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May 4, 2010

Internet Explorer losing grip on browser market

Posted: 01:19 PM ET

Many people complain about Microsoft's Internet Explorer. There have even been campaigns to kill old versions of the Web browser.

But despite the haters, IE has always remained way on top. In June 2002, 95 percent of computers accessed the Internet through the product, which comes installed as the default web-surfing tool on Microsoft Windows computers.

IE remains dominant today. But, compared to its heights in the early 2000s, it's slipping. This week, the market researcher NetApplications released a report saying IE has fallen to less than 60 percent of the browser market.

Meanwhile, alternative browsers like Google's Chrome and Mozilla's Firefox are catching up a bit.

Firefox makes up nearly a quarter of the browser market; and newer Chrome is at about 7 percent, up from about 2 percent a year ago in May.

A new version of Internet Explorer - IE9 - is expected to debut soon.

Gartner analyst Jeffrey Mann tells the BBC that alternatives to IE continue to catch consumer attention:

"There are more viable alternatives now. Google has been advertising and there are more people using Macs and Apple's Safari. There is just a great awareness that there are alternatives," he says.

That's impressive, considering there's plenty of anecdotal evidence that many Web users don't know what a browser is. (If you're one of them, don't feel bad. It's the program you open in order to access the internet. It's what you're using to view this story.)

What do you make of IE's slipping market share? Which browser do you use and why?

[via BBC Tech]

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Filed under: browsers • Internet

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Scott   May 5th, 2010 7:17 pm ET

Safari and Firefox on Macs. Internet Explorer doesn't run on Macs so I can't use it. Windows PCs are not real computers.

mike   May 5th, 2010 7:44 pm ET

Why do people use chrome? Aren't you all aware of the glaring privacy flaws associated with it? Google knows everything you are looking up with that browser. Use Iron instead. It's chrome, but without all the privacy issues.

Gaurav Joshi   May 5th, 2010 10:06 pm ET

I use Safari and was surprised to see that Safari was not even an option in the options. Although firefox and more recently chrome is widely used on mac but one should not forget that when these browsers were new, safari was the most reliable and to an extent is still one of the best for the macs.

Rich   May 5th, 2010 10:33 pm ET

I use Opera as my primary browser. I use Chrome for websites that don't work well with Opera (usually because they are not standards compliant), and Firefox is all else fails. I only use Internet Exploder for a small handful of websites that I absolutely must use and that absolutely require Internet Exploder. In general, if a website requires IE, I avoid it like the plague, because it is clearly a badly designed site.

Ricardo Cuello   May 5th, 2010 11:59 pm ET

I use Chrome too. Only IE when I have to.

Kristoffer Wood   May 6th, 2010 1:57 am ET

I use the internet.

...the browser is irrelevant.

RealTimer   May 6th, 2010 6:35 am ET

Try clicking on Chrome and IE almost simultaneously , and see what comes up faster.. Obviously, Google Chrome. I fell in love with it seeing its simplicity. Viewing n updating web pages, what features are required?
IE is very heavy, n wherever I use it i get frustrated with its slowness and gets stuck on it... SO loves CHROME.. Also, like its homepage with most visited pages on it... Cheers

steve   May 6th, 2010 10:11 am ET

If you check your work email via Outlook Web Access (Webmail), i believe Explorer is the only one that allows you to right click and set the email as "unread" after you have read it. Cannot do it with Chrome or FireFox. They don't have that option inside Webmail. So i keep using Explorer because of this one feature.

Robert   May 6th, 2010 1:04 pm ET

As a professional web developer, I regularly work with Firefox, Safari for Mac (and sometimes Windows), and Internet Explorer. I don't mind IE 8. Firefox/Safari are my preferences. But as a developer IE 6 absolutely makes me cringe and long for the day that IE 6 market share drops below 10%. It's at 17.58% according to the marketshare report...the day is coming!!

Perrin Walker   May 6th, 2010 1:25 pm ET

I use Firefox. Internet Explorer is not usually even installed on my computer. Internet Explorer is slow and in-your-face. Firefox is fully customizable, and I can ignore any flashing annoying ads.

