Firefox overtakes IE, but Chrome is the big winner

REVISITED: You can see whether my predictions came true by reading this post.

I see on StatCounter that Firefox has overtaken Internet Explorer as the most-used browser in Europe.  That must be the first time IE has lost the top spot since it first overtook Netscape in the mid-Nineties.  However Firefox has not increased its user base; the reason for IE’s decline is that it has lost market share to Google Chrome.

In fact, Firefox has also lost 2.5% of the market, and IE a whopping 7.5%, while Chrome has gained pretty much the full 10% that they lost between them.  Other browsers, such as Opera and Safari, have remained fairly static (although Safari, installed mainly on Macs, did gain 1% of the market, which is impressive given that it started with just 3.5%).

It will be interesting to see if these trends continue; according to my rough projections, Chrome is on course to overtake IE in the middle of 2012 and will become the most dominant browser in Europe in Early 2013.

I think that the reasons for the shift are threefold:

1) Internet Explorer was rubbish for years; bloated and non-compliant.  Although IE8 was a huge step in the right direction, it’s hard to reverse the downward momentum.

2) People who trusted the name ‘Microsoft’ and stuck with IE now have an equally well-known name to trust: ‘Google’.

(Whether either of these corporate behemoths are worthy of our trust is a subject for another post, of course…)

3) With the proliferation of netbooks and other devices with small screens, a sleek, efficient browser makes a lot of sense.  If it weren’t for a need to use Exchange/Outlook Web Access, I would use Chrome exclusively on my netbook.

(Hat tip: The Guardian)

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011 Technology, Web Development

2 Comments to Firefox overtakes IE, but Chrome is the big winner

  1. […] […]

  2. Chrome is Odd | Pencils Down on November 18th, 2011
  3. […] in January 2011, I wrote a blog about the browser wars, and particularly the fact that although Firefox had overtaken IE as Europe’s most popular […]

  4. Firefox overtakes IE, but Chrome is the big winner (revisited) | The Beta Blog on April 24th, 2013

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