Internet Explorer keeps losing ground to Firefox, Safari

Microsoft’s web browser is steadily losing ground to competition from Mozilla and Apple, according to Net Applications figures quoted by TG Daily. The numbers peg Internet Explorer’s market share for June at 73.01%, down from 73.75% in May and 74.83% in April.

Meanwhile, Firefox reportedly enjoyed its biggest-ever piece of the browser market last month: 19.03%, a very healthy rise from 18.41% in May and 17.76% the month before. Apple’s now-cross-platform Safari browser also saw gains, although it only made it up to 6.31% in June. Net Applications says Safari’s market share sat at 6.25% in May and 5.81% in April.

Well behind the three major contenders lies Opera, which the Net Applications numbers pin at only 0.73% for June. Opera’s market share is slowly increasing, though, since it had an even-smaller share of 0.69% in April.

Comments closed
    • pogsnet
    • 11 years ago
    • swaaye
    • 11 years ago

    I think what soured Opera for me was that they were ad-sponsored for a long time. You had to buy it to get rid of the lame ad banner. It was the first browser that wanted me to pay in some way for the “honor” of using it. I’ve never really taken it seriously as a result, although I have used it on occasion. Its interface has annoyed me in the past, too (although I don’t remember why anymore.)

    Now, Firefox is absolutely my fav browser simply because of the add-ons that are out there and how it has evolved. Incredible stuff. It just feels like a community effort in many ways.

    Safari didn’t do anything for me and it tried to push Apple updates on me. So, it got uninstalled pretty quick.

    • mackintire
    • 11 years ago

    I love Opera. I wish more people would give it a try.

    Firefox+40 plug-ins= Opera out of the box.

      • Saber Cherry
      • 11 years ago

      Firefox sounds cute and cuddly (or hot and sexy), while Opera conjures images of fat women with horned helmets singing ad nauseam in a foreign language.

      And Safari brings to mind Steve Jobs shooting endangered species and laughing about it.

        • Meadows
        • 11 years ago

        Yeah. Basically. And Internet Explorer… just doesn’t bring anything to mind at all, lol.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 11 years ago

      It’s more like Firefox + 5 plugins = Opera out of the box.

      But you have the other 35 plugins for even more functionality.

      And you have an interface you’re used to, instead of some radically different system.

      • indeego
      • 11 years ago

      Except 2 plugins in particularg{<.<}g

      • odizzido
      • 11 years ago

      I gave opera a shot….but I didn’t like it. It maxed one of my cores when scrolling with the arrow keys and it still didn’t scroll smooth.

    • DrDillyBar
    • 11 years ago

    I’ve only been using Firefox for about a month now, and I gotta tell you it’s neat and all that jazz, but it does a few things that really really irritate me.
    I’m also more or less in Threshers boat as far as work is concerned.
    Don’t suppose there’s a x64 version of FF…

    • Saber Cherry
    • 11 years ago

    IE is still needed for Windows Update. The only things I use it for are Windows Update, and downloading Firefox for a brand-new computer.

      • NeXus 6
      • 11 years ago

      IE is not needed anymore to do Windows updates with Vista.

        • Meadows
        • 11 years ago

        Indeed, pleased me to no end when I got my Vista about 15 months ago (if not more). I always sort of hated the browser idea, now it’s closely integrated into the OS instead.

    • Damage
    • 11 years ago

    Krogoth:

    I’ve nuked your post for potty mouth. Another violation will lead to a ban.

      • adisor19
      • 11 years ago

      How come you didn’t kill the posts as Duke Nuke ?

      I miss that… 🙁

      Adi

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 11 years ago

      OoOo! Someone got in trouble!

      PS: Damage, there was some mega-potty mouth action coming from someone else in the ANWR debates, but I didn’t see anything happen to him.

    • Anomymous Gerbil
    • 11 years ago

    l[

    • Thresher
    • 11 years ago

    For the record, I do use FF at home. But I use IE 6 at work. My company hasn’t upgraded to 7 and probably won’t, and I can understand why.