Michael deLisle   May 6th, 2010 1:35 pm ET

Chrome works great for my purposes. Quick. That's all I require. Only shortcoming I've encountered is its inability to stream Netflix.

max pargament   May 6th, 2010 1:39 pm ET

Use google chrome. Everything google makes is absolutely amazing...they are the only public company who offers their product for free.

yubaraj poudel   May 6th, 2010 5:45 pm ET

Google chrome is faster and very simple to use . Though one of my friend says its not that safer though i still prefer to use it .....coz its simply the best , at this moment of the browser

MarkE   May 6th, 2010 7:13 pm ET

Firefox + NoScript for me. (Though reading other people's comments has given me some fresh ideas.)

IE8 seems good, but I was too accustomed to FF by the time IE 7 or 8 came out, so they just never caught on with me.

inPlaneSite   May 7th, 2010 1:52 am ET

Chrome seams to be the fastest, however, some websites don't work on Chrome. I'm surprised that Google would make a browser that isn't 100% W3C compliant.

Firefox is what I use mostly, though I have to say that I am getting more and more disappointed in the newer versions. Come on guys, where is the pride in performance and reliability of your older browsers.

IE (Internet Exploiter) JUST PLAN SUCKS!!! Microshaft ALWAYS wants to be different. They think that they can go against standards and do it their way by applying brute force. I am glad that most people have gotten rid of that gawd awful IE 6. If you haven't you need to, that version feels like Russian roulette every time you surf the web. You never know how it's going to render a website.

Derik   May 7th, 2010 9:00 am ET

I've had my computer for a year. I've never even bothered to do the 'first time using' config for IE.

Travis   May 7th, 2010 10:02 am ET

Thank goodness, we've had so many problems with IE and our website. Google Chrome is the best browser out there by far, it 🙂

Dave Davidson   May 7th, 2010 10:44 am ET


Gus   May 7th, 2010 11:46 am ET

Actually, if you don't know what a browser is, you should feel bad.

Lewis   May 7th, 2010 12:12 pm ET

AOL all the way!!!!! JK, I would not own a PC that had AOL on it. By far, I enjoy using Chrome the most. Seems to be less prone to attacks then IE is. For now, I'll just stay with Chrome.

epandroid24   May 7th, 2010 1:11 pm ET

I use chrome, I tried firefox, safari (on windows) and chrome. Netscape is dead right? anyway I find CHROME's simplicity awesome. What else do u need but an address/search bar, stop, refresh, back and forward buttons? plus its fast! and I have it all integrated with my google id and android phone....

Dont blame IE anyway, or windows much... the problems arent caused by them its by those criminals doing malware, spyware and viruses, granted microsoft should pay more attention that already given but I will see when another browser becomes number one or operating system, they will face similar issues...

ubo   May 7th, 2010 1:20 pm ET

I jumped on Chrome when it was first released and I love it. I had been using Firefox but it's honestly gotten as bloated and slow as IE is.

I have to use IE7 at work because of our special web applications and every day I am very thankful to go home and load up Chrome.

ubo   May 7th, 2010 1:22 pm ET

And for Adblock fans: Chrome does have Extension and adblocking is one of them. You have no reason to not switch unless you use silly, very specific extensions.

SWOhio   May 7th, 2010 1:52 pm ET

It depends on what I'm doing online. If I want to play flash games or view videos, I have to use IE8 because I am on Windows 7 64-bit. I can use Opera for general surfing, but my understanding is that there is no 64-bit flash version for Opera. As for Firefox...sorry, I won't bother with it.

David   May 7th, 2010 2:07 pm ET

As a web designer the average user has no idea what we go through to make sure your content looks visible in IE! I've been a Firefox user for 5 years and counting. I will never go back to IE.

JoeD   May 7th, 2010 3:09 pm ET

I use the Sprye Mosaic from Bell Labs withj my micro-channel PS-2

veronica dominguez   May 7th, 2010 3:28 pm ET

Hello Mr. Gates,

I use your "explorer" everyday. I recommend it to to general public.
It is easy and self explanatory as an icon.

