[LINK] Browser numbers released, IE still losing ground

Bernard Robertson-Dunn brd at iimetro.com.au
Thu Oct 12 20:20:52 AEST 2006

Browser numbers released, IE still losing ground
ars technica
10/10/2006 1:48:22 PM,
by Jacqui Cheng

New browser usage statistics are out for September, and they're showing 
some interesting changes in browser market share. Internet Explorer, 
which has been the market share king for many years now, has been 
falling steadily since the launch of Firefox 1.0 and has now reached its 
lowest point in over two years at 82.10 percent. Firefox, on the other 
hand, has been growing steadily, reaching 12.46 percent market share. 
Safari holds its third place spot, but sees increasing numbers as well 
at 3.53 percent.

Both Firefox and Safari are seeing their highest numbers for the year, 
apparently at the expense of Internet Explorer. Firefox passed the 10 
percent mark just under a year ago and has been enjoying continued 
success on Linux, Windows, and OS X. It has even become the browser of 
choice for many savvy users. Safari, while holding much smaller numbers 
than IE and Firefox, is also becoming nothing to sneeze at. A year ago, 
Safari had less than 2 percent of the browser market but has almost 
doubled its numbers since then. Netscape and Opera both carry under 1 
percent of the market and Mozilla is dead last, just above "Other."

It's no surprise that Internet Explorer has been losing ground steadily 
over the past couple of years. There have been no significant 
innovations in the browser since XP SP2 was released over two years ago, 
and most of those were security tweaks. The downhill trend could change 
soon, though.

[see web site for chart]

Due later this month, Internet Explorer 7 will see a complete overhaul 
of the browser with a number of significant improvements in security, 
interface, and major bug fixes such as improved CSS compliance (the 
sound of a thousand web developers rejoicing can be heard in the 
distance). The security improvements include more user protection 
against phishing and malware and the inclusion of parental controls. 
Anticipation for IE 7 has been building ever since the beta was released 
this summer and could bring back a few Firefox converts if things go 
well when it's released later this month.

However, that won't happen without a fight from the Firefox camp. 
Firefox 2.0, which is also slated to be released later this month, comes 
with its own slew of improvements to search engine management, interface 
improvements such as an integrated spell checker, and its own version of 
malware and phishing protections. Firefox 2.0 will not be as significant 
of an update as IE 7, but is still highly anticipated nonetheless by 
Firefox fans. Will either of these major releases affect the numbers, 
and will IE be able to recover lost ground?



Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Sydney Australia
brd at iimetro.com.au

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