mPulse

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Browser Wars: June was an interesting month

June is one of my favorite months. The sun returns (although in the Boston area there are concerned that it has been replaced by clouds and humidity), the kids get out of school (and get sent to camp), and the outdoor pool opens (and I actually swim in it).

In the US browser market, Internet Explorer 8 continues its slow replacement of Internet Explorer 6 and 7, finally overtaking MSIE 6 on June 11 [Stats courtesy of StatCounter].

us-browser-jun1-303009


The great news is that Internet Explorer 6 is slowly falling of the pace, relegated to large companies with proprietary code and a degree of inertia that impedes their movement to accepting new browsers.


The two-month trend does show some very dramatic changes, most notably with Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 3.


us-browser-may1-june302009


While these changes appear dramatic, the lack of absolute values to base the StatCounter graphs on means that it's very difficult to determine if these values are a result of a shift in the actual browser market, or a result in decreasing numbers of visitors to sites with the StatCounter tracking code.


Worldwide for June, the primary trend is that the decrease in Internet Explorer 7 is matched almost precisely by the increase in the use of Internet Explorer 8.


worldwide-browser-jun1-303009


Firefox 3 and Internet Explorer 6 remained almost completely unchanged through June, indicating that the US trend is very different than that seen throughout the rest of the world. The tracking trend indicates that Firefox 3 could have overtaken Internet Explorer 7 by the end of July.


Could have is used purposely here, as the release of Firefox 3.5 will fragment the market share for this browser, and it is not likely that it will match the stats for Firefox 3 immediately.


Despite all the claims that the browser war is over, and that applications have moved beyond the browser, it is highly unlikely that this dream will be realized in the consumer browser market until late 2010, when the effect of Windows 7 can be seen on the use of Internet Explorer 8 .


Overall, June 2009 was a month of substantial shifts in the US browser market, which will be further aggravated with the release of Firefox 3.5, and the slow and steady adoption of Internet Explorer 8 by consumer and business users.


UPDATE: TechCrunch has noted the ongoing shifts to the browser share market [here].

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