In san francisco, I have noticed that certain, employers, are
trying to "fire", their employees, based on the fact, that businessmen today want to promote American Business by replacing very old and very slow office equipment that meets todays standards.

As, a consequence, of this management thinking, a meeting will take place, today, to inform individual whether he will keep his job or be fired.

Is it the Right Thing to Do, in the Business World, Fire them, because
they believe in the American Dream?
Is it the Right Thing to Do, in the Business World, Fire them, because
they believe in Microsoft and Mr. Bill Gates, to name a few Icons, in the
Business World?

Is this the kind of example, we should display to the nation, and to the international world that watches every breath we take?

What do you think of this? What would you do, if it were You,
Mr. Bill Gates?

veronica dominguez, in san francisco.

veronica dominguez   May 7th, 2010 3:32 pm ET


add: to Promote American Business by replacing very old and very slow equipment with, that which meets Todays Standards of

RM   May 8th, 2010 1:23 am ET

Opera is by far the best browser I have ever used. I will never switch to anything else.

Maxis   May 8th, 2010 6:52 am ET

I terms of speed Opera is the best..
In terms of tweaking,addons and development Firefox is the best.... It even has a built-in spellchecker...

I use both... depending on what I want to do

andrei   May 8th, 2010 9:17 am ET

one more vote for Chrome, – it's the best!

Bob   May 8th, 2010 9:33 pm ET

Firefox and Safari. They are much better browsers despite one ebing open source and one closed. Now if I could just bail out of IE at work, all would be right with the world.

Alex   May 9th, 2010 9:18 am ET

I use Opera. It's very fast, useful and more visual then Chrome.

HEHA   May 9th, 2010 1:07 pm ET


Adam   May 9th, 2010 1:19 pm ET

I primarily use FF, but as a web designer, I have all of them downloaded to test my work. Hands down, the buggiest of them all is IE. The great thing about FF is the fact it is open-source, which means that as advancements come to the Internet, FF developers react almost immediately. Web designers and developers have a lot more tools at hand today than back when all you needed was Notepad and Photoshop. If IE was as standards compliant as FF or Chrome, it could rule the world. But it's not, so when I design a website, I have to basically do it twice: Once for IE, and once for all the others. I have a feeling that when HTML5 and CSS3 hit with full force, IE is going to get left in the dust and FF will hold the lion's share of the market.

gwats   May 10th, 2010 12:25 am ET

I'm a big fan of Firefox and Camino and Safari. Microsoft did me a big favor when they quit developing IE for the Mac platform.

Chris   May 10th, 2010 12:36 am ET

Who cares. 🙂

Mike D   May 10th, 2010 4:36 pm ET

IE has signficatly slows down pages upon rendering, compared to other browsers

Char   May 10th, 2010 7:22 pm ET

I primarily use firefox, cause I am able to open my email in the same window rather than opening in a new window, which is what I have to do with IE. But I do use IE every now and then for other things. I haven't tried Chrome yet.

PlasticOrPaper   May 10th, 2010 9:49 pm ET

IE FOR THE WIN!!!! People are just 'hating' all in Microsoft/IE ever since everyone started loving Apple just because of their iPhones or the Macs (I dont remember). And now everyone thinks that IE is 'oh sooo badd oh yeah I hate to soo much it suckss. Its sooo sloowww.'Safari is butt ugly, no offence but it is and I dislike it so. IE FOREVER.

Gene Cobb   May 11th, 2010 5:46 pm ET

I am a website developer. The only reason I use IE is to test functionality on the sites.

Once you actually use another browser, you can't go back to IE.

Firefox, Opera, Safari, Netscape are all good alternatives.

Marquise   May 11th, 2010 7:06 pm ET

I use Opera becuase of its organization and tools

Micah Herstand   May 12th, 2010 9:25 am ET

I use the Google. But sometimes I like to give Yahoo business, so I use the Yahoo browser... cough...

Doug   May 12th, 2010 3:57 pm ET

All the microsoft bashers in the group ought to realize ,, if it wasn't for them you people would still be communicating with a tin can and string.


