Thursday, 24 November 2011

Browser wars - and Microsoft is losing!

Recently one of my most loyal readers told me that she had swapped from Internet Explorer to Google Chrome due to some sort of problem with Facebook.  She told me that people were leaving IE in droves, and as one who left it a few years ago I wondered whether I could see the evidence for this.

So I decided to trawl through the Google Analytics record (for another site that I administer) as Something Surprising has only been running for 10 months.  This graph is on the basis of 20,000 visits from around the world.

As she had said, Internet Explorer is losing the battle (blue line in the graph).  On balance, Chrome (red) is winning, and Firefox (yellow) is pretty much holding its own after a bit of a fight with Chrome a few months ago.

Is this a result of global legislation about competitiveness or is it due to the power of Google?  I would suggest that it might be a bit of both.  Many people would formerly have had no notion that there were other browsers.  Nowadays in Europe at least they have been forced to consider other options - and the bigger they are, the harder they fall.  Chrome has attractive features and I can understand people liking it. 

For me, the cross-platform nature of Firefox means that I can use the same browser at home as I do at work, and share bookmarks between desktop and laptop with very little effort.

Small note:  This is a small study and might not be representative of the whole of the internet.  My statistics are poor but the consistent trends suggest that they are not inaccurate.

Smaller note:  Other browsers are available for Macs and other unusual operating systems (like Ubuntu which I use).  That is why the percentages do not add up to 100%.


Unknown said... Something very surprising...No Google toolbar for Google Chrome! Which means no search box and other features such as bookmarks,I had to import a lot of features from IE9.Although these inconveniences are strange and annoying,Chrome does run silky smooth,compared to IE's slow and sticky system,it got to the point where I couldn't even type on it anymore,so, in my case, I didn't choose to leave IE...I had to!

Unknown said...
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RosaRubicondior said...

I was a 'loyal' IE user until IE9, at which point it became almost unusable, so I switch to Chrome. What on earth Microsoft were thinking of is beyond me.

Derby Sceptic said...

I think Microsoft is trying to make IE9 a jack of all trades and build far too much in to it.

In my work I use IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari. All have their own issues, including several very unstable releases of Firefox which rapidly went up through the version numbers.

I like the clean lines of Chrome but IE is still very popular.

Possibly one of the most powerful factors in the near future however will be the rise of the tablet or MID as some call it. The key players use either Apple iOS or Android of some flavour. Microsoft have missed this boat and Windows is not good on tablets.

In this market therefore they will not have any browser impact, thus users will tend to an Android based browser or Apple's Safari.

Interestingly MS say they will drop support for Flash in their new tablet browsers, and now Adobe are stopping development of Flash for mobile platforms. As websites will inevitably move away from Flash this will mean that one of the negatives against Safari and some Android browsers will be eliminated.