My last look at the BrowserWars was back in April of this year. At that time I noted that big changes were underway. The slow and steady growth of Firefox had stopped. Firefox and Internet Explorer were both starting to fade and the sole contender to gain in market share was Google Chrome.
Today Chrome is still gaining rapidly but some think that Internet Explorer may be back in the race with the introduction of Internet Explorer 9. Although the boost for IE is more a matter of conjecture than actual fact, at least some watchers are reporting gains for IE. All statistics are dependent on collection methods, but by looking at several we get an idea of the overall trends. This one from 3Schools shows a .5% rise in IE market share. That’s the first increase they’ve shown for IE in about a year and a half.
Because we’re basically a Windows site, I’ve mostly ignored Safari and their position in the market. Here’s what I had to say about them last time: “At the end of 2009, Safari was in the number 3 position, followed closely by Chrome. Now Chrome is in the number three position and has opened up its lead on Safari.”
I think it’s important to notice that Safari is still gaining market share, although not as fast as Google Chrome. I expect this to continue with the growth of the iPad and similar devices. There are no less than about 40 “iPad like” tablets slated to hit the streets in the next year. The mobility trend is going to do nothing but grow and this is going to give the BrowserWars new life.
Take a look at what NETMARKETSHARE is showing for Safari’s position.
I’ve read may bloggers and reviewers touting IE9 as the savior for IE’s failing performance. I don’t agree with them. I gave my opinion back when IE9 Beta was released. You can read it here.
Is IE9 a nice improvement over IE8, yes? Am I using IE9 Beta along with Chrome, yes, but I don’t think it’s going to change the current trend. That trend is, growth for Chrome, growth for Safari, and stagnation and loss for Internet Explorer and FireFox.
The next quarter is going to be interesting. Christmas will see the introduction of many iPad like devices hitting the streets. iPad is the fastest selling electronics device ever. How will the growth of tablets and mobile devices effect the browser wars? I’ll let you know at the begining of 2011.