    IE 7 has quite possibly the worst interface designed. I don’t know what they were thinking, but the new interface does not increase productivity. It’s unnecessarily obtuse and difficult to navigate. I can understand a few of the changes, but most of them just reek of “let’s move stuff around and call it new”. The old interface may have not been all that stunning, but it was straightforward and easy to navigate. FF understood that and stayed with the same basic layout.

      • A_Pickle
      • 11 years ago

      Heh. I can agree with the “lets move stuff around and call it new” opinion of interface design. Though, really, my only beef with IE7 is where the Stop and Refresh buttons are — otherwise, I really don’t mind the interface.

    • SpotTheCat
    • 11 years ago

    firefox is soooo much faster and more usable than IE, especially with pipe lining enabled on my high-latency DSL connection.

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      There are similar stuff in IE as well, but you usually have to check out some registry keys because IE has this higher level of foolproofness.

      • Wajo
      • 11 years ago

      as long as there is no flash… hehe…

    • Krogoth
    • 11 years ago

    Why does anybody care about what web browser that users use? Nothing really has fundamentally changed in web browser world for years.

    The whole web standards issue is just an old legacy of MS’s strong-arming Netscape into oblivion back during the 90s. They had killed Netscape by using a completely different standards and bundled IE with every copy of Windows for “free”. That is source for 95% of current web developer headaches.

    MS should just give up and make IE comply with standards used by other web developers. That will remove most of the current problems.

      • dmitriylm
      • 11 years ago

      No, that would break a huge number of sites written specifically for IE’s interpretation of HTML code and we simply can’t have that. Plus IE7 works so well I can’t really complain.

        • Krogoth
        • 11 years ago

        Bingo, you have identify the #1 problem of web standards.

      • BenBasson
      • 11 years ago

      AFAIK, IE8 has a new rendering engine, so we can assume that they are attempting exactly that. Not that complying with vague, broken standards guarantees anything will work properly.

      It’s taken years of dealing with these complicated specs for even the browser vendors to know what the real problems are, let alone agree on how they should all do things. I think in general things seem to be moving in the right direction, but web compatibility isn’t a problem that can be solved for a good while yet.

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      You sound like a broken record. You keep saying this every time browser market share is discussed.

      There is money in advertising. There is advertising linked to web browsers. Do the math for tech’s sake and stop repeating the same old mantras.

        • Krogoth
        • 11 years ago

        You do not understand why MS decided to wipe out Netscape back in mid-90s. It was perhaps their biggest abuse of their monopolistic power. I am still surprise that MS did not get any real heat about it during the DOJ investigations.

        They were afraid that competitors would be able to interface their OS’s GUI via web browsers. They were also afraid that web browsers themselves would render the need for an OS GUI obsolete. These fears were very far-fetched nevertheless MS went on the complete offensive.

        MS decided to buyout the assets of Spyglass and make it into own browser called “Internet Explorer”. MS bundled the browser with Windows 95 and so-on for “Free”. MS also push forth with its own web standards.

        The attack was so darn successful that with a few years. Internet Explorer and its web developer base completely overthrown the previous champion Netscape.

        A large consequence of this is that it had completely shattered web standards into the clusterfucker that it is today. It also brought some of the most of rampant malware for Windows front due to earlier version of IE being integrated into the OS.

        Ironic, that some of Firefox’s code comes from the ashes of
        Netscape.

      • WaltC
      • 11 years ago

      Microsoft didn’t “strong arm” anybody as I recall the situation. You’re forgetting that prior to the first line of IE code written by Microsoft, Netscape’s Navigator pretty much had a global lock on the mainstream browser market, and you are also forgetting (as many do) that anyone from Maine to Moscow could log onto the Netscape website and download Navigator (and later Communicator) absolutely free of charge–just like you can do with Firefox today. I downloaded many a free copy of Nav/Comm direct from Netscape’s site in those days. In those days it was Netscape, not Microsoft, who formulated and controlled the standards.

