Friday, July 10, 2009

Browser Marketshare for Microsoft Internet Explorer Falls from 80% to 66% in Two Years


According to The Economist, Microsoft Internet Explorer now has only a 66% market share for Internet web browsers, down from 80% two years ago, and probably the lowest level ever (see chart above). For Carpe Diem readers, only about 50% are using IE (6.0, 7.0 or 8.0), 35% are using Firefox/Mozilla, and 15% are using Safari (see chart below).

Hey, weren't we supposed to be worried about 10 years ago that Microsoft was an evil monopolist, and wasn't
it prosecuted for bundling Internet Explorer with its Microsoft Windows operating system, which was supposedly unfair because it restricted the market for competing web browsers?


16 Comments:

At 7/10/2009 3:50 PM, Anonymous Benny The Free Marketeer said...

There was time when "buying IBM" was standard. Eventually, it faded.
Is Microsoft next?
Time will tell.

 
At 7/10/2009 3:58 PM, Blogger Kraut said...

Couldn't one argue that it's mainly because Microsoft was prosecuted and penalized that they have seen such a decrease in market share? So in fact, then, they were an "evil monopoly" that was fixed by the justice department?

 
At 7/10/2009 4:45 PM, Blogger Robert Miller said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7/10/2009 5:21 PM, Blogger Ralph said...

All I know is I have had a Mac for the last 20 years (different Macs obviously) and I had a PC for 7 years running IE. Guess what, the Macs have never had a virus, I do not get popup ads, I don't have to download all the antivirus stuff, etc., etc. With the PC it is a never ending issue. I retired the PC.

 
At 7/10/2009 6:35 PM, Blogger 1 said...

"Guess what, the Macs have never had a virus, I do not get popup ads, I don't have to download all the antivirus stuff, etc., etc. With the PC it is a never ending issue"...

Hmmm, that's understandable considering Macs have such a small market share...

Apple's quality dwindling: My MacBook Pro sob story

Microsoft Finds Irony in Mac OS X Getting Hacked Before Vista SP1

Mac OS X hacked under 30 minutes

Macs no longer immune to viruses, experts say

 
At 7/10/2009 6:44 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Hey, weren't we supposed to be worried about 10 years ago that Microsoft was an evil monopolist, and wasn't it prosecuted for bundling Internet Explorer with its Microsoft Windows operating system, which was supposedly unfair because it restricted the market for competing web browsers?

Stop reading my mind please!

 
At 7/10/2009 7:45 PM, Blogger Gherald L said...

Microsoft has made changes to newer versions of Windows to allow setting the default browser much more easily.

In XP, go to Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs -> Set Program Access and Defaults

The user is prompted for this to be automatically changed by Firefox's installer, for instance.

10 years ago, it wasn't so simple. And also, downloading a browser replacement was a more arduous task, what with slow modem connections. Shipping its own default browser offered much more of a competitive advantage back then.

 
At 7/10/2009 7:48 PM, Blogger Ralph said...

1, thanks for the reminders and I will watch for same. I would mention that I have noticed I have a higher frequency of software updates from Apple that I suspect are due to either attacks or anticipated attacks. One thought I have is are some people ignoring "software updates". After all, you have to wait for the download, then restart the computer. Heck, it might take all of 10 minutes, way too much if you are super busy. Ok, just a little sarcasm there.

In any event, I have not had one, nor has my son or sister and the dates on the links were from 2006 to 2008. I do appreciate the links, regardless.

 
At 7/10/2009 11:20 PM, Blogger QT said...

Windows marketshare dropped to 88.7%. Looks like Microsoft will be the dominant player for the foreseeable future.

 
At 7/11/2009 2:52 AM, Blogger Robert Miller said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7/11/2009 4:31 AM, Blogger 1 said...

"I would mention that I have noticed I have a higher frequency of software updates from Apple that I suspect are due to either attacks or anticipated attacks'...

I think you bring up a valid point...

I see it all the time with owners of M$/computer combo...

Personally I really think Macs are quite the slick piece of hardware AND software...

Like Robert Miller I too can't see spending more money for a computer for what I do...

The M$/computer is almost commodity in comparison to the Mac when considering prices and capabilities...

Now if I was doing some serious work in video, audio, or imaging I probably wouldn't be messing about with the 2nd string but I'd be investing in a Mac...

 
At 7/11/2009 5:32 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> Hey, weren't we supposed to be worried about 10 years ago that Microsoft was an evil monopolist, and wasn't it prosecuted for bundling Internet Explorer with its Microsoft Windows operating system, which was supposedly unfair because it restricted the market for competing web browsers?

OK, sorry, Mark, but this is a simplistic and industry-ignorant depiction of the situation.

"Lowest level ever"? Uh, maybe that would be "since they cheated in their business practices and drove Netscape out of business" based on not better features but having very deep pockets? When M$ introduced IE, NS had on the close order of 80% market share. Within just a few years, M$ had reversed those numbers, and NS made a quick slide into defacto non-existence.

