Web browser market share and rounding errors

In our world of developing web sites, it is always interesting with web browser statistics, and how some people view them. Pair that with a new player in the market and various opinions about its success.

Web browser market share

Let’s start by looking at the current web browser market share, available at Browser Market Share and Browser Version Market Share:

Internet Explorer

That’s generally almost a level playing field, wouldn’t you say? Sure, take away 30% from Internet Explorer and share among the others, but still the trend is going towards a well-balanced web browser market. I guess one reflection is that Opera, after developing web browsers for all these years (and having a very good product!) has a very low market share on the desktop, and I think they need to do something exceptional to change that.

If we break it down per web browser version (with over 1% share), it looks like this:

Internet Explorer 6.0
Internet Explorer 7.0
Internet Explorer 8.0
Firefox 3.5
Firefox 3.0
Safari 4.0
Internet Explorer 8.0 – Compatibility Mode
Chrome 2.0
Opera 9.x
Firefox 2.0
Chrome 3.0

Here, there are a lot of interesting conclusions we can draw. First and foremost, IE 6 is still the most used web browser in the world – to me, this is terrifying, and saddening that we’re still suffering from that era. Interesting to see how many users who have upgraded to Firefox 3.5, although I thought it would be more in comparison to version 3.0. Also noteworthy that the Compatibility Mode in IE 8 are used by more people than all Opera users together, and almost as many as all Google Chrome users. Also, given Google Chrome’s aggressive upgrading strategy, I thought there would be more people with the latest version.

Looking at Top Browser Share Trend, we can see that Firefox 3.5 and IE 8 are the web browsers with the most upgoing trend at the moment.

Ballmer: Chrome and Safari are rounding errors

In a recent interview, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stated that Chrome And Safari Are Rounding Errors. And yes, sure, I know he has to act like that. Or, correction, he believes he has to act like that to bring confidence to Microsoft fans. However, in my world, it gives the opposite message: if you are downplaying competitors share, as opposed to bringing forth why your own product is so special, it’s a sign of fear and uncertainty (and don’t ask me where he gets the statistics of having 74% of the market, where most studies show around 65%).

Is Google Chrome a success or not?

But, one thing is interesting there in Ballmer’s statement, and also in the very varying opinions I hear from people about Google Chrome. It has been in the (Windows) market for a little over a year now, and it has a little bit over 3% of the web browser market.

Some people claim it’s an amazing feat in just one year to get 3% of the market, while others see it as a failure with all Google’s brand and marketing power; that they instead should have had something like 10% by now to have succeeded. Some people claim that Google Chrome OS is a, more or less, desperate measure to put even more focus on the web browser, to make more people use Google Chrome.

So, what do you think: is Google Chrome a success or a failure? Or perhaps in between? And do you have any thoughts on web browser market share of today?

Posted in Google,Mozilla,Technology,Web browsers |

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