IE Rides Windows 7 and 'Beauty of the Web' to Continue Rebound

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April was another good month for Internet Explorer. The Microsoft Web browser continued its upward trend riding on the success of IE9. Back to back months of growth have wiped out almost six months of decline in IE market share.

Overall, Internet Explorer is still the number one browser…by far. With 54.09 percent of the browser market according to Net Applications, IE has as more market share than all of its competitors combined. It has more than double the market share of second place Firefox, and nearly triple the market share of third place Chrome.

IE9 broke the 50 percent barrier on Windows 7 in the US.
The big news for Internet Explorer this month, though, is IE9. Overall, IE9 has 15.91 percent market share--which is up from 15.17 a month ago. But, Internet Explorer only runs on Windows, and IE9 is only compatible with Vista and Windows 7. Viewed through a Windows 7-centric lens, IE9 is doing quite well.

Worldwide, IE9 on Windows 7 usage is at 35.5 percent. However, in the United States IE9 jumped four percentage points to break the fifty percent barrier on Windows 7. At 52.09 percent, IE9 is dominating the browser market on Windows 7.

The rise in IE9 market share is in part a reflection of the growth of Windows 7 itself, and probably related at least a little bit to the “Beauty of the Web” marketing campaign Microsoft has embarked on. Windows XP is still the number one desktop OS, but it has maintained a general declining trend for some time. Windows XP has lost 9.14 percentage points of market share over the past year, and fallen below the 50 percent mark while Windows 7 has climbed 11.4 percentage points in the same timeframe.

I’m not sure how effective a television commercial is at persuading consumers to try a new Web browser, but I do know that I’ve seen Microsoft’s “Beauty of the Web” commercial a lot. The rise in IE9 market share may be influenced by the success of the marketing campaign convincing users who have switched to an alternative browser like Firefox or Chrome to give Internet Explorer another look.

The success of IE aside, the single biggest jump this month belongs to Chrome. After three straight months of decline, Chrome recaptured 0.28 percentage points to climb back to 18.85 percent of the market.

One interesting tidbit from the Net Applications data is that “Other” went up more than half a percentage point of market share. In most cases I wouldn’t even bother noticing a jump or decline so small, but when it comes to browser market share these fractions of a percent are sometimes “big news”. I find it curious that “Other” is climbing at all given that IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera are already accounted for by name. Who is this mysterious “Other”?

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