IE and Firefox surrender market share in September

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Chicago (IL) – Both Microsoft’s Internet Explorer as well as Mozilla’s Firefox browsers lost market share during September, a new report from Net Applications indicates. The combined drop is greater than the gain posted by Google’s Chrome web browser that was released on September 2.

The market share decline for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) continued in September despite sharp gains for the second beta of IE 8.0, which is now hovering around 0.5%. IE dropped 0.63 points to 71.52%, which is down 5.2% or 3.95 points this year so far. Firefox was also hit and checked in at 19.46%, down 0.22 points over August, but up 14.6% or 2.48 points for the year.

Apple’s Safari continued its runs and gained .28 points to 6.65% in September. Opera was also slightly up from 0.62% to 0.69% market share. Google’s Chrome averaged 0.78% share for the month, which is down sharply from more than 1% in the first week following the release of the browser.

Eagle-eyed readers may notice that the combined loss of IE and Firefox, 0.90 points, is actually greater than the gain of Chrome (0.78 points), which would mean that some IE/Firefox switched to Safari and/or Opera as well, both of which posted gains. But if we assume that the majority of Chrome users actually came from the IE and Firefox camps, then it appears that IE users were much more likely to switch than Firefox users, as the drop in absolute points was almost three times higher for IE than for Firefox.  

Apple’s Safari browser is not the fastest growing browser in the market (although its 2008 growth rate of 14.2% almost matches Firefox’ growth), but it shows the most consistent growth so far. Safari had only two month-over-month drops this year. Opera, Netscape as well other browsers showed virtually no changes in market share this year.