Archive for the ‘Browser Wars’ Category

W3Schools: April 2010

May 9, 2010

An update (last post covered data to the end of 2009) on the browser stats at

Usual disclaimer: data is just for that site, but they keep old numbers up that show trends VERY well.


IE as a whole still is still showing major decline, with IE 6 and 7 gowing downhill at about the same rate.

Opera and Safari are flat at low levels. Firefox is flat at a high level.

Chrome and IE 8 are both rising.


The pool of IE6 users represents XP machines that have not been upgraded.  It cannot realistically grow larger.  People who have not upgraded from IE6 probably never will on their current machines; the decline of IE6 is likely caused by old machines failing and new ones (mostly Win7/IE8) being bought to replace them.

IE8 is thus rising, but I don’t think they are getting almost any converts from non-IE browsers.  Watch for each successive IE release to be weaker than the last.

Chrome is scooping up users left and right.  The net effect is that they are taking away IE market share, but I’m going to speculate that a good number of people are still switching to Firefox, while others switch from Firefox to Chrome, with an overall effect that Firefox is flat.


Microsoft lies to your face about browser security

January 20, 2010

Microsoft’s Head of Security and Privacy in the UK has told TechRadar that people who jump ship from Internet Explorer after the recent spate of bad headlines risk ending up on a less secure browser. With France and Germany both advising a move away from Internet Explorer, things are far from rosy for Microsoft’s browser […yet] Microsoft’s UK security chief Cliff Evans insists that a non-Microsoft browser is the worse option. “The net effect of switching [from IE] is that you will end up on less secure browser,” insisted Evans. “The risk [over this specific] exploit is minimal compared to Firefox or other competing browsers… you will be opening yourself up to security issues.

Let’s fight FUD with facts…

Vulnerability Report: Mozilla Firefox 3.5.x
Unpatched: 0

Vulnerability Report: Google Chrome 3.x
Unpatched: 0

Vulnerability Report: Opera 10.x
Unpatched: 0

Vulnerability Report: Apple Safari 4.x
Unpatched: 0

Vulnerability Report: Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.x
Unpatched: 24
Most Critical Unpatched: Extremely critical

Vulnerability Report: Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.x
Unpatched: 11
Most Critical Unpatched: Extremely critical

Vulnerability Report: Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.x
Unpatched: 4
Most Critical Unpatched: Extremely critical

My recommendation if you use Windows: make sure the version of IE that’s installed (because you can’t uninstall it!) is the latest/least vulnerable (IE8) and then install at least one of the non-IE browsers listed (personally I always recommend Firefox :) and then use THAT.  Of course, you could always switch to a Mac or Linux…

Related: Internet Explorer – Endless Security Problems

Update Jan. 21:

Firefox released version 3.6!

Microsoft issued an emergency patch to plug the Aurora exploit which they apparently have known about since AUGUST. Here are Secunia’s updated IE numbers:

Vulnerability Report: Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.x
Unpatched: 23
Most Critical Unpatched: Moderately critical

Vulnerability Report: Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.x
Unpatched: 10
Most Critical Unpatched: Moderately critical

Vulnerability Report: Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.x
Unpatched: 3
Most Critical Unpatched: Less critical

W3Schools: 2009 ends with IE down, Firefox flat and Chrome up

January 9, 2010

Half a year has passed since I last blogged about the browser stats from (usual disclaimer: they’re just for that site, but they keep old numbers up that show trends VERY well) and the summary is that in the last half of 2009, IE was down, Firefox flat and Chrome up:

The global graph from StatCounter seems to show a similar trend. The ‘flatness’ of Firefox is interesting though; I strongly suspect that it is still getting IE converts, BUT is also losing some users to Chrome. The only version of IE still growing is IE8 and that’s almost flat.

By comparison to Chrome, Opera is flat and Safari has only made minor gains (probably from preloads)

So as we enter 2010, it looks like the browser to watch is Chrome. When Firefox finally releases 3.6, that should help boost its usage.

