Which browsers are ruling the roost?

October 25, 2013

There’s always a war or seven going on between various software platforms, and the competition between Internet browsers remains as intense as ever. Long gone are the days when Internet Explorer (IE) enjoyed a market share well in excess of 90 per cent, and the current browser usage statistics make slightly more complicated reading for those online business owners looking to suitably optimise their site.

Indeed, IE might just face more challenges than most in maintaining its present foothold, with all versions accounting for 25.42 per cent of the market in June, according to StatCounter – a 2.29 per cent fall from the previous month. That figure compares to the 32.3 per cent that all IE versions recorded in June last year. 2.29 per cent in one month is undeniably a massive fall, but can be explained in part by the tendency of IE usage to drop when its northern hemisphere users are not at work. These are the summer months, after all.

However, there’s also the fact that Windows XP is still being used by 20 per cent of PC owners, who are restricted to the rapidly ageing IE8. Many are simply making the switch to rivals. Chrome, for example, hogged 42.75 per cent of the market – another 1.31 per cent monthly jump as part of a long-term rise. Given that Google owns such a major proportion of the web, its status as Microsoft’s stiffest competitor in this arena is deeply unsurprising, with many observers wondering whether its march can even be stopped. Chrome accounted for just 32.8 per cent of the market as recently as June 2012.

Then, there are the also-rans – which actually had a decent month in June. Firefox, for example, is experiencing a long-term slide but jumped above 20 per cent again, while Safari mustered more than 8 per cent and even Opera saw a modest gain. Many will now wonder how the picture will look in another year’s time. Will IE, for example, be made more compatible to entice back users? It all remains to be seen.

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