The web has come a long way since the days when the browser wars consisted of just Netscape and Internet Explorer.
Over the years we've watched Microsoft's Internet Explorer grow, overtaking Netscape to become the world's most popular browser. Then, more recently, we've seen even our less tech savvy friends ditch the Microsoft browser in favor of one of its competitor. Though IE has remained popular in the latter half of this decade, its market share is nowhere near what it was six or seven years ago. September was a particularly grim month for Internet Explorer as data company StatCounter reports that the former king has actually fallen to below 50 percent in the worldwide market.
StatCounter's research arm, StatCounter Global Stats, yesterday released its browser market share rankings for the month of September and, though IE still has more than half of the market share in the U.S., it's fallen below 50 percent in the worldwide market. SC reports that IE now accounts for 49.87 percent of the global browser market in September, while Firefox accounts for 31.5 percent. Meanwhile Chrome's market share has tripled since the same period last year; the Google browser rose from 3.69 percent in September 2009 to 11.54 percent last month.
"This is certainly a milestone in the Internet browser wars," said Aodhan Cullen, CEO of StatCounter. "Just two years ago IE dominated the worldwide market with 67 percent."
Cullen speculates that the reason for the drop in worldwide market share could be because of EU orders that say Microsoft must offer Windows users a choice when it comes to web browsers. Previously Microsoft was allowed to ship all Microsoft computers with Internet Explorer. Indeed IE has fallen a more than six full percentage points in Europe since September 2009. IE's European share currently sits at 40.26 percent, down from 46.44 percent last year.
At home, things are looking slightly better for Internet Explorer. The browser still accounts for 52.3 percent. Firefox comes in second with 27.21 percent while Chrome brings up the rear with 9.87 percent.