      The fact of the matter is that IE was launched into a “no-charge for Netscape” marketplace–certainly not the reverse. I cannot imagine how people get this so confused. Sure, Netscape’s browsers were being sold in stores to the uninitiated, but as soon as people “got the hang” of the Internet they quickly began downloading the Netscape browsers for free direct from Netscape’s site. I did it for years and what’s more, everyone I knew did, too.

      Netscape wrote its own epitaph when it very unwisely sought the help of the US Federal Government in removing Microsoft from the browser landscape, whereas Microsoft placed its bets on innovation, R&D, and product development. That’s why IE is still around and Netscape is no more today. Netscape simply quit. Period. The company had no stomach for competition and sincerely believed that it alone deserved “the browser monopoly” simply because it had gotten there first. Netscape erred grievously in seeking its rewards from the government instead of from the emerging browser markets, as Microsoft did.

      Mozilla fortunately has wisely avoided the self-pitying frame of mind that ruined Netscape, and the company has sought to compete head-to-head with Microsoft, instead. It surely doesn’t surprise me, therefore, that FireFox is doing better than Netscape’s browsers ever did. Just proves beyond all dispute that if you build a better mousetrap people will indeed beat a path to your door, and downloading software these days confuses just about nobody.

      Wanted to add that I use two browsers every day: Firefox 3.x and 64-bit IE. I use IE for financials, and I use FF 3.x for routine browsing–FF’s spell check and text-zoom features are terrific, I think. The point is that all market-share estimates which fail to take into account the fact that just like it is possible to install and run more than a single 3d game in a given system, it is possible to install and run more than a single browser, too, are flawed beyond redemption. The notion that a person is limited to running but a single a browser is nonsense. Just like in the early days when my computers at home hosted both Communicator and IE (for me IE didn’t become more attractive than Communicator until IE hit version 5.x), today they host both IE and Firefox, and the two coexist without a ruffle or a qualm. It’s obvious to me that people who run only a single browser to the exclusion of anything else haven’t thought much at all about what makes browsers different–that is, they all have some strengths that the others lack. IMO, people cheat themselves by insisting on running a single browser.

        • alex666
        • 11 years ago

        Don’t forget that Mozilla was a descendent of Netscape.

        • A_Pickle
        • 11 years ago

        Whoa. Helluva rant, there…

        • DrDillyBar
        • 11 years ago

        WaltC’s on point. 😛

        • Krogoth
        • 11 years ago

        q[

        • stmok
        • 11 years ago

        *Sarcasm on*
        Yes WaltC…Netscape is EVIL. They got the US Govt on their side!
        *Sarcasm off*

        And yet, despite your “as I recall”, the anti-trust cases in USA and Europe say something completely different altogether. Next time, consider reading about Microsoft BEFORE defending them with your interpretation of history?

        Here’s a reminder…

        *[< United States v. Microsoft, 87 F. Supp. 2d 30 (D.D.C. 2000) <]* §[<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Microsoft<]§ *[< European Union vs Microsoft <]* §[<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union_Microsoft_competition_case<]§ An overview... *[< Criticism of Microsoft <]* §[<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Microsoft<]§ MS knows what its done, and so do the folks involved in the prosecution of those cases. Its too bad the rest of humanity have remarkably short memories or have remained utterly ignorant...But that's OK. Thanks to the Internet and court cases against them (which have opened up MS internal memos), we all get to see how MS really is. :) If you really want to know how MS thinks, search for *[< Exhibit 3096 <]* of the *[< Comes v. Microsoft <]* case. That internal MS paper is referred to as "Effective Evangelism". It explains the methodology in how to create de-facto standards...As you read, you realize their methods aren't exactly honest or ethical. Those techniques in that paper are still used today. (Demonstrated when they managed to push their OOXML through ISO's fast track process).

          • WaltC
          • 11 years ago

          OK, first, I didn’t ever say even once that “Netscape is evil.” I said, “Netscape quit.” That’s exactly what happened. Netscape had 100% of the *mainstream* browser market locked up prior to Microsoft coding the first line of IE. That’s a fact–sorry if it doesn’t agree with your revisionist theories. The browser market was Netscape’s to lose and Netscape lost it. Period.

