Long Term Browser Usage Trends

Mozilla’s Asa Dotzler made some waves when he posted this graph based on data from Net Applications Browser Market Share report.

Long Term Browser Trends

The most obvious feature is the steady decline of Internet Explorer’s market share from 90 percent in 2004, to just around 66 percent today. Firefox and Safari are the two browsers that have gained most from Microsoft’s losses.

One way to look at this is the glass is 2/3rds empty — the vast majority of Internet users still use crappy Internet Explorer despite all of its problems, security issues, etc. On the other hand, the 1/3 glass full view is that this is a phenomenal achievement. As one of the commenters to Dotzler’s post notes,

It is [a bit depressing that IE’ share is still so high], but then you have to remember these are percentages of the whole web-using population. A few percent a year equates to millions of users switched. When you consider that it has happened without OS-bundling, without huge paid marketing campaigns, and without major web sites mandating particular browsers, then it’s actually an incredibly impressive rate of adoption. Even as it stands, the market share of non-IE browsers is enough to keep Microsoft honest, and force them into a more proactive and standards-friendly approach. IE8 may still be way behind the competition in many areas, but at least it pays far more attention to web standards than any previous IE release, and we have Firefox and Safari to thank for that.