
It hasn’t made the difference Microsoft wanted it to make. As estimated by Net Applications, Edge’s user share is only 2.3 % (the percentage is included in IE’s total share of 48.6 %). Windows 10 users have been neglecting Edge since its release. Even though Edge was made Win10’s default browser, it still remained unpopular. 2016 will hardly change things for Edge.