          I know, because I was running Netscape’s browsers before I ever ran IE. And even then, as I said, Microsoft didn’t merit much consideration compared to Nav/Communicator until IE hit version 5.x, imo. That is when I actually started taking IE seriously. So, please, don’t tell me what I know because some revisionist hack somewhere who *does* think Microsoft is evil is telling you what he thinks he knows. It’s just silly, and it isn’t true in the slightest.

          FYI, had Microsoft ceased development of IE prior to version 5.x it is very doubtful that IE would ever have captured any market share at all, and Netscape would still be with us today. But Microsoft didn’t quit–nope it was Netscape who brilliantly decided that Communicator was the summit of its ability and decided to take the matter from product R&D to the ears of a Congress so ignorant in general of basic computer technology that most Congressman at the time would have had *great difficulty* in explaining the difference between a mouse and a ram chip.

          I’m supposed to reel in awe because a bunch of hacks persuaded an ignorant Congress that Microsoft was the Devil himself? Please. That is beneath contempt for anyone who lived through those times and possesses a shred of objectivity.

          So, you can live with your hack revisionist theories for as long as you like if it makes you feel good to fantasize that as a company Netscape was angelic while Microsoft was demonic. Maybe that sort of drivel trips your trigger and makes you happy, I don’t know. What I do know, however, is that it’s pure bunk, and whether the ignorant politicos in the US or the EU want to pretend otherwise, *I know better* because I lived through it. Thankfully, it’s easy to see that I’m not alone, either…:D

          Look, I genuinely feel sorry for people who depend on lawyers and politicians to tell them what to think about computer technology. I feel sorry for them because it’s obvious that they don’t know enough about the subject to think otherwise. They are sitting ducks.

          Last–you tell me in your own words: what’s changed since then? Why has Mozilla succeeded so well with FF when Netscape failed with Nav/Communicator? I mean, then and now IE is shipping with Windows, isn’t it? No judicial ruling on the planet stopped that. So what’s the difference?

          I’ve already told what that difference is, haven’t I? The difference is that instead of wasting time and throwing away millions of $ lobbying dimwitted techno-n00bs in Washington, like Netscape did, Mozilla is spending its money and time building a better browser. Elementary. That’s the tangible, measurable difference.

          Sorry that I don’t buy your song & dance about how evil Microsoft is, but I don’t, and there’s nothing else that I can say about that. What’s truly “evil” to me is ignorance, and the politicos in the US and the EU have more than enough of that to go around–and they aren’t shy about it, either…;)

            • clone
            • 11 years ago

            the problem with your theory is that Netscape didn’t quit, Microsoft broke Netscape so that it wouldn’t work in Windows and then kept forcing internet explorer on customers even after they attempted to uninstall it as it would reinstall itself soon after.

            Netscape stopped innovating because they had to keep re-enabling their software, they also went in a different direction when AOL and Time Warner started supporting them but Netscape went to the government because they had a legitimate case a case they won because what MS did was wrong btw.

            then once they won they reinvented themselves as Mozilla and are starting to win again although now it’s a much longer and harder road to travel.

            I used Netscape for a month or so “back in the day” but was never thrilled by it and was forced to deal with IE with a google homepage until Mozilla came out, I haven’t looked back since……… Mozilla all the way IE’s to bloated and rarely turns the searches I want while Mozilla/google has always been more intuitive.

            • kc77
            • 11 years ago

            I think your willingness to label people “revisionists” is just a means for you to do the same. My recollection of how history went down with OS versions is actually pretty darn good. Why? Because I used to test this stuff back in the day. First off , you are right Netscape did have majority of the market share around the Netscape3 / Gold and Netscape 4 Communicator days. However that’s around the time Windows 95A / Original were still prevalent . With those operating systems you basically had to carry around with you either a copy of Netscape, AOL, or Prodigy. Internet Explorer didn’t come with the OS.