July 2009 Browser Stats

August 2, 2009

I note that NetApplications, W3Counter and StatCounter all have their global July 2009 numbers up, so here’s a table:

	NA	W3C	SC	range

IE8	14.58	12.46	12.65	12-15
IE7	23.09	24.74	27.62	23-28
IE6	27.21	15.21	19.82	15-27
all	64.88	52.41	60.09	52-65

FF3.5	4.54	6.56	5.44	4-7
FF3	16.21	23.03	22.93	16-24
FF2	1.45	1.81	1.81	1-2
all	22.2	31.4	30.18	22-32

IE+FF	87.08	83.81	90.27	83-91

C2	2.37	3.11	2.85	2-4
S4	2.22	3.11	(<3)	2-4
O9	1.73	1.18	1.86	1-2

One will note that there is quite a bit of difference in the IE:FF ratios; NetApplications has the highest at about 3:1, while W3Counter has the lowest, at about 5:3  Another difference is in which browser version is the most used; NetApplications says IE6, while StatCounter says IE7 and W3Counter has IE7 less than 2% ahead of FF3.  Thus we are reminded that any individual source is not necessarily accurate and will have its particular biases so we should be careful when quoting exact figures; ranges and overall trends would be better.

Update Aug. 7:

W3Schools put up the numbers for their site and the trends are:

IE8 is rising, but not quite as fast as IE7 is falling.

IE6 continues down its path toward extinction.

Firefox and Chrome are still rising, together at about the same rate IE as a whole is falling.

W3Schools June Data

July 6, 2009

Its been five months since I last reported on the browser share data for The first thing that jumped out at me is the rapid growth of Google’s Chrome compared to the slow rise of Safari and plateauing of Opera:

Google's Chrome is rapidly rising in popularity

The trend is currently on the order of a percent every two months. And now that it has broken through the 5% mark on W3Schools, I feel that it should be included on the main graph:

Browser Wars 2

Note that the Firefox+IE line has been slipping, but adding Chrome to it keeps it where it was before. We are hopefully now entering a phase where there will be a third major browser; Chrome’s not there yet, but trending in that direction… We’ll have to see some global numbers to be sure its not a North American-specific thing.

Firefox continues to rise and IE continues to fall (note also here). We may notice a slight spike in FF usage in July from the 3.5 release.

IE6 is reaching its ‘long tail’; its almost exactly where IE5 was five years ago… hopefully it will die off faster though >;)

IE8 is rising rapidly, but almost exclusively at the expense of IE7. In fact, it might not be long until IE6 is more popular than IE7 again! (note the last graph here too)

StatCounter: Firefox 3 is the most used browser version in Canada

June 14, 2009

I just noticed that according to StatCounter Firefox 3 has achieved market share plurality in Canada!

[Note: As per the StatCounter About page, their works are licensed as cc-by-sa]

The US numbers show a trend implying that FF3 will become the most used browser there in the next month or so!

Update June 17: It will also soon become the most widely used browser version globally too, according to StatCounter. Note the ‘nailing down jello’ (or perhaps ‘blind men and an elephant‘) aspect of browser stats in that while SC is claiming FF3 and IE to both be ~30%, NetApplications estimated FF3 to have ~20% and IE7 ~40% market share in May 2009.

Further update: eyeballing the data and adding W3Counter to the mix, I would give ‘generally accepted’ current estimates of global market share in the ranges of:

30-40% for IE7
20-30% for FF3
15-25% for IE6
5-10% for IE8

W3Schools January Data

February 4, 2009 was very fast in releasing their January 2009 browser data!

W3Schools FF vs IE

Compared to my last update, IE7 has begun to dip again, IE6 is clearly on its way out, IE8 is still embryonic and Firefox is now used more than all IE versions combined! :)

W3Schools FF vs IE

For this month I’ve created a second graph that shows the beginning of a ‘second front’ in this Browser War; FF/Moz began to be tracked at 4% on W3Schools back in Jan. 2003; at least one of the three ‘second tier’ browsers (Chrome, Safari and Opera) will reach that point by the end of 2009 and with any luck, maybe two or even all three :) Any rapid growth among these will almost certainly be at the expense of IE, thus further opening the browser market.