We continue to see momentum for Internet Explorer 8 worldwide with the share numbers released today. Net Applications’ August browser usage share figures confirm that as IE8 moves into its 18th month, it remains the fastest growing browser worldwide. Internet Explorer 8 grew 1.17% to account for 32.04% of usage share worldwide – more than three times that of Chrome’s 0.36% share growth. Firefox remained largely flat for August with a slight gain of 0.02% worldwide.
An additional piece of encouraging news was the further drop of Internet Explorer 6, particularly in developed markets. As Net Applications is reporting that IE6 share is now at its lowest point ever, I thought it would be a good time to address how we think about the aging browser. As we have said in the past, one of our main missions is to get people off IE6 as fast as humanly possible. And while IE6 was a great browser for its time, we all need the web to move forward. First, this is good for developers who we want to be able to write the same markup across their sites. It’s good for consumers who should have the protections afforded by a modern browser. Finally, it’s good for the web, particularly as we look ahead to IE9 and begin to see what’s possible.
The news today of August market share that Internet Explorer 6 is at or below 5% in many developed markets is overall goodness.
While there is still a significant number of Internet Explorer 6 users who have not upgraded, most of these users are concentrated in developing or emerging markets as well as enterprises with substantial application dependencies that take time to migrate. Overall, August data shows a decline of Internet Explorer 6 usage of 0.87% to 16.99% worldwide, which is about half the market share Internet Explorer 8 has today. Break that down further and you see that the share of IE6 is at 5.3% in the United States and less than 5% in Europe – a good sign that many users and developers are ready to embrace a modern browser. As IE6 share drops (and IE7 too), we expect a dip in worldwide IE share. For August, IE share worldwide decreased 0.34% to 60.40% worldwide, but in a world of customer choice we are pleased that people are continuing to choose Internet Explorer 8 three times more often than other browsers when they make that move.
Over the past several months, you have seen us talk about some of the ways we’re helping customers get off IE6 and onto IE8 and soon IE9, coming in beta in just a few weeks. From our work with enterprise customers, to consumer campaigns like adios IE6 and spoiled milk, to joining the fun at the IE6 Funeral - these efforts will continue.
Today, people on the web are demanding an even more beautiful web experience. The Internet Explorer 9 Platform Previews continue to generate great buzz among developers and browser enthusiasts, and we have now registered over 2.5 million downloads and 20 million page views to the IE Test Drive Site, our developer site where we show new capabilities in HTML5 and Internet Explorer 9. We are looking forward to even more great things with the release of IE9 Beta this month.
Senior Director, Internet Explorer Business and Marketing