            The ability to download Netscape or AOL for that matter using dial -up via telnet or ftp would have been suicide. Netscape 4 in particular came in three 3 1/2 floppy disks I have the disks still sitting right next to my copies of Hear It and ProComm. Netscape didn’t start losing share until Windows 95 OSR-1/ B / Windows 98 Original when the browser came bundled with it. That’s what the whole MS bundling lawsuit was about, the browser and later the media player (UK). With the joys of Windows 98 you couldn’t even launch Windows Update without launching that darn IE browser which would maliciously make IE the default.

            Here’s a link as reference:

            §[<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Explorer#Market_adoption<]§ I figure if I'm going to write a paragraph or two I should at least back it up. Netscape didn't quit they were crushed to death.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 11 years ago

    Yeah if I were Opera people, I’d be crapping my pants over FF3. It has a pretty decent interface and the memory overhead is much lower.

      • bhtooefr
      • 11 years ago

      Well, one thing with Opera is… their primary market is not the desktop market. They care about the mobile market. Pocket IE is a joke, and Minimo isn’t even all that notable. Sure, there’s Safari (but it’s iPhone-specific,) and there’s NetFront. But… Opera’s got a nice big chunk of the mobile market all to themselves.

        • A_Pickle
        • 11 years ago

        Minimo sucks. It’s a huge memory hog on Windows Mobile — Opera’s stuff kicks butt otherwise. On the Wii… I mean, Opera’s a hell of a company. There’s a company that’s got their demographic and stuck with it.

        And frankly, their desktop browser is by no means ultimately beaten by Firefox 3. I’m still using Firefox 2 because of certain design stupidities implemented in Firefox 3…

          • bhtooefr
          • 11 years ago

          Ah, yes, and I did forget about the other devices that their stuff is on – 100% monopoly of the Wii and DS markets.

          Opera has said before that the desktop browser is pretty much just a testbed for the mobile technologies. It doesn’t lose money, because of their partnership with Google (every time you search using the search box in the address bar, Opera gets paid – Mozilla has a similar arrangement for Firefox,) but it’s not their main product.

          (Granted, they’re competing against the PS3 and PSP with NetFront, but…)

    • A_Pickle
    • 11 years ago

    Okay, I can understand Firefox. But Safari? Christ, I’d take IE7 over Safari any day of the week, month, year, ever… ESPECIALLY on a PC…

      • Hattig
      • 11 years ago

      I got annoyed with Firefox (2 and 3 beta) crashing on gmail all the time whenever you sent an email and then clicked on the inbox. So I started using Safari until FF3 came out, but haven’t bothered switching back. There are a few issues though, printing background colours isn’t settable on Windows! Never mind the weekly downloads of a 0.0.0.1 update.

      Not going back to IE ever though. 7 is bad enough.

        • A_Pickle
        • 11 years ago

        Never had that happen. I just have interface qualms with Firefox 3. But as usual from user-to-user… YMMV.

      • muyuubyou
      • 11 years ago

      I guess 99.9% of those are Mac users… their share went up and so did their default browser, and it also helps than FF sucked badly for MacOS until version 3 which is still very recent.

        • A_Pickle
        • 11 years ago

        I… really preferred Firefox on a Mac to Safari. Probably because I was coming from the Windows platform, where middle-clicking makes a new tab, but… my Hackintosh and I got along great once I got a decent browser installed. I hate Safari. The iTunes-ey interface works great. For iTunes. Or for a music player in general. And hell, it even works pretty well as a file browser — Finder is pretty damn competent with that.

        But uh… no. It doesn’t work for a browser.

        To Apple’s credit, Safari is the most competent application they’ve yet made for Windows. iTunes is slow-ass garbage that lacks a lot of the cool visualizations that Leopard-based Macs have, and Quicktime… uh… don’t get me started. And both of them immediately add themselves to your startup registry key that slows down the amount of time it takes for your computer to boot. I hate that.

          • adisor19
          • 11 years ago

          I disagree. The Safari interface is very simple and most new users (make that most new Mac users) will find it simple to use.

          Also, the search function is superior to any browser out there including my beloved Firefox 3.