Tyler   May 12th, 2010 5:12 pm ET

I don't like IE and gave me blue screen of death because of the 100 errors that sorry it had an error and Later it froze and blue screened I have been using Firefox from now on.

Anth   May 12th, 2010 6:43 pm ET

I use firefox, there's too many exploits in IE, if your pc is crashing with firefox and having problems with video stream, (as I just read in these comments) then something is wrong in your system configuration, I used both for a long time, and you need to address your browers configurations if you are having problems. Firefox is very good. I run many apps to testing etc, but I also know that the average user does not understand most configuration questions browsers ask for but they think they do .. oh well 🙂

Steve   May 13th, 2010 9:15 am ET

Chrome is great because you can install it on school and library computers, even when they block installing executable folders. I've gotten used to installing it on any computer I go to. The two minutes it takes to download and install is definitely worth not browsing IE for 20minutes.

diggsut   May 13th, 2010 10:10 am ET

Been using Netscape and Mozilla browsers since before they were Netscape (Mosaic was the name I believe). Opera is my browser of choice now. Internet Explorer is the last tool in the tool box and only used as a last resort.

pieeye   May 13th, 2010 11:19 am ET

I use whatever browser is the fastest,which is currently Google Chrome. I could care less about fancy features. I just want to surf the web and not have to wait for pages to load.

Joe   May 13th, 2010 12:29 pm ET

I haven't used IE for years, don't plan on going back either......

Dmitriy   May 14th, 2010 8:45 am ET

I think Chrome should be pre-installed on every computer. Clearly it is better than any other browser on the market.

bob smithttt   May 15th, 2010 3:14 am ET

i use firefox, IE is bloated and clumbsy

alessandro   May 15th, 2010 1:39 pm ET

I m using safari nw....shud say tat i ws forced to shift to sme other than IE coz its simply too buggy n stucky.........

Kenneth   May 15th, 2010 3:55 pm ET

Firefox for most of my browsing and IE only when I have to go to or another IE only website.

Rob Johnson   May 16th, 2010 2:44 am ET

I've used IE since it came out and never had any problems with it till IE8. If IE9 doesn't solve all the IE8 problems, this could be the beginning of the end for IE.

Jake   May 16th, 2010 1:18 pm ET

"It's the program you open in order to access the internet. " – No, it's not. It's the program you open in order to access the Web. Semantics, but the difference is important.

John25301   May 16th, 2010 4:06 pm ET

I use IE, I tried Chrome and got pop-ads the first site I went too. Back to IE for me. It's not as fast as Chrome, but it's fast enough.

Eric   May 16th, 2010 5:44 pm ET

I use safari since I don't use computers and its the only one installed on my iPad and iPhone. Simple and does the job. I don't notice it, just enjoy the content and loading speed of webpages.

Dylan   May 16th, 2010 6:51 pm ET

Apple/Mac haters always have to appear in any slightly related threads *sigh*. I don't know when they will learn...Anyway, I use Chrome and Opera sometimes, but FireFox is my favorite. Safari just doesn't cut it, and Microsoft...why oh why do you have to make things difficult for web developers? Just give up on IE and pick a GOOD browser to support. Firefox and opera, please switch to webkit.

shek   May 17th, 2010 12:10 pm ET

Google chrome is the best.I love it

Chromer   May 17th, 2010 8:46 pm ET

IE is like an heavy old truck, Google Chrome is F1.....light and fast.

BobH   May 17th, 2010 10:03 pm ET

Well let me tell you my experience with IE and the new hyped up ads for Google Chrome. Google should be hung out to dry with their new ads for Chrome. It's a bunch of BS that chrome is fast – far from it!
IE is still leader of the pack for a reason because it continues to be heads & shoulders better than chrome or anything other browser out there. IE rules in my world. Long live IE. Way Cool!!!

GREG   May 17th, 2010 10:08 pm ET


Edmund   May 18th, 2010 5:14 am ET

I use Google Chrome. Fast, sleek, esp searching from the address bar. I've been liking Google products ever since Gmail. Looking forward to Google Chrome OS!!!

Bob   May 18th, 2010 12:09 pm ET

I use Firefox, before that Netscape, I only use IE on pages that refuse to load in another browser and even then only as a FF tab. Opera died the day the free version forced me to watch ads, Safari is just the apple limitware browser and I value my privacy, so I don't trust Google's Chrome (or any other Google product for that matter). There is only one wish I have, FF needs to be faster. But in any case I'd rather any other browser other than IE, it's a Microsoft product and hence by definition it's bloated, buggy, slow and unsafe, I don't want to get hacked, avoiding IE improves my safety. Within 5 years those 60% will have dwindled down to 20%, nobody likes to be exposed.

SafariGuy   May 18th, 2010 2:52 pm ET

I used to be a windows guy now I'm a Mac guy and I use Safari and have no problems with it. IE is just too problematic

Bob   May 18th, 2010 6:05 pm ET

As a tip for FF users: install FEBE, it permits you to save add-ins, bookmarks, history, cookies, passwords and everything you value from FF to a backup file, save the backup on a memory stick and you will easily set up your customized FF anywhere you work with little effort. None other can say that.

Abegunde Oluwatosin   May 19th, 2010 7:46 am ET

I use the firefox browser more, it's fun and easy plus it comes with great add-ons that are free to add.

To me it's the best

JasonXR   May 19th, 2010 10:13 pm ET

Firefox is open-standards, far less prone to virus/trojan attacks, has AdBlock Plus (best add-on ever, makes webpages display so much faster), auto-updates and despite what anyone says it IS FAST. Chrome is only faster now because it's barebones – wait till you get any useful feature like AdBlock etc.

bigmatt   May 19th, 2010 11:06 pm ET

i use Firefox. i love the add ons you can install, especially the web developing add ons. u can create your own browser themes and fully cutsomize the way your browser looks!!! download it today!!! google 'mozilla firefox'

dragonov   May 20th, 2010 7:24 pm ET

Firefox and Chrome are great browsers!!!, IE worse browser ever!

Voll   May 21st, 2010 3:44 am ET

I use Firefox personally, it just seems that internet explorer has always been too buggy and too slow compared to whats out there...

converger   May 21st, 2010 4:47 am ET

Once you get to know Firefox then you cant even compare with IE. With all the extensions i use in Firefox my work is very efficient and manageable. Browsers are slowly changing their purpose and are being used more as a platform for running applications and mini applications and are used for collaboration. They are starting to converge with the desktop OS and as such the must change their functionality accordingly. That is why Firefox is winning over the market, its doing just that.

Raphael   May 21st, 2010 5:55 am ET

IE is bulky and laggy.

I know how bad that sounds, but it's the best description I could come up with.

Google Chrome, on the other hand, is much faster, much smoother when in use. I prefer Chrome over Firefox because it has extensions 😀

Edward Young   July 26th, 2010 12:03 pm ET

there would be a great demand for mobile browsers in the coming years that is for sure.";~

Isabella Williams   August 1st, 2010 1:58 pm ET

spywares and viruses always give me some headache. they can really mess up your pc..~"

Isaiah Roberts   September 12th, 2010 12:30 pm ET

mobile browsers would become greatly popular in the next few years';~

Melatonin    October 12th, 2010 4:30 pm ET

mobile browsers will become more and more powerful in the future as more applications are developed-:`

Tub Chair    October 13th, 2010 6:23 pm ET

i hate spywares and viruses, they can really give me a bad hair day;"'

Hemorrhoid Treatment :   October 25th, 2010 4:23 am ET

there are literally tons of spywares and viruses lurking on the internet so we should always be careful when donwloading stuffs-.`

Flannel Sheets   December 20th, 2010 1:50 pm ET

i have seen a few mobile browsers and used some of them, they are still a bit slow ~:,

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I started out with IE and never wanted to change from it. A few of my friends recommended firefox though because of all the add ons, and after trying it I was hooked. I'd never go back to IE now (although firefox does have its occasional glitches.

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