In over a year there have been some huge shifts in browser trends, Chrome becoming most popular worldwide and Firefox losing a significant chunk of it’s share. But Why?
Some of these trends I think can be explained away quite quickly, since the release of Windows 7 worldwide in October 2009 all users have been given a choice of what browser to install on their machines. I think this would have showed users who aren’t tech savvy that there are options out there and possibly made them do some research into web browsers where as in the past they would have thought the blue ‘e’ of Internet Explorer was simply the internet, this has contributed to IE from having 51% market share last year to 32% now, losing nearly 20%! Also the fact that when using the Google search engine by going to the Google page (not direct from your browser) when not using Chrome, every user is shown the little tag below which has encouraged some of my not technically minded friends to upgrade.
The sheer number of visits to this page mean that people must be upgrading through this channel. This is not touching on Google’s great marketing techniques and advertising which were seen as a great successes. This means that Google has gone from a 23% market share last year to being the most popular browser world wide with 33% market share!
What is potentially harder to explain is the decline of Firefox, once a firm favourite amongst techies this has fallen out of favour and lost 4% of its market share, I think the reason for this is Firefox’s rapid release cycle which means 4 versions of the browsers are released annually. This sounds fine in theory but realistically has meant that Firefox has released several versions which were less than stable which coupled with the rise and stability of Chrome has resulted in this loss. I know a lot of developers still seem to use Firefox as Chromes developer tools aren’t as good as the Firefox equivalent but how long will it be before Chromes Add Ons catch up.
Safari has also increased its market share by 2%, I think this can be safely attributed to Apples growing market share vs PC, the graph below does not include tablets or mobile devices otherwise I could see this percentage being a lot higher. Rounding out the 5 is Opera who’s market share has changed by less that 0.1% over the year.
WORLDWIDE BROWSER MARKET SHARE
Google Chrome – 33.81%
Microsoft Internet Explorer – 32.04%
Mozilla Firefox – 23.73%
Apple Safari – 7.12%
Opera – 1.72%