          Adi

            • A_Pickle
            • 11 years ago

            What search function? The search function at the top right corner, which, on IE and Firefox, you can customize? Or a different one?

      • Thresher
      • 11 years ago

      My guess is it’s people that want to think they’re using a Mac, even if they can’t afford one.

        • A_Pickle
        • 11 years ago

        That’s harsh, man.

    • Shinare
    • 11 years ago

    I wonder how much of those Opera numbers are windows mobile users.

      • A_Pickle
      • 11 years ago

      I wish I could use Opera Mobile. Too bad I have to pay for it.

      ‘Til then, I guess I’ll just run Opera Mini in a Java Emulator…

        • bhtooefr
        • 11 years ago

        I wish I could use Opera Mobile.

        Too bad my smartphone’s OS is apparently a pain to program for, and has low marketshare… oh, and the only JVM for its OS… #1, sucks horribly (and Opera Mini BARELY runs. BARELY,) and #2, is no longer legally available.

        🙁

          • A_Pickle
          • 11 years ago

          That sucks. I just learnt that the MMS feature that my smartphone was advertised to have… never had one in the first place. And that the user community’s solution was then BLOCKED by Sprint, with them promising that they would be releasing an MMS solution in a predictably vague “imminent” timeframe. Apparently two months (and counting) is imminent to Sprint. Awesome.

          Yes indeed, the smartphone world is a sad one indeed. Somehow the pirates of this industry decided that smartphones aren’t just the same thing as PC’s, but smaller, and so doing things like… uninstalling the factory software that came on your phone void the warranty and such.

          What kind of smartphone do you have?

            • bhtooefr
            • 11 years ago

            Palm Centro.

            Love it (and I like the simplicity of the OS from the user’s standpoint,) except for the browser and Java situations.

    • KamikaseRider
    • 11 years ago

    I’m using FF3 and I’m not going back to IE.

      • Mystic-G
      • 11 years ago

      Yea, I’ve been using IE6 for 3 years, I hated IE7, FF2 just didn’t feel right, FF3 seems to suit me very very well despite some minor kinks.

    • Meadows
    • 11 years ago

    Microsoft needs to hurry up with Internet Explorer 8. If it turns out good, I’ll ditch my FF3 in favour of the in-house browser.

      • blueskynis
      • 11 years ago

      Why? FF isn’t good for you?

      I only ask this because your statement looks like someone is forcing you to use FF…sorry if I miss interpreted it.

        • Meadows
        • 11 years ago

        I always preferred the look&feel of IE, but FF3 was clearly superior in enough ways to make me switch. I’m going to wait and see if IE8 improves on the situation.

          • Corrado
          • 11 years ago

          Seems to me like IE8 is taking a step backwards in terms of usability. I, too, like the look and UI of IE7… but it just runs like crap. I don’t want to wait 2 seconds for a new tab to show up etc. It just feels slow.

            • ScythedBlade
            • 11 years ago

            Ohhhh … so this is why people say IE7 is slow …

            I always wondered where was the difference between browsers … and I finally find out people mean speed to mean the actual browser stuff, which is just the same amount of time for me …

            • Hdfisise
            • 11 years ago

            there is a difference between how quickly each one render pages and runs stuff like javascript IIRC.

            • A_Pickle
            • 11 years ago

            That is my biggest complaint with IE7. I actually really like that, when you middle click on a link, it opens that tab next to the tab from which you middle-clicked from. I like that. I like that it generally has a lower footprint than Firefox 2 (dunno about 3), and unlike Firefox 3, has a button from which I can click to open the folder of my download.

            All it would take to appease me is an easy, online bookmarks synchronizer (which they may now have in the form of Live Mesh), a better in-browser method of organizing bookmarks (it’s easier to do bulk bookmark re-organizing in Windows Explorer), a download manager (versus multiple windows for multiple downloads) and an extension like NoScript.

            I haven’t found any IE addons that do any of this functionality well, though IE7+ is quite nice. It seems like talented coders avoid Microsoft stuff at all costs. It saddens me. 🙁

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