They did this despite the fact that IE3 had defects in its design (especially and specifically, "exploits" which websites could take advantage of to install viruses and trojans just by accessing a site with IE, but not NS) -- design flaws which NS2 (they were on NS4 when IE3 got released), released a good two years before, did not have.

IE was NEVER a better browser than NS through v6 or so (after that, NS ceased to be a viable alternative) -- they never, ever won their market share by being a better browser.

They won it by two factors:

1) essential laziness of the consumer -- if IE was the only browser on the machine, few people will go out and install another, even if it's completely free.

2) And here's the most egregious monopolistic and antibusiness practice -- they paid OEMs to specifically NOT install NS on any machine with Windows. If an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer -- i.e., "Dell", "Compaq", etc.) agreed to not install NS on a machine as-sold, then they received a substantial discount on the price of the **OS**. Microsoft could afford to take the lost revenue from this, while NS had no such sources of revenue other than sales of server software. There was no deal they could cut with the OEMs short of outright paying them to put NS onto machines.

What makes M$ a danger and a threat has been their ability to do things like this for the last two decades almost.

The primary forces acting AGAINST M$ over the last decade to reduce their share has been the very bugginess and unreliability I mention, combined with a greater average degree of internet savvy among the typical computer user. This, plus an overall tech geek distaste for M$ (hardly trivial in itself) fueled by its failure to compete on quality and "good design" but instead by such anticompetitive business practices.

As a "tech geek" myself, what disgusts me is that if M$ put a tenth of the money and effort it puts into "crushing the competition" into "making the best damned product possible", they would not need the other 90% to win their market share -- they'd be spending so much more than anyone else simply to produce the best possible product that they'd have the best damned software on the planet.

Instead, M$ produces buggy garbage, and spends more time and effort into adding gewgaws and frippery (compare Vista to XP for an example of such) than it does into addressing real problems... like the fact that you now NEED an entire CPU dedicated to running a piece-of-crap excuse for an OS that doesn't do half the still highly relevant things that a mainframe OS did 40 years ago.... like keeping track of all software components added to the system and the programs that they are connected to. An OS that literally will not run on a machine with less than 512 MEGABYTES of RAM, and really needs 1 Gig to run at all well. It's a fat, bloated piece of garbage cow that probably has 50% of its code so old and crufty that no one -- and I do mean no one -- at M$ even knows why it's still there or what it does.

M$ isn't losing market share because they've been "beaten" by anyone -- they just don't have anything which is sufficiently a threat that they've made any effort to stomp on them.

 
At 7/11/2009 5:33 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

Also: Another anticompetitive practice -- M$ often takes computer standards, claims to follow them, and then adds all sorts of violations of those standards as "SOP" for their tools so that, while you CAN follow the standard, you have to actually WORK at it. And programmers tend to be lazy jackasses just like many others.

So they break standards constantly.

And they can do this with regards to the internet browser because they know they have 60+% of the market, and they use this to "make" users use IE instead of other browsers because they know the average user uses IE on a number of sites (because the site, created using M$ tools, won't behave with other browsers), they'll tend to use it on all the sites they access. "Why learn two browsers?"

And, on top of that, many bugs occur because their own programming groups VIOLATE M$'s OWN PUBLISHED STANDARDS for accessing their software.

As a result of this, many bugs and crashes occur which are, actually, M$'s fault even though they occur when running someone else's software.

*I* know this, and other programmers know this, but try telling that to the guy who just had his "Moby Foo Accounting Software" crash when accessing an Excel-created .csv file that violates all standard .csv formats.

To him, it looks as though it's entirely Moby Foo's error.

 
At 7/11/2009 5:46 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

.

.

.

P.S. currently, the chief danger to M$ is Google. Like M$, they have deep pockets and a substantial market name and presence. And they clearly have set out to eat M$'s lunch, with products so far in the office and browser markets, albeit limited penetration so far.

Which is probably one reason the upcoming "Windows 7" is purported to be a heck of a lot better than Windows XP, unlike Vista, which was mainly a bells, whistles and chrome "improvement".

This, of course, is as it should be. Competition is good for everyone -- including M$.

Also P.S.:

For those of you who think problems with the Mac are all new and/or recent, I remind you of the very successful "explore your inner child" series of commercials from many years back.

These commercials inspired the following wonderfully amusing flame video by a mac user:

The Mac Killed My Inner Child

.

 
At 7/11/2009 2:15 PM, Blogger Robert Miller said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7/14/2009 9:21 AM, Blogger ExtremeHobo said...

I proudly check this site on Google Chrome every single day.

And enough with the Mac-lust. The only reason no viruses exist for them is because of a) their low market share and more importantly B) that no business uses a mac for anything of any importance that a virus could harm. Most hackers are out to do anti-societal behavior and attacking servers and offices are much more their flavor of tea. Not attacking trendy Starbucks goers...

And dont give me crap about their reliability. I am a developer and deal with mac crashes just as often as PC crashes. Most mac users use proprietary software which is typically more stable than third party offerings. Microsoft users, however, have something like 100x more software they can run (by third party companies) and this is the cause of so called pc unreliability.

 

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