Internet Explorer remains the dominant Internet browser among its competitors like Firefox, Chrome and Safari — at least according to one measure. And IE’s market share continues to grow.
In May, Internet Explorer (IE) gained slightly, and now has almost 56 percent of market share, according to the latest data from Net Applications, which tracks page views on Web browsers worldwide.
By comparison, Firefox and Google Chrome released new versions in the last month, but each still lags far behind Internet Explorer. Firefox was able to chip away somewhat at IE’s market dominance and at the same time, distance itself from Chrome.
Firefox is the second choice, with about 21 percent of all users. Chrome comes in third at nearly 16 percent. Safari is the leading Mac browser at just under 6 percent of the overall market.
However, not everyone agrees with the Net Application numbers.
One major service, StatCounter, lists Chrome as the most popular browser. StatCounter’s breakdown of browser market share is: Chrome at 41 percent, IE at about 28 percent, Firefox at about 20 percent and Safari at around 8 percent.
The difference is in where the two services get their data, and how they count it. As The Next Web notes, Net Applications counts unique users, whereas StatCounter counts page views, for determining browser share:
“Net Applications uses data captured from 160 million unique visitors each month. The service monitors some 40,000 Web sites for its clients. StatCounter is another popular service for watching market share moves; the company looks at 15 billion page views. To us, it makes more sense to keep track of users than page views.”
Wikipedia has more on competing browser market share numbers, for those who need a statistics fix.
So what can you do with this information? Keep it in mind for purposes of your website design. Validate that your website or Web application is properly viewable in the most popular browsers, especially recent versions.
Cross check against your own website analytics, too. Individual audiences may vary. If the vast majority of your Web visitors use Chrome, for instance, it would be foolish not to have an optimized experience for them in Chrome.
Internet Photo via Shutterstock