The Browser Wars are heating up. According to the latest statistics, Internet Explorer is losing market share to other browsers. Not that the other ones are even close, but in one year IE lost 8% of the market share to other browsers. IE9 now commands just about 49.5% of the market, down from 57% a year ago. The other browsers Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and are far below that 49% number, but they are rising. (Opera lost some market share.)
A big part of the reason for the decline of their Browser market share is that Microsoft did not upgrade their IE6 for several years, and this left the market open for other browsers to show the public a better way to browse the Internet.
As everyone that follows the Computer market knows, sleep at your own risk. While Microsoft was content that it had overcome Netscape, but by 2008, the market had shifted. Users were expecting more from their browsers, like speed, and the ability to dynamically identify a site while the user was typing the name in the URL slot. These features may be standard now, but Microsoft could have had those features as far back as 2007.
The Smartphone/Tablet Market
Now comes a new market. The Smartphone/tablet market has made inroads into Internet connectivity that wasn’t anticipated by anyone (except maybe Steve Jobs.) Unfortunately for Microsoft IE hasn’t made an impact there either, in part because their Windows Phone 7 hasn’t made an impact in the market. With Android and iPhone dominating the smartphone market, users don’t need to have an IE browser, when there are so many other ways to peruse the Internet.
Finally, because Internet Explorer is not maintaining the kind of impact that developers would like, many will be reluctant to spend too much time in a browser whose better days are behind it. They may attend to development on Chrome, Firefox, and others.