New statistics have revealed that Internet Explorer's share of the browser market has dropped significantly since 2003. The Microsoft web browser once dominated the market with a share of 95 per cent at its peak but the data shows that the popularity of Firefox and Google Chrome is also on the rise.
Measurement firm NetApplications released the data which shows Internet Explorer's browser share to be at 59.9 per cent, a more than 30 per cent decrease from its peak in 2003. Firefox comes in second with 24.5 per cent and Google Chrome places third with 6.7 per cent, a notable increase from last year's 1.7 per cent.
Though Google Chrome's share seems insignificant, the statistics show that the browser has gained much of the share lost by Internet Explorer while other browsers such as Firefox and Safari have only shown a slight increase.
A greater awareness of alternatives
One suggestion suggested for Internet Explorer's loss of market share relates to fears over the security of the browser. New regulations imposed by the European Commission could also be to blame. The rules stem from a debate over the fairness of the Windows operating system having IE as its default browser and require that a choice of browsers now be provided to customers.
Perhaps the most significant reason, however, is simply a greater awareness of the various browsing alternatives. "There are more viable alternatives now. Google has been advertising and there are more people using Macs and Apple's Safari," said Jeffrey Mann, an analyst for Gartner. "There were a lot of people using IE6 and some will have said that if they are going to change, they may as well look at some alternatives."
Meanwhile, in what could be an attempt to regain some popularity, Microsoft Fuse Labs has announced new social networking tool Spindex for IE. The tool has been devised by the Microsoft innovation centre to allow aggregation of a user's social networking activity. Microsoft claims that the tool will provide users with a more personalised experience and allow them to access their information without having to log into each